The Goodbye Place {Richard kelly, 1996}

The Goodbye Place {Richard Kelly, 1996} Time: Approx 8 Mins. Other Films By Richard Kelly: Visceral matter, Donnie Darko, Southland Tales, The Box

The Goodbye Place is a short student film directed by Richard Kelly when he attended USC. While at first the film seems really simple, further reading shows a lot going on in the 8 mins. It also hints at things to come in the future of Kelly films. Centering around a small boy whose father has died, and whose mother neglects him, The Goodbye Place is a sci-fi drama that attempts to explain what happens to missing persons. It reminded me of the batman guy in Richard Linkater’s 1991 film Slacker, who rants about governemnt conspiracy and how thousands of people go missing every year and nobody knows what happens to them. Take that idea, and then mix it with the theory that missing people are brought to some sort of alternate dimension theoretically based on their circumstances(in this case because of the boy being neglected by his mother).

I am a big fan of Richard Kelly and The Goodbye Place was no exception. It is apparent that even on such a small project Kelly is working on a whole other level of thinking. For a student film it is surprisingly complex and interesting. I watched it about 3 times in a row to catch all of the quick frames that foreshadow or elude to the themes of the film.

Trivia: The film won 1st place in a short film festival in which Kelly won $1,000. References to locations such as Abilene Texas would later appear in the work Southland Tales with regards to Pilot Abilene, and the location of one of the nuclear explosions of 2005. There is also a scene similar to one found in Donnie Darko where the mother of the boy comes home late at night, dropped off by a boyfriend; In Darko it is Maggie Gyllenhaal being dropped off by James Duval.

Website: Richard Article-

Dan W Pierce 2/10/2009


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