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March 1995, Week 3


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Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Mar 1995 12:48:27 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Birgit Kellner wrote:
>I would say that TArantinian and Jacksonian violence is considerably
>different. Both might be said to compose parodies to a certain genre,
>although I think it doesn't do Jackson much justice to describe his
>films as mere parodies (I haven't seen _Heavenly Creatures_, but
>am especially referring to his extremely delightful _Meet the Feebles_).
>However, every single image of Jackson's films (the ones I've seen)
>carries the message "fun!", and I don't think the same could be said
>with reference to Tarantino. To put it bluntly: Jackson makes fun
>all over the place, and this stretches out through the violent
>scenes, as well, whereas Tarantino does make a lot of fun, but not
>in the violent shots.
Yes, there's a difference between Tarantino and Jackson in their respective ways
of depicting violence. Tarantino never goes over the top the way Jackson does.
On the whole, though, there's a big similarity between the two - both filmmakers
mock the genre they're working in. Jacksons first film, BAD TASTE was a
semi-successful attempt to make the definite splatter/splatstick movie.
BRAINDEAD is nothing but more of the same thing with a higher budget and a
couple of hundred gallons of more blood & guts. How could anyone make a serious
attempt to make a splatter film after that? And, has anyone seen a decent
splatter film after that? I haven't. The way I see it, Tarantino is to a certain
extent trying to do the same with the action cinema. I mean, hitmen dying as a
result of taking a dump or arguing over the sexual connotations of a foot
massage. Can you get more obvious assault on the action film clich`es? The
traditional horror/splatter film is dead, and the action film isn't feeling too
well, as a number of recent films would indicate. Just the fact that the major
stars, Arnie & Sly, has mocked the modern action hero in THE LAST ACTION HERO
and DEMOLITION MAN should tell us that the genre as we know it is dying. The
first signs of the decline of a genre is usually the rise of parodies.
Comments, anyone?
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 104266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 104794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]