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March 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 14:26:14 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Gene Stavis writes:
" . . . There is a certain kind of "film student" audaciousness about
films which appeals to a contemporary audience anxious to establish their own
personas and at the same time to draw a line between themselves and the
earlier generation. Tarantino shares these feelings and, moreover, has
exploited them.
It remains to be seen whether he can break away from this attitudinizing and
actually make an original film. I hope he does. However, the mindless
idolization of this unformed filmmaker is particularly annoying to me,
because the subliminal message is that all that has gone before Quentin
Tarantino is some kind of sentimental, gutless mush.
Anyone who loves the rich heritage of film history (as Tarantino claims to
do) must reject this neanderthal attitude. . . . "
I'd agree with Gene about the "attitudinizing" of QT, but have a little
higher regard for him as a craftsperson--clever and talented but shallow.
He's absorbed enough of the lexicon and pattern of classical American
cinema to manipulate its reliance on cause-effect and linear time
("manipulate,"  not "undo" and not "subvert"--that overworked word).  But
for a filmmaker who truly undermines just about every preconception you
can have, watch the collected works of Luis Bunuel--you'll be better off
on the whole.
Or, if violence is really your thing, see the re-release of THE WILD BUNCH.
Violence in PULP FICTION is simply a means to an end--of entertainment.
There's no real price to pay for it--it's actually the currency with which
we buy and sell these days.  For Peckinpah, there was a real stake in the
use of violence, which he at least hoped would have a cautionary effect
on a violence-racked society.  I suppose, though, that PF is the evidence
of Peckinpah's ultimate failure.
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN