UPDATE! Kelly says that the quotes in the Hot Dog interview are old, from Cannes itself. Skip to the bottom to read what he has to say.
If a new interview with Hot Dog Magazine is to be believed, there’s even more trouble in Southland. Richard Kelly’s sprawling sci-fi/action epic, Southland Tales, premiered at Cannes to uniformly awful responses, leading to Kelly agreeing to edit the film for distributor Sony Pictures Classics. At the time he sounded unhappy but resolute to make the film work.
Now in this Hot Dog interview Kelly is sounding downright defeated, and like the movie may have been taken out of his hands. According to the Female First website, Kelly tells Hot Dog: "What’s disappointing, frustrating is that now I don’t know that Southland Tales will be seen in the United States… Maybe it will, but potentially it could be shown with almost an hour of it missing. I don’t quite know what that film is… It was intended to be this epic LA story. I just don’t know if I have the energy anymore.”
It’s still pretty early on the West Coast, but I have sent out emails trying to get to the bottom of this. As of a month or two ago Kelly was the guy doing the edit – I’m curious as what, if anything, has changed since then.
If the film was taken out of Kelly’s hands, it only makes me more interested in seeing the original cut. I don’t believe that the movie is a misunderstood masterpiece, per se, but I do believe that a very bad film is just as interesting as a very good one. It seems like the Cannes cut of Southland Tales could be destined to become one of those legendary lost films.
UPDATED: In his MySpace blog Richard Kelly explains that these quotes are old. Here’s the full message:
I just wanted to give everyone an update on Southland Tales, as there was recently an article published in Hot Dog Magazine about the film being taken away from me and cut down by an hour. This interview took place during the Cannes Film Festival and WAS TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITHOUT REFERENCING MANY POSITIVE DEVELPMENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THEN.
As many of you know, the film has been bought by Sony and I have been finishing A SHORTER cut of Southland Tales under their supervision. It has been a great experience and I feel like the film is now in better shape than ever. The film will absolutely be released in theaters, and Sony is still deciding on an appropriate release date and strategy.
The second graphic novel of The Prequel Saga, "Southland Tales – Book II: Fingerprints, will be released on September 13th. Book III will likely come out in mid-October. If you like the books, I guarantee you will love the film, as it represents chapter IV-VI!
Thank you guys for your continued support, and please know that I am incredibly proud of this film and excited for it to be seen. What you will see in theaters will absolutely be my cut of the film!