SOUTHLAND TALES in 35mm w/Richard Kelly

The Roxie is proud to present SOUTHLAND TALES in 35mm with director Richard Kelly in attendance.


10 years ago, Richard Kelly’s follow-up to DONNIE DARKO debuted at Cannes. Packed with ideas, rich with allusion, and overflowing with big name stars, SOUTHLAND TALES offered up a modern dystopian vision of the divide between the red and blue states wrapped up with a glistening soundtrack by Moby, a slick, pop-art sensibility, and a provocative story that combined sci-fi parable with mass media satire.

Over the years a cult following has emerged, as the intersecting storylines, intricate story, and evocative production design has sparked the imagination of viewers ready for a challenge, ready to give way to this strangely beautiful film. The satirical tone and apocalyptic themes, with jabs at the militarization of American society, reality television, celebrity politics and the debates over alternative energy all strike an immediate chord, making the film simultaneously hilarious and unsettling.


Unfortunately, SOUTHLAND TALES may have been too much for the audiences of 2006, and was roundly criticized after its initial Cannes screening. But films as intense, clever and satirical as SOUTHLAND TALES rarely resonate with an audience overnight. While Roger Ebert led the critical charge against the film, it’s important to remember that Ebert is also known for his early pans of other beautiful and heady but chaotic films, and SOUTHLAND TALES has joined the ranks of Gilliam’s BRAZIL, Lynch’s BLUE VELVET, Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and Russell’s THE DEVILS, all of which got the dreaded thumbs-down upon their release.

Now is the time to re-evaluate SOUTHLAND TALES. On July 2nd, the Roxie presents SOUTHLAND TALES in 35mm, with director Richard Kelly in attendance to answer questions after the film.


What is SOUTHLAND TALES? It’s a romp, for starters, a genre pastiche, a blast of conscience. […] SOUTHLAND TALES has more ideas, visual and intellectual, in a single scene than most American independent films have in their entirety.” -Mahnola Dargis, The New York Times

SOUTHLAND TALES takes place in the days preceding July 4th, 2008. After a series of terrorist attacks, national security is at an all-time high, mass surveillance is the norm, and military occupation is a way of life. Nevertheless, Los Angeles remains much the way it has long been, with amnesic action film star Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson) looking to produce his end-of-days movie script with porn starlet Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Hermosa Beach police officer Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott) embroiled in a conspiracy, California Senator Bobby Frost (Holmes Osbourne) launching a bid for the White House, and an alternative energy baron (Wallace Shawn) jockeying for his technology to take over the world. The fates of these characters – along with many others, played by Justin Timberlake, Amy Poehler, John Larroquette, Nora Dunn, Bai Ling and dozens more – collide in a far-reaching narrative that digs deep into an election cycle where the collision of pop culture players and policy makers can potentially have disastrous results.


“Richard Kelly shoots the moon with his rich, strange, and very funny sci-fi social satire.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

144 minutes, 2006, USA. Presented in 35mm, director in attendance.



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