Rick Ferncase pointed out the frequent sodomic references in Reservoir
Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Continuing in this scatalogical vein, did anyone
notice the apparent importance of the toilet ritual in Tarantino's
As far as I recall, Tim Roth has his most testing time in RD proving
himself an OK guy (real vilain) in the gents toilet. Isolated incident?
Think again. Pulp Fiction positively revolves around visits to the
toilet. And the important events that happen immediately after the
characters have relieved themselves must surely point to a significant
fascination of the author(s) to this bodily function.
Vincent Vega gets left alone to think of something interesting to say
whilst Mia is 'powdering her nose'; it is to the sanctuary of the
toilet that Vincent turns to collect his cool, and resolves to just go
home and jerk off, upon return to the Wallace home. At the end of the
film Vincent disappears to the loo (with his book) in the restaurant,
only to find a siege when he came out. It was this same book that he
was clutching as he emerged from the toilet in Butch's flat, and into
which he was blown as his own weapon was turned against him. Live by
the sword, die by the sword. As if that wasn't all, the 'Fourth Youth'
was hiding in the john as his mates were executed in the room next door
and from which he charged, canon blazing, 'firing blanks', and
eventually died. This is an important scene because it is from this
event that Jules is enlightened by the revelation of divine
intervention, as all of the bullets hit wide of their mark. Pulp
Fiction, in other words, could be described as a series of interlocking
stories based around the use of toilets. I jest a little.
What exactly happens in Tarantino's toilet that causes these
associations with deep contemplation, sexual innuendo, resolution
inspiration and death? The Romans, I have heard, were very cautious of
being caught in the act - so much so that public toilets became
communal gatherings for relieving oneself of the days worrys, amongst
other things. Some of the toilets were emblazoned with a protecting
goddess. Perhaps this is heresay. Maybe someone else has a more learned
idea on this.
I suspect that Rick Ferncase's point about matters anal/sexual fit in
Rick Ferncase writes:
I wish someone would address the fascination Mr. Tarantino exhibits in
his films for male sodomy. There is the prolonged suggestive
rough-housing between Mr. Blonde and Nice Guy Eddie, as well as the
graphic if somewhat less-than-credible act perpetrated upon Marcellus
by the gun shop proprietors. American exploitationist cinema has
always rested upon the twin pillars of sex and violence. Of course
Tarantino has a well-documented taste for violence; but he scarcely
gives romantic sex its due. He doesn't seem comfortable with
heterosexual expressions of sex, but the scatology aspect of buggery
seems to have immense appeal for him.
What's going on here?
-r. k. ferncase
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