I too enjoyed Edward R. O'Neill's thoughtful posting on the effects of
homophobia and homoeroticism in the film.
I think the earlier exchange (included at the end here) pretty well sums
up the problem with asking what an author (if such a term applies to a
film, which is the product of a great many artists) "meant;" as I see it,
we can only take on the actual structure and effects of the film as
subjects for analysis, not Tarantino's mind. I would replace the comment
"Tarantino is aware of what his movies bring up" with "Tarantino's movies
make me aware of certain things, but I can't know if these are exactly
Tarantino was thinking when he finally cut the scenes." The guy behind me
was loudly gasping and chortling in delight as Bruce Willis moved along
the line from one phallic weapon to the next, while I had feelings of
distaste as I prepared myself for a violent scene. Which of us is
"correctly" reacting to Tarantino's will? The question seems silly; we
were resopnding in different ways to the film's words and images, in ways
QT cannot hope to entirely predict or control.
By the way, I thought Anthony Lane's review in the New Yorker showed
exactly what can happen when predetermined motives are imputed to a
director. At one point Lane seems annoyed that PF doesn't offer us the
satisfaction of a "man of honor" on the mean streets, but rather more
cardboard figures. It seems to me he wanted a different movie than he got,
possibly one directed by Martin Scorcese or Francis Coppola. But QT's
films seem very different from the epics of the other two; why should he
have to make their movies?
> J Roberson writes: > "However, I think that Tarantino is aware of what
his movies brings up, but > rather than ask questions and answer them, he
just presents us with the > images and lets us ask & answer the questions.
That's the mark of a good > writer and filmmaker."
> Donald Larsson responds:
> Why not say instead that Tarantino is just yanking our chains (violence!
> interracial sex! drugs! homosexual sadists!)? He knows that these are
> controversial subjects and he's willing to exploit those controveries for
> their own sake. Whether his goal is to open public discussion (which I
> rather doubt) or manipulate audience emotion (which I rather suspect),
> he's doing an effective job, to judge from the discussions here.
> --Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN