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October 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 24 Oct 1994 14:24:00 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Jajasoon suggests:
"If race is so insignificant in this film, what other Hollywood pictures can
you think of recently that feature a black man / white woman couple
prominently?  Besides Jungle Fever, I think it's pretty rare.  So why is
this couple, which is at the core of this film in many ways, never really
seen together?  Why is the white woman shown predominantly with a white
man?  Why is the black man sexualized through violence and rape and
jealousy, but never shown as a "partner" in his interracial marriage?"
As I recall, there is *one* (fantasy?) image of Marcellus and Mia together
by a swimming pool, but you're right that race should not be taken as
irrelevant.  I'm not sure, on one viewing, how to "read" race in this film,
but if Tarantino can carefully place up to 18 pins on parts of Roseanna
Arquette's body and
carefully keep the Game of Life and Operation in the foreground during the
scene at Stoltz's house (you know which scene), then it is hard for me
to imagine that he didn't at least think about the implications of color
in his casting.
On the other hand, there are lots of bits and loose threads that aren't
neatly tied up, and race may be one of them: the bandage on the back
of Marcellus's neck, what happens to Willis's take on his boxing match,
what exactly is in the briefcase (aside from a crossreference to KISS ME
DEADLY) and so on.  There's the Godard factor entering again.
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN