SCREEN-L Archives

April 1995, Week 3


Options: Use Proportional 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]>
Wed, 19 Apr 1995 10:47:08 CDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (61 lines)
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
    Rick Ferncase pointed out the frequent sodomic references in Reservoir
    Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Continuing in this scatalogical vein, did anyone
    notice the apparent importance of the toilet ritual in Tarantino's
    As far as I recall, Tim Roth has his most testing time in RD proving
    himself an OK guy (real vilain) in the gents toilet. Isolated incident?
    Think again. Pulp Fiction positively revolves around visits to the
    toilet. And the important events that happen immediately after the
    characters have relieved themselves must surely point to a significant
    fascination of the author(s) to this bodily function.
    Vincent Vega gets left alone to think of something interesting to say
    whilst Mia is 'powdering her nose'; it is to the sanctuary of the
    toilet that Vincent turns to collect his cool, and resolves to just go
    home and jerk off, upon return to the Wallace home. At the end of the
    film Vincent disappears to the loo (with his book) in the restaurant,
    only to find a siege when he came out. It was this same book that he
    was clutching as he emerged from the toilet in Butch's flat, and into
    which he was blown as his own weapon was turned against him. Live by
    the sword, die by the sword. As if that wasn't all, the 'Fourth Youth'
    was hiding in the john as his mates were executed in the room next door
    and from which he charged, canon blazing, 'firing blanks', and
    eventually died. This is an important scene because it is from this
    event that Jules is enlightened by the revelation of divine
    intervention, as all of the bullets hit wide of their mark. Pulp
    Fiction, in other words, could be described as a series of interlocking
    stories based around the use of toilets. I jest a little.
    What exactly happens in Tarantino's toilet that causes these
    associations with deep contemplation, sexual innuendo, resolution
    inspiration and death? The Romans, I have heard, were very cautious of
    being caught in the act - so much so that public toilets became
    communal gatherings for relieving oneself of the days worrys, amongst
    other things. Some of the toilets were emblazoned with a protecting
    goddess. Perhaps this is heresay. Maybe someone else has a more learned
    idea on this.
    I suspect that Rick Ferncase's point about matters anal/sexual fit in
    here somewhere.
    David Moon
    Rick Ferncase writes:
    I wish someone would address the fascination Mr. Tarantino exhibits in
    his films for male sodomy.  There is the prolonged suggestive
    rough-housing between Mr. Blonde and Nice Guy Eddie, as well as the
    graphic  if somewhat less-than-credible act perpetrated upon Marcellus
    by the gun shop proprietors.  American exploitationist cinema has
    always rested upon the twin pillars of sex and violence.  Of course
    Tarantino has a well-documented taste for violence; but he scarcely
    gives romantic sex its due.  He doesn't seem comfortable with
    heterosexual expressions of sex, but the scatology aspect of buggery
    seems to have immense appeal for him.
    What's going on here?
    -r. k. ferncase
    [log in to unmask]