“SOUTHLAND TALES”— How the World Ends


How the World Ends

Amos Lassen

Writer/director Richard Kelly’s “Southland Tales” looks at the collision of the forces of totalitarianism and anarchism against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic, near-future world .  Set in Los Angeles in 2008, the city is on the brink of social, economic and environmental chaos. The characters include  an amnesia-stricken action star (Dwayne Johnson), an adult film star developing her own reality TV project (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and a police officer whose identity has split in two (Seann William Scott). They come together and intertwine with all humanity. Kelly gives us a movie that is a mind-melting multi-media experience. We have a universe to get lost in.

The film opens with a nuclear blast in Texas in an alternate-universe in 2005. It seems that the United States responded to a nuclear attack on that date by taking a fierce rightward turn.  This was World War III and it brought pain to Iran, North Korea, and other supporters of evil including an entity called US-IDENT that spies on the American population and totally polices the world-wide internet.

A revolutionary group known as the neo-Marxists (Amy Poehler, Nora Dunn, Cheri Oteri) has brainwashed the Iraq War veteran played (Scott) as a way of faking a Rodney King-like videotape that exposed police brutality in hopes of instigating a revolt against the new social order.

Meanwhile, the amnesiac action star with ties to the Republican has written “a screenplay that predicts the destruction but it is ignored. His girlfriend, a porn-star/current-events-chat-show-host and one-woman media empire works with him.   “Southland Tales” isa pop art look at a coming apocalypse and a dark sci-fi comedy filed with surrealism. It is both courageous and audacious as we visit a world we do not know but might expect. It is also a mess of non-continuity. Watching it is like being in the dream of someone else.


  New 2K restoration by Arrow Films, approved by director Richard Kelly and director of photography Steven Poster

  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of both versions of the film: the 145-minute theatrical cut and the 160-minute Cannes cut , which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006

  Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks

  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  Audio commentary on the theatrical cut by Richard Kelly

  It’s a Madcap World: The Making of an Unfinished Film, a new in-depth retrospective documentary on the film, featuring contributions by Richard Kelly and members of the original crew

  USIDent TV: Surveilling the Southland, an archival featurette on the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew

  This is the Way the World Ends, an archival animated short set in the Southland Tales universe

  Theatrical trailer

  Image gallery

  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacey

  Limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Peter Tonguette and Simon Ward

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