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February 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 25 Feb 1994 11:05:18 EST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Josh from Madison Wisconsin, I find it very interesting that you're adapting
RD for the stage because I always felt the warehouse space to be very stagey
to begin with.  I also felt the relationships betweent the men to be
Shakespearean in some way (Keitel as Lear, Roth as his fool or Cordelia even
--there are probably better analogies), as well as the way the scenes are
orchestrated early in the film (sorry, I'm working from only one viewing of
it), shifting from duo to trio, etc.  Of course, the fact that just about
everyone dies in the end clenches the Shakespeare comparison!
I'm fascinated with the ear-removing scene (shades of Gloucester's blinding,
and we're back in that warehouse/stage space, but I won't push that too far),
 and the strange choice to have the camera "look" away.  I didn't know about the
"Watch Your Head" sign, but that makes this shot even more interesting
because we can't "watch the cop's head" at that point.  Since we've been
talking in another Screen-L conversation about authorial intention, I'll ask
if anyone knows why Tarantino chose to shoot the scene this way (simple
special effects problems, deep meaning about spectator's desire to see the
deed being thwarted, what?), then I'll ask how others interpreted the shot,
 authorial intention influencing that reading or not--doesn't matter.
One last thing: I loved the following scene, with the bloody cop and bloody
Roth talking to each other, assessing their situations (don't they even compare
 their wounds at one point? The cop is irate because he's "fucking deformed"
or something like that?).  This strategy of letting the bloodied bodies
live on and keep talking seemed unique to me--usually in violent films the
blood and bodies are cleaned and patched up OR they just die and go away.
The opening scene with Roth bleeding and scared in the back of the car was
particularly affective in this way: that bothered me more than the ear scene.
Susan Crutchfield
[BU of