One of the surprises at this year's Fantastic Fest in Austin was the first public screening of the recut version of Southland Tales, which will be released in theaters starting in November. The film was written and directed by Richard Kelly, and a longer, unfinished version premiered at Cannes in 2006. Kelly is probably best known for his previous film, Donnie Darko, although since then he also wrote the script for Domino. Kelly attended the Fantastic Fest screening of Southland Tales, and Cinematical was able to sit down with him for a few minutes before he left Austin. (And yes, that's the actual Bone Shack sign from Planet Terror/Grindhouse that he's standing under, in the photo above.)

Cinematical: What made you decide to bring Southland Tales to Fantastic Fest?

Richard Kelly: It was Harry [Knowles, of AICN] -- Harry's been a great friend over the years. This is the first time anyone's seen the finished version, and we wanted to show it to the right audience, and at this festival people are very receptive to adventurous material. Harry had a great way of summing it up: he said it was a "science-fiction noir thriller." I love that description, because it crosses different genres. And for me, it's a comedy. We literally just finished it, and we weren't ready for Toronto -- we didn't know if Toronto was the best place, but Fantastic Fest felt right.

Cinematical: The version we saw here in Austin is the one that will be in theaters in November?

RK: Absolutely.