SCREEN-L Archives

March 1995, Week 1


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 4 Mar 1995 08:01:04 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (43 lines)
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Comparing the excessive and obsessive use of violence in QT's films to
tap-dancing is what one has learned to expect from this guy. First of all,
tap-dancing is one of a myriad forms of dancing, from clog-dancing to
classical ballet. The "Balkanaization" of modern society has even seeped down
to such cultural questions. "I hate tap-dancing and anyone who likes it is a
One who rejects tap-dancing out-of-hand is ignorant and uneducated, believing
that what he knows is all he ever needs to know. His notions are set in
stone. Opening yourself up to new ideas and constantly re-assessing what you
think you like is at the heart of being an educated and cultured person.
(Mark Twain: "It isn't the things that we don't know that hurt us, but the
things that we know for sure that just ain't so.")
The kind of mechanical and non-stop violence in Tarantino is an attitude --
not a genre. He is appealing to a generation of nihilists who believe that a
non-differentiated cynicism and a blanket contempt for anything previously
regarded as beautiful or fine is a sign of hipness. It is much easier to
trash everything and to break all the rules than the much harder discipline
of differentiating among values and developing a set of values for oneself.
There is a certain kind of "film student" audaciousness about Tarantino's
films which appeals to a contemporary audience anxious to establish their own
personas and at the same time to draw a line between themselves and the
earlier generation. Tarantino shares these feelings and, moreover, has
exploited them.
It remains to be seen whether he can break away from this attitudinizing and
actually make an original film. I hope he does. However, the mindless
idolization of this unformed filmmaker is particularly annoying to me,
because the subliminal message is that all that has gone before Quentin
Tarantino is some kind of sentimental, gutless mush.
Anyone who loves the rich heritage of film history (as Tarantino claims to
do) must reject this neanderthal attitude. Tarantino's love for cinema
appears to be as deep as playing a game of cinematic trivial pursuits. Unless
he and his worshipers can create an aesthetic of their own, based not upon
the general rejection of everything that has gone before, they will disappear
without a trace.
Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC