Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Donnie Darko's Follow-Up Torture; Vamping It Up: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Donnie Darko's Follow-Up Torture; Vamping It Up: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Article excerpt

Southland Tales Cert 15, 145 mins *

DONNIE DARKO, Richard Kelly's cult first feature, was so heavily praised thatit was perhaps inevitable that his second would contain delusions of grandeur.

Southland Tales is a long, apocalyptic, political satire set largely inCalifornia, which presents a world in 2008 in which Texas has been nuked andthere's no oil left for the defence of the realm. Presented at Cannes in 2006,it was laughed out of court.

Now it has been re-edited and shortened. But it is no better. There are so manyideas and plot-turns, and so few characters who make sense, that to see itagain is pure torture. Making nonsense of TS Eliot, Kelly suggests that theworld is likely to end not with a whimper but with a bang. He also suggeststhat the Book of Revelations might have been written by the Apostle John whileunder the influence of hallucinatory mushrooms.

So, it seems, was the plot. There's a mysterious German corporation arriving inthe Southland with a new formula for fuel and a drug that will put thepopulation of California under its spell. …

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