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March 1995, Week 2

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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 13 Mar 1995 13:46:40 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
 
Diffnstein writes:
""True Romance" was an awful movie. I see a deep and significant difference
between it and "Reservoir Dogs." -- or another similar film, David Lynch's
"Wild at Heart." In "Dogs," the violence serves no purpose and solves no
problem. TR, on the other hand, glorifies and wallows in typical, reeking,
"righteous" violence. Like Slater's manly execution of the drug dealer Gary
Oldman (at the urging of Elvis no less! -- what an abomination!). And oh how
we thrill to Patricia Arquette's killing of the hit man. And Christopher
Walken's lingering sadism over Dennis Hopper. Typical violence as
titillation, e.g. part of the problem, pornography. Not to mention the
couple's happily-ever-after ending made possible by a suitcase full of
cocaine. Sick, macho, amoral, pro-violence mythology."
 
I agree in general, but found some of those aspects (more related to
Tarantino
's script than Scott's direction) at least to be of interest.  The fact that
*Dennis Hopper* plays the only character with a sense of "morality" (for
want of a better term) and that he enacts it by telling a  racist joke just
provides, I think, the clue to Tarantino's game--that is, see what will
shock.  What does someone feel coming out of the film on Arquette's closing
line, "You are so cool!"?  Suffice it to say that something goosed up
Tony Scott's production and made it *his* best movie--that's faint praise
enough.
 
You are also right about GUMP--Does anyone bother to ask what happened to
all the *other* shrimpers who were devastated by that storm sent by God
just for the memory of Bubba?  It seems to me that Tarantino's works,
GUMP, and TRUE LIES (just to name a few) are all sides of the same die (to
many sides for a coin to suffice), as symptomatic of our time as
say, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and LADY IN DARK are symptomatic of the 1950s.
 
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN