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March 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Kelly Wolff <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 28 Feb 1994 23:20:24 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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The accusation of plagiarism leveled at Quentin Tarantino completely
overlooks the fact that what makes a film an original piece of work in a
way that should be of interest to us as film scholars is its film specific
characteristics.  There are no original stories, only original ways of
expressing them.   _Reservoir Dogs'_ brilliance lies not in the story, but
in how it is told.  It mobilizes and subverts genre conventions from at
least two distinct cinemas. There is a radical restriction of knowledge
exercised for much of the film.  The conventions of commercial narrative
film demand a far more highlighted protagonist than we are given by
_Reservoir Dogs_.  This is really extraordinary formal experimentation.
Finally, the film's unrelenting and unapologetic cruelty is quite distinct
from the HK brand of tongue-in-cheek action or expansive male melodrama.
Kelly Wolff <[log in to unmask]>
Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706