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March 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 14:31:35 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
On the topic of Q.T. Chris Wrote:
>2) There is no message.  I guess this is similar to what I said >above
>about no moralizing being forced in.  But Tarantino has simply made movies.
>That's it.  His movies are meant to start at scene 1 and end >with the
>credits.  There's no attempt to be 'meaningful' or 'socially >responsible'
>or to 'deliver a message.'  He's just making fun movies.  ANd I >say, thank
>god for that!
 >       Tarantino has, to this date, provided us with the best >view of the
meaningless and arbitrary world that we all live >in.  I think he's touched
the pulse of the 'Letterman >generation' which can find humor in
>almost anything simply because of the realization that >everything is,
>a joke with no meaning beyond that which we decide to give >it.  I know
>I've been waiting for such a level-headed voice in film and I >am certain
his acceptance reflects that others have as well >and hopefully means more
will be coming along the way.  Maybe this means we'll be saved in the future
from sentimental crap like The Wonder Years or Forrest Gump.  I doubt it but
maybe >there's hope...
How can one write that the films of Q.T. have no message and then state that
they provide
"The best view of the meaningless and arbitrary world that we all live in.  I
think he's touched the pulse of the 'Letterman generation' which can find
humor in
almost anything simply because of the realization that everything is, indeed,
a joke with no meaning beyond that which we decide to give it."
If this is not a message or better yet a moral stance I do not know what is!
 In fact the work of Q.T. can be seen as reprensenting a very strong moral
stance both in content and in structure. You may agree with this moral
position(s) (as the  antithesis of a Forrest Gump for example) but this
should not be confused with the complete lack of a moral position.   Also
don't you think that we should take terms such as "letterman generation" or
"20 something" or "gen - x" with more than a grain of salt?  Having travled
around the U.S. quite alot I must express the idea that outside of being
grand marketing programs these groupings have little use in the analysis of
American film or culture most ovbiously in the mid-west and western states. I
think that we frequently underestimate the role of ideology and regionalism
in American life.
But I do wonder.  These works of Q.T. receive alot of attention,  I am not
sure why. Has anyone worked out an analysis of Pulp Fiction that they would
like to share?  Frankly, I see little more than the "flavor of the month" (or
year) in the work of Q.T - I admit that my mind could be changed.   Do film
scholars defend this work or is it treated as a cultural "symptom"?  Such as
in the popular method of cultural analysis in which culture, and that which
represents it, are treated as a sick body via psychoanalysis and other
critical methods.
 D. Hunter