Masked and Anonymous vs Southland Tales

Monday, April 19, 2010 5:18 PM By Simon


I have no delusions as to the epic disasters these two were. The former was a half-hearted vehicle for the great Bob Dylan, well meaning and with an all-star cast. The latter, an ambitious, sprawling assembly of a very...fringe cast, the love child of Richard Kelly's overactive, maybeabitbloated brain. But, in retrospect, you can't deny the similarities.

Both are glorious messes, in-universe, reception, and release. Both feature major roles by singers, both are heavy on the political messages, both take place in a dystopian America (though, while Masked's America is a dirty, grimy bit of third-world reminiscent, Southland's is a shiny, consumer-obsessed, Orwellian, ultra-Republican thing), both have illicit affairs and confusing timelines (one has this more prominent than the other), and some lovely singalong material.

What I love about Masked and Anonymous, not that it might be a vanity project, but it's basically Bob Dylan owning up to the fact that even he doesn't know what his songs are about. Best illustrated during one scene where Luke Wilson and John Goodman's characters argue over the song Dylan's character is singing (which is just a real Dylan song). One thinks something something stairway to heaven and the other thinks something something enlightenment. It's all so awesomely meta.

Well, readers, which do you hate the least?


CMrok93 said...

For me, I actually enjoyed Southland Tales. Its one of those crazy ass films that nobody has an idea of what's going on, but for some reason it just turns out to be amusing in a way. IDK, that was my thought.

April 19, 2010 at 7:31 PM
The Taxi Driver said...

Picking which one I hate the least would be impossible, probably Masked because, in terms of confused, pretetious messes, it has the better cast. I mean come on: Bridges, Goodman, Kilmer, Lange, Wilson, Slater and so on vs what, Sean Willian Scott, Mandy Moore, Jon Lovitz, Christopher Lambert, the Rock...By the way, is it just me or is Bridges trying to do a David Lynch impersesion in Masked?

April 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM
Simon said...


I kind of enjoyed both, yeah, but they both were kind of disastors.

April 19, 2010 at 7:51 PM
Colin Biggs said...

Bridges, Goodman, and Wilson. I think you know where I stand.

April 21, 2010 at 11:27 AM
elgringo said...

I couldn't tell you which one I hate less because I haven't seen either.
From what I've heard, Southland Tales is worse but they both look so rough!
If forced to watch one, I'd have to choose the Bob Dylan, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman one.


April 21, 2010 at 2:28 PM