"Southland Tales" has endured many accusations, but never of playing it safe. By turns a satire, farce, polemic, zeitgeist movie, musical, and apocalypse narrative, Richard Kelly's rich and paranoid follow-up to "Donnie Darko" also grounds itself in Los Angeles cinema. It tells an even more Philip K. Dickian tale than "Blade Runner" and ties itself to such equally "insane" Los Angeles predecessors as "Kiss Me Deadly", "Repo Man", and "Mulholland Drive". It remains, almost a decade after its release, in an essentially unfinished state, but perhaps an ambitious and incomplete movie suits an ambitious an incomplete city.
The video essays of "Los Angeles, the City in Cinema" examine the variety of Los Angeleses revealed in the films set there, both those new and old, mainstream and obscure, respectable and schlocky, appealing and unappealing — just like the city itself.
For more on "The City in Cinema", "Notebook on Cities and Culture", and "A Los Angeles Primer", visit colinmarshall.org