It's surreally real
It's surreally real
I don't see Basterds or Death Proof in the real category. I think that theory would make sense if they said that Jackie Brown was the transition point, because everything after that has been over the top.
There's apparently a strong argument for Inglorious Basterds being the defining moment as the turning point for his alternate universe. People have pointed to the fact that the bear jew has the same last name as some characters in the regular universe and that there are apparently some other connections to be found. The argument for it being in the real category goes that, as Hitler was killed by a crack American squad in a movie house in a big massacre, it tended to provide more credence to violence and pop culture as normal things in society. As a result, people in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are more comfortable with violence and pop culture as important parts of everyday society.
I'm writing this poorly, but this has been dissected at length in multiple places. Edit: a quick google search brought this up.
Now, I'm not implying that Quentin is racist - hell the Dennis Hopper monologue in True Romance is some of the funniest shit he's ever written. But to me it seemed like Django was nothing more than a feature length excuse for him to wallow in this obsession for nearly three hours. Maybe I'd have felt differently if Django wasn't the most boring character in the whole movie. Fox was mainly just asked to sit there looking hard and menacing in his sunglasses, while Dicaprio and Waltz got all the great lines. And that was my biggest issue with the movie: SPOILERS: if you're going to kill your two best characters with nearly 45 minutes remaining in the film, your "hero" had better interesting enough to carry the movie by himself. It's not enough that all the bad people get their comeuppance in the end if they're far more compelling than the man you're supposed to be rooting for. If this movie was truly empowering to blacks he would have written Jamie Fox a better character.
You touched on this when Woltz died and you got bored
So the English teacher nerd needs to chime in here about Django.
As someone who's taught Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Richard Wright's autobiography Black Boy numerous times, the depiction of "Mandingo fighting" in the movie wasn't at all surprising to me. There's clearly reference in the historical record to slaveholders holding boxing and wrestling matches among slaves (see the work of Frederick Douglass for this), and as I was watching the movie, the "Mandingo fight" reminded me of the "Battle Royal" section in Invisible Man (the black narrator is made to fight other blacks for a college scholarship) or even the section in Black Boy, where Wright and another black man are paid $5 by their white employers to fight each other.
I'm not disagreeing that the Mandingo fight in Django is brutal and problematic, but it's hardly new and it feels to me like it's much in keeping with the spirit of what we know about slaveowners (even if it's not completely factual). And, on a purely cinematic level, it pretty accurately (and succinctly) illustrates two things: 1) Candie's depravity, and 2) the height of the stakes for Schultz and Django. Even considering all this, I suppose the argument can be made that Tarantino is cheaply using the brutality of the American past as a plot device, but to do so would be to level a similar charge at Ellison and, less so, at Wright.
I dunno. I just think Tarantino knows exactly what he's doing – what buttons he's pushing – and there's more on his mind than cheap entertainment, no matter how beholden he is to the movies he loved in his youth.
Yeah actually good point, fuck this whole argument:
Sometimes the best way to accurately convey the emotional content of something in the limited time of a movie is to make shit up. It may not be based on true events but it's based on true sentiment. It's a great metaphor for the brutal mentality and disposable nature with which slavemasters regard their slaves. You could lift shit that really happened and have a lynching scene or whatever but that's been done to death.
I think I was making a much more subtle point that was conveyed. My ideological problem with the film wasn't on the level of race qua race, and it certainly wasn't that QT took historical liberties or -- god forbid -- attempted to make a film that wasn't particularly concerned with its own historicity. Rather, I was uncomfortable that the film was turning the gravest part of American history into a blaxiplotation spaghetti Western pastiche, in effect turning America's original sin into something that could be wiped away with cartoonish revenge fantasies and movie mythology. And yeah, on some level it is disrespectful to the victims of American slavery.
Again, not my principal problem with the film, but something that I could never fully work my way around.
Am I correct in thinking that JB is Tarantino's only adaptation?
Edit: from a book, I mean
Last edited by mountmccabe; 01-14-2013 at 08:26 PM. Reason: not really trying to derail?
I found Django Unchained difficult and fairly abhorrent but I think that was on purpose. Reading and thinking about it since seeing it has me appreciating it more but I really don't know that I want to see it again, because of all the awfulness.
I don't think Life Is Beautiful (which was "set it in fucking Auschwitz or something") was trying to laugh at the Holocaust nor trying to say that an obnoxious Italian clown could have fixed everything. Different people process in different ways.
Tough to measure Quentin's storytelling against the modern master of the crime novel, it's really enough that he captured the essence of Leonard possibly better than anyone else has (Well... wait... Soderbergh in "Out of Sight" was probably the best).
It's unfair that injured film kids whine about the film they wanted to see instead of the film QT wanted to make. I didn't find Django any less interesting than any of QT's other badasses, he just didn't have as many pop culture references to quote. Waltz and DiCaprio (more educated characters) had the pleasure of enjoying juicier lines, but Foxx did a fantastic job of portraying his character in a very similar way to Laurent in Inglorious Basterds... sometimes the looks of horror and frustration are more powerful than goofy stories and sly jabs.
More people should read Elmore Leonard, and that's something QT helped happen. Points.
Watched Lawless last night. That sucked.
The Last Stand is a fucking blast! If you wanted to like the Expendables 2 and were let down, leave it to a gifted Korean filmmaker to give you the awesome 80's throwback action movie you so desperately want. I enjoyed the shit out of it.
Watched Silver Linings Playbook last night. Very enjoyable, and im a die hard cowboys fan. But you could basically you could put that Jennifer Lawrence girl in a Joe Gibbs biopic and i'd still watch it.
OUTKAST, Black Hippy, Ryan Hemsworth, Pleasurekraft, Shlohmo, TNGHT, Action Bronson, Flylo/Captain Murphy, Jamie xx, DJ Funeral, Lone, Cashmere Cat, De La Soul, Chief Keef, Flosstradamus,
Going back a few pages: Gabe, I'd say watch The Piano Teacher and if it does absolutely nothing for you, give up on Haneke for the foreseeable future. It's the film of his I feel like I'm being taught a lesson the least and the film where I feel like the characters are most fully realized people more than ciphers for a theme.
instead. i would recommend Code Unknown and 71 Fragments... because if you are going to embrace Haneke, you need to give up on the idea that the characters in his film need to operate as characters. those films have the best chance of letting you click with his process, because there are no (misleading) indications anywhere in the film at all that you are supposed to consume the narrative in a traditional capacity.
Silver Linings Playbook was essentially a less honest (ha!) version of Juno. honestly can't believe that I didn't turn it off part way through.