Real To The Eye

16 November 2007

Scientists are saying that the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted.

So says Sarah Michelle Gellar as porn star Krysta Now in Richard (Donnie Darko) Kelly’s new film Southland Tales. I like the world – absurdist sci-fi political conspiracy thriller meets California post-War-in-Iraq soap by way of Philip K. Dick, MTV’s The Grind and David Lynch – with some part of the styling done by Mike Kelly perhaps, and the whole thing hung on (or slung over) a preposterous rickety, comic book mash-up in place of a narrative. Plus there’s Justin Timberlake with a scarred face injecting himself in the neck with some weird drug (called Liquid Karma) that the US Military are supposedly testing on troops out in Syria, where the war in the Middle East has spread (this is all taking place in 2008, after the nuclear attacks in Texas, you understand) and later Timberlake off-his head lip-synching his way through the Killer's All These Things That I've Done in an amusement arcade, pouring Budweiser all over himself. What happened in Fallujah was… a mistake, he says. Good job some scientists have discovered a rift in space-time then. What did we do when we discovered the rift in space time? says one of them, pretty much rhetorically, to a puzzled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the former WWF wrestler, who here plays an amnesiac action-hero named Boxer Santaros. He does good puzzled-acting and looks at the scientist who spells things out nice and clearly; What did we do when we discovered the rift in space time? We sent monkeys through it. Very funny.

Kelly apparently had to chop the film down and add additional explicatory voiceover (as if explanation ever helped anything) after the previews last year at Cannes resulted in walkouts and boo-ing. Shame really cos even though its fun, clunky and weird, top-knotch transcendental quantum nonsense, enjoyably baffling and transparently stupid, what it really needs is to be wilder than it is. I could have done with a version that went further down the road the movie sets forth in – the much less travelled road – less explanation, less road-map and more hard-to-follow would be good. Or just plain crazier, more chaotic, careless or libidinously creative.


The replica Rolex watches I am being offered in spam these days are 100% real to the eye. How good is that?