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Southland Tales in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Southland Tales

Dwayne Johnson • Seann William Scott • Sarah Michelle Gellar
DIRECTOR: Richard Kelly

A large ensemble cast of characters, including Boxer Santaros (Johnson), an action star stricken with amnesia, Krysto Now (Gellar), an adult film star developing her own reality show, and Roland Taverner (Scott), a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy, cross paths in Los Angeles during the final three days before the end of the world…
And it’s a comedy!

U.S. RELEASE: November 14 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: R


Director Richard Kelly“After 9/11 I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve got this apocalyptic comedy and now the apocalypse is arguably happening. And maybe this can be a comedy and a tonic to help deal with 9/11 anxiety.’ So it evolved and it became more of a political piece, and that became the challenge of trying to balance this massive story.”

DWAYNE JOHNSON on taking ‘The Rock’ out of his name:
Dwayne Johnson“I made a decision I wanted Southland Tales to be the first movie that I would be billed as Dwayne Johnson. I wanted it to happen naturally. I never wanted to push anything, so it kind of naturally evolved from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to now Dwayne Johnson.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar“Richard is a free-thinker who thinks outside the box. And I think, unfortunately now, Hollywood and movie-making has become incredibly formulaic. Richard does the exact opposite. Whether it’s casting or story ideas or camera shots, it’s about doing something that’s different. And I think, as an actor, what’s enticing and why he can always get such amazing casts of people is because of the excitement of the unknown, of doing something that hasn’t been done.”

“Sarah is a really smart girl. She’s a New York girl. She grew up very well educated, and she was on a soap opera when she was a young teenager, so she’s been around the block. There’s a part of the concept of a porn star, how ambitious and driven this character is, that Sarah got, She understood the absurdity of it, and I think being an actress she understand what it’s like to be exploited. Actresses are tough, they have to have a tough demeanor to survive in this town, and she saw Krysta as this subversive version of herself in a way.”

Southland Tales has been described as a lot of things – sci fi, a little bit of a musical, a little bit of a thriller. I would describe it as a dark comedy about the end of the world and how we here in Los Angeles would react. I’ve always felt that Southland Tales is a love letter to Los Angeles. Richard loves L.A. and loves the fact that we are the cornerstone for pop culture. He also wanted to show the seedy underbelly too of LA.”

“The script, to the actors, is probably a little confusing. What is it about in the end? I think it’s about where our country is going, our current dilemma when you’re talking about alternative fuel, terrorism, our civil liberties being taken away from us, and the potential effects of environmental degradation on human behavior, neurological responses, global warming. You know, there’s a lot going on here.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Southland Tales site
Images above © Samuel Goldwyn Films
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #690, December 2007 cover

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