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March 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Mar 1995 13:21:47 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I received the following comments in my mailbox after forwarding postings to
a friend re the Tarantino discussion.  Thought other SCREEN-L'rs would find
them interesting.
Forwarded message:
Subj:    Re: Fwd: Re: tarantino and violence
Date:    95-03-11 13:48:43 EST
From:    RaptorJHF
To:      PSWood
How-doo!  First I must say that I'm all Tarantino'd out after my diatribe
last week, for that was about all I had to say on the subject.  However, I
found the postings that you sent along interesting for a couple of reasons.
 Lemme 'splain:
1)  I wholeheartedly agree that Tarantino's films are REFRESHINGLY devoid of
weepy sentimentality, (if chock full of a gushy fondness for all things
seventies in the nineties).  I have noticed marginalized voices calling out
for brash, unsentimental writers for quite some time.  Typcially they hark
back to figures like Oscar Wilde and Jean Genet.  Is Tarantino worthy of such
company?  I don't think so.  As for his boy-wonder violent film maker verve,
I would recommend that anyone who was particularly amused by the "bring out
the gimp" segment of "Pulp Fiction" run directly to the nearest video store
and rent "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," a better flick.
2)  Regarding the the arbitrary and no-issues nature of Tarantino's films
having TAPPED INTO THE LETTERMAN GENERATION (Generation L?), I have to laugh.
 Dave's lame-o!  I was watching when Madonna visited his show and attempted
to be arbitrary and flout sentimentality (by talking about piss as an
antiseptic, schlongs of the NBA, sniffing panties, and by intermittently
saying the F word).  Dave was clearly not amused, and neither was his
mainstream audience.  Though this behavior, coming from Madonna, could easily
be dismissed as trite, the shitstorm of press that incident got focussed on
how (surprise, surprise) crass, trashy and disrespectful Madonna had been on
poor Dave's TV show.  Yet she did exactly what people are saying is so
brilliant about Tarantino's work--albeit by doting on sexuality rather than
violence--and for a much wider audience.
"Pulp Fiction" confirms that Tarantino is capable of doing tight,
entertaining work, and that he has an eye for talented and underworked
actors.  I think his talent lies in the visual, not the written (see "True
Romance").  Hey!  Come to think of it, the absolutely Tarantino-penned "True
Romance" balances out all of its gratuitous violence with gratuitous
sentimental glop.  Doesn't that throw a monkey-wrench into the "Tarantino:
Unsentimental guy" theory?  Something to think about...
Ciao for niao!  Thanks for the postings.