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October 1994


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Curtis Wilcox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Oct 1994 23:53:47 -0900
text/plain (45 lines)
\Yet all of
>the issues revolving around these lives (race, sadism--homosexual or
>otherwise, drugs, etc.) are so loaded with cultural connotations that I'm
>quite sure QT knows they will stir up the kind of discussion seen on this
>net.  And that's what I mean by "yanking our chains."
>QT is, like Hitchcock, keenly aware of how to manipulate an audience, but
>his brand of manipulation veers somewhat farther into the social realm
>than Hitchcock's did.  This doesn't mean that he (like Hitchcock) might
>not have some interesting or even important things to "say."  I just
>don't think that those things are a form of social discourse that announces,
>say, "Race is important" or "Race is unimportant."  Perhaps it "says"
>something like, "I'm going portray race in certain ways that will provoke
>some kind of reaction from you, *because* race is coonsidered to be
>important in our society, regardless of what any given individual might
>In this way, I see QT not as a preacher (like Oliver Stone) but as a lab
>technician (if not a scientist), dispassionately experimenting with his
>subjects (us, the viewers).
>--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN
I think the question I have is, "Is 'yanking our chains' a negative thing
for you?" You mention Hitchcock so I suspect not but your use of the phrase
and the lab technician thing sounds like you might be critical.
I like your take on it in the paragraph I included.
I've been bothered by the connections made between Stone and Tarantino and
their respective releases. The two seem *so* far apart to me. I was
thinking today about their intended audiences. I think Stone guns for
Middle America and wants it to WAKE UP!!! I think Tarantino is more
interested in making movies he'd like to watch. I don't think he really
tries to "comment" on violence in his films. He loves violent movies.
Someone said he included scenes just for shock value which might be true in
Stone's case but I think that the people Tarantino has in mind (if anyone)
when he makes his movies are not people who would be shocked. Sure there
are bits that can get that kind of reaction (Tim Roth's two hours of
bleeding, Mia's adrenaline shot) but once you've seen _Henry: Portrait of a
Serial Killer_ and _Man Bites Dog_, everything else seems a bit more, tame.
I think he embraces the visceral but includes it for reasons beyond the "kick".
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