Wonder of all wonders came a few days ago when Southland Tales finally got a fall release date of November 9. With its release locked, director Richard Kelly is talking a little bit more about the changes made to the struggling film. It's been a long road to this point. Well before the film even hit eager eyes, Kelly had a fancy website up, whetting appetites and fueling impatience. Then came Cannes, and one hell of an eye-opening slap when the film was pretty much panned. Our James Rocchi said: "Sprawling, messy, willfully self-indulgent and incomprehensible, Southland Tales is the biggest sophomore slump for a seemingly indie-filmmaker since Kevin Smith's Mallrats." While the comparison might be argued, the sentiment couldn't -- most people thought it stunk.

Back to the drawing board, we've heard about the months that Kelly has spent putting special effects in and editing the piece. In a recent talk with SCI Fi Wire, he discussed what changes were made. "[We made] a lot of editorial changes in terms of restructuring the order of scenes. We re-recorded all of Justin Timberlake's voice-over, and we added, like, 90 new visual-effects shots. It was truly like a work of progress." This work, even with all the added effects, has been slimmed down 20-25 minutes as well -- the original cut came in at almost 3 hours.

Will his efforts be worth it? I'm hoping so. If the changes to Donnie Darko between the director's and theatrical versions are any indication, this could be an entirely new movie with an entirely new response. At the very least, he learned his lesson about showing a work in progress to a tough audience: "Usually when you have a movie, at that point you take it to Sherman Oaks and show it to a bunch of teenagers at [a test] screening. We took it to the Cannes Film Festival and showed it to the toughest audience in the world. Was that a good idea? I don't know. But it happened, and you just sort of take the best from it."
categories Movies, Cinematical