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It seems to me that Quentin Tarantino is worth discussing. No real question besides "what do you make of him"? I re-watched Reservoir Dogs recently and am still struck by his 1) really interesting dedication to Jim Thompson-style fractured narrative and 2) his sense of composition (the torture scene).

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 00:31 (twenty-one years ago) link

dont have a lot to say other than Jackie Brown is the only one I care for.

ryan, Tuesday, 29 April 2003 00:48 (twenty-one years ago) link

i'm not going to be of much help either talking about aesthetic stuff...i remember when pulp fiction came out and it was just the best movie ever for me age 14. it felt like the first genuinely stylish thing i had been exposed to and, just like i started fencing with sticks after princess bride, it kickstarted a lot of amusing posing along with delving into music/movies. I don't think it holds up so well - the dialogue and narrative at least- but that may just be by comparison to my old memory of it. i do agree that jackie brown has aged much better. I love that scene where pam grier slowly walks up to robert forster and asks him if he's afraid of her, and he just hold up his fingers.

dave k, Tuesday, 29 April 2003 07:15 (twenty-one years ago) link

Jim Thompson-style fractured narrative

I'm not a fan, but this is a great point. Jackie Brown is the sort of thing I can imagine an aging alcoholic pulp writer coming up with. I think Tarantino is good at what he does, but his characterizations are so weak (and not helped by "novelty" casting) taht I can't really stomach his films. Definitely a good subject for a "trash-meets-high-art" style discussion though - he "wears all his influences on his sleeve", whether you think that's a good thing or not.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 11:39 (twenty-one years ago) link

I never saw Jackie Brown - once Tarantino's cult-of-celebrity thing was all out of hand I couldn't stay interested (as as I noted in "Introduce Yourselves," I hardly ever go out to the movin' pitcher theater). But I bought the Reservoir Dogs DVD and I must say that many of the qualities that made QT so talked-about when he was coming up still gleam very brightly: quick, effortless dialogue; composition, as I noted above; his sense of timing above all. It's as though he's located where the artistic impulse lay hidden in, say, Die Hard.

I don't know, life is long, if he doesn't just retire to bathe in his money I think he might have a very interesting late career.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:48 (twenty-one years ago) link

I guess what's interesting about him is that, not only can you sense (in Reservoir Dogs, particularly) a lifetime's filmic knowledge being truly put to use, but as his career progresses, you are watching a "buff" learn what it is like to make movies in modern-day Hollywood. The decision to make Jackie Brown seems like a tactical decision if anything, almost as if he has pre-visualized his "ouevre" before it's anywhere near done.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:56 (twenty-one years ago) link

"Jackie Brown is the sort of thing I can imagine an aging alcoholic pulp writer coming up with..."

Don't know about the alchohol, but Elmore Leonard is no spring chicken and he has written a bazillion books either about cowboys or criminals. Jackie Brown is taken from his book "Rum Punch". I think Tarantino gets some of his dialog style from Elmore Leonard.

Resevoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are both quite a bit more cartoonish than most of Jim Thompson's books. I think those movies are more indebted to Starsky and Hutch or Superfly than most would admit. Mind you, the violence is intense as Thompson's books, but the settings are cop show, which is OK with me.

I'd like to see someone with some vision take a shot at Thompson's "The Killer Inside Me", that book could be the basis for a great movie.

Thompson could write for the movies. Check out Kubrick's "The Killing" and you will see what I mean. I thought "The Grifters" was a good adaption of one of his books.

earlnash, Tuesday, 29 April 2003 13:09 (twenty-one years ago) link

That last comment (of mine) reads more cynically than intended, but if anyone is writing their biography in their head as they work, it's Quentin Tarantino.

I do enjoy his dialogue, though I think it's funny that after the release of Reservoir Dogs, critics said that his characters talked like some imaginary "everyman". Now, I'm from a white suburban middle-class English family - there's no way I ever speak like a Tarantino character!

Earlnash-you're right about Rum Punch. I totally forgot! :]

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 13:13 (twenty-one years ago) link

It's as though he's located where the artistic impulse lay hidden in, say, Die Hard.

I wonder John, what do you mean by this?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 13:45 (twenty-one years ago) link

I was wondering the same. It's something else he alludes to in his Introduce Yourself post. I'm not sure if he's questioning film as a valid art form (depends how you define "art form") or whether he feels looking at film as an art form is reductive.Do tell, J0hn!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 15:51 (twenty-one years ago) link

I was wondering because I think Die Hard is the key action film of its era and a very good one besides.

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:07 (twenty-one years ago) link

Die Hard is excellent. And it's certainly had more influence on the action genre in the last 15 years or so than any other film (though Aliens still echoes). McTiernan never really did anything else that lived up to it--though Jan De Bont did go on to make Speed, which I thought was quite strong.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:22 (twenty-one years ago) link

What you both said.It really does stand out, ever more so as that era grows distant.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:23 (twenty-one years ago) link

Also, that movie more or less invented the modern Euro-baddie.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:25 (twenty-one years ago) link

(or at least ensured that Hans Gruber-alikes would populate action movies for years to come)

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:26 (twenty-one years ago) link

Is there an American film where a Euro-baddie faces off against a Euro-goody (such as Schwartzenegger, Van Damme), with a Euro-ingenue on the side?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:33 (twenty-one years ago) link

There may be something in the Van Damme canon that I'm unaware of--can't think of many Euro-ingenues in American action movies though, unless you count The Good Thief.

There are probably dozens of these I'll remember after I post this.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 16:39 (twenty-one years ago) link

can't think of many Euro-ingenues in American action movies though

What about XXX or The Matrix: Reloaded?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 17:22 (twenty-one years ago) link

Leonard is a recovering boozehound.

It's funny, before Jackie Brown I always thought that QT was doing George V. Higgins dialogue rather than Elmore Leonard, but I guess he's just read a ton of crime fic and a lot of it rubs off. I saw Jackie Brown again recently, and am more convinced than ever that it's his best film - a great romantic comedy, almost.

The director he most reminds me of is Kubrick - the early crime based thrillers, the increasing gap between making films, the problem w/ comedy and overripe performance, the formal symmetry of their shot-making. It's not a perfect match, of course - QT is much more of a humanist, and Tarantino's snobbery is expressed in ubergeek oneupmanship rather than Kubrick's intellectual contempt.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 17:51 (twenty-one years ago) link

You're right on XXX, which I didn't see. I assume you're referring to Monica Belluci viz. Matrix, but I don't think she counts as an ingenue.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 18:47 (twenty-one years ago) link

Are their any ingenues anymore? (Cue strings.)

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 18:49 (twenty-one years ago) link


I'd like to think so. Otherwise I'm kind of in trouble.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 18:52 (twenty-one years ago) link

(who is the ingenue in Universal Soldier? Also Slutsky see xXx - if you just watched Jackass you're well over the hump!!)

jones (actual), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 19:32 (twenty-one years ago) link

Tarantino was one of several young Hollywood directors who were promising to use their newfound clout to make a musical--Soderbergh and Ang Lee were two others. I wonder if they all ran into financing problems, or if they were just blowing hot air.

I couldn't stomach the violence in Reservoir Dogs. I still haven't made it through the whole picture.

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 19:44 (twenty-one years ago) link

(trying again fingers crossed)

i'm not so sure qt's bio is mapped out start-to-finish (tho he is making two things back-to-back right now hmmm) - i think Jackie Brown was as much as anything a "but i can also do THIS" pre-emptive (and smart) response to the backlash that was bound to spring up from all the Boy Wonder hype post-Pulp Fiction. Over the long-term i expect his success/failure will depend almost entirely on this ability to keep ahead of the curve rep-wise, and that having to live down a few of the tricks that made him famous to begin with - the ones his legion of imitators can most easily pick up and possibly outrun him with - will be key. The same could be said of almost anyone obv but i think his particular predicament remains fairly unique right now, hiatus and all.

(i mention this partly cuz i predict the Kill Bill backlash will be enormous. the script is ok but it's an exploitation hommage played pretty by-the-numbers - possibly too nudgenudge genre-conscious for the NoMoPoMo crowd [if this "crowd" isn't just a phantom strawmob i've begun to channel thru ilx] on the one hand, and on the other hand slightly behind-the-times and dull as far as recent genre-commentary goes. Also if the teaser trailers are anything to go by it LOOKS dated - not in a kewl throwback way but in a Charlie's Angels three-years-ago way - the curse of the imitators again maybe)

(then again yes this could all be part of some masterplan designed to divert attention away from the coup de grace of the followup picture, who knows)

J0hn - Jackie Brown is worth renting, esp.if you're interested enough to have bought RD. I totally disagree with the "novelty casting" charge. This has probably been mentioned often enough to have become part of the official hype-parade by now but here goes anyway: the lead casting in JB sez loads more about tarantino's relationship with film than any of his whizkid camera-moves or script-mashups do. Giving enough of a damn abt the wasted potential/overlooked performances/??? of eg.Pam Grier and Robert Forster to write sharp, nuanced parts for them is exactly the kind of thing most of the nu-school film-on-film types can't pull off (well ok haha hello pt anderson i'll be with you shortly) - i mean even the Travolta/PF thing was like that at the time - i.e. totally NOT a "let's dress him up in disco clothes and point and laugh" move - and it's not QT's fault he turned back into a mockery of himself the first chance he got.

(also some of JB's growing-old-in-style theme [which is fun to watch auteur-champs grapple with as QT was positively bushy-tailed by hollywood standards at the time] [yet still managed to turn in a picture that got this element across without being TOTALLY ponderous about it (although hmm yes it sort of was)] can be read as a great big ILM metaphor if you get bored!!)

(ok that last part may not be true but there's a great minor "shopping for new music" scene that sez a hilarious eerie lot to me about my life)

jones (actual), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 19:50 (twenty-one years ago) link

jones, I printed your last post out and read it over a cheese sandwich. I liked it - the post, I mean.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 20:25 (twenty-one years ago) link

yeah, I really enjoyed that too, jones.

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 20:26 (twenty-one years ago) link

well thanks fellows but can't you find anything wrong with it (i mean besides my godawful WriTing sKilz)?? if everyone keeps agreeing with each other this board'll be dead in the water!! even I already disagree with half of what i wrote!

haha in fact let me come at this another way: tarantino sux

jones (actual), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 21:23 (twenty-one years ago) link

I think KILL BILL is definetly the kind of screenplay that will live or die by the way it's executed (no pun intended). It doesn't jump off the page in the same way Pulp did. But it's more action and less dialogue oriented anyway. action rarely "reads" that well. The dialogue however sounds like a half-remembered idea of exploitation movie dialogue. Which may turn out to be a good thing. If KB succeeds it will be from the cumulative effect of actually SEEING all that crazy shit cascade across the screen. It's a shameless script -- and it'll be interesting to see if people can get with Tarantino's first "movie-movie" universe film (me included). As he said himself to paraphrase "the movie-movie universe films are the ones that people IN Pulp Ficiton would see if they went to the movies". To explain. Pulp,Dogs and Romance take place in the "realer than real universe" a sort of suped up version of our world. Jackie Brown is the Elmore Leonard Universe (obviously?). And NBK, Dusk and Kill Bill are in the "movie movie" universe. Most people won't have that concept to back it up when they see it, so they will probably react similarly to the way they took Dusk till Dawn. maybe they should print up his Manifesto and hand it out to people as they enter the theatre. "you are about to see a film from the movie-movie universe". That'd go over well.

PVC (peeveecee), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 23:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i forgot about that "multiple universes" gameplan. what a wingnut. you're right about the kill bill script too PVC - the leap from page to screen could be giant

this just occured to me: when he allows himself to come across like a COMPLETE filmgeek he lets in better surprises than when he concentrates on being a COOL filmgeek (if there is such a thing)

jones (actual), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 00:55 (twenty-one years ago) link

(oh! hello)

jones (actual), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 00:56 (twenty-one years ago) link

this also just occured to me: i have a habit of stating the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS when i need sleep

jones (actual), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 01:05 (twenty-one years ago) link

Yeah we need more Dusk love. That movie was so fucking good.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 07:04 (twenty-one years ago) link

Tony Scott should clearly direct every Tarantino script, because as a director he has a good mind but no brain, whereas Quentin is the absolute opposite, which is why he sucks.
Re Jackie Brown, well for sure De Niro was hilarious, but what a dull, pointless film that was.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 10:20 (twenty-one years ago) link

i need to see reservoir dogs again. i like his little scene in 'sleep with me'. i remember thinking 'four rooms' was pretty icky

ron (ron), Thursday, 1 May 2003 03:37 (twenty-one years ago) link

I have enjoyed every Tarantino film I've seen. Snappy dialogue, extreme violence - a winning combo.


DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 1 May 2003 15:33 (twenty-one years ago) link

four months pass...
I read Rum Punch for the first time recently, and what struck me was how COMPLETELY Tarantino rewrote it, and yet got the mood exactly right. He should do Swag, but do it vintage early-'70s, 'cause there's no way armed robbers wouldn't wear masks now...

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 11 September 2003 17:56 (twenty years ago) link

Chuck, I'd see JB again. I wasn't crazy about it the first time either, but it grows on you. A long coffee break of a movie, almost works better at home on the player. Then suddenly you're enjoying watching everything play out, enjoying the blandness of the mall setting, the dark bar hangouts, the Meters on the soundtrack, the character details, Forster, Fonda, and just about every second Samuel L. Jackson is onscreen. The whole sequence with Chris Tucker is genius. That's one of my favorite roles for Jackson...

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 13 September 2003 15:57 (twenty years ago) link

six years pass...

I missed (Tarantino's) boast about being the owner of the only repertory house in Los Angeles (i.e., the New Beverly) and how he'll "burn the place down" before he shows anything there with digital projection.

YAY, Tarantino = OLDS, you monkeys!


Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 February 2010 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

whos tarantino talking about in the beginning of that clip?

max, Monday, 8 February 2010 14:51 (fourteen years ago) link

ah pta apparently

max, Monday, 8 February 2010 14:55 (fourteen years ago) link

I dunno max, can't watch here

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 February 2010 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

he was talking about his 'rivalry' with pta i guess--and told a story about depalma finishing blow-up and feeling like he had really made a masterpiece, and then going to see raging bull

max, Monday, 8 February 2010 15:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Brett Ratner felt the same way after finishing Rush Hour 2 and then going to see The Fast and the Furious

bee hand luke (latebloomer), Monday, 8 February 2010 21:30 (fourteen years ago) link

the programming at the New Bev is kinda weak

velko, Monday, 8 February 2010 21:33 (fourteen years ago) link

I wonder why!

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 February 2010 21:41 (fourteen years ago) link

obama probably

aarrissi-a-roni, Monday, 8 February 2010 21:46 (fourteen years ago) link


BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 8 February 2010 21:47 (fourteen years ago) link

i love how amateurist refers to a movie as a "picture." how many people still do that?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 12 February 2010 03:26 (fourteen years ago) link

my dad

Michael B, Friday, 12 February 2010 10:19 (fourteen years ago) link


(in the credits and posters of all his pictures)

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 February 2010 20:02 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm done w/ IB thread, but

"Here's my problem with this whole influence thing," he told me. "Instead of critics reviewing my movies, now what they're really doing is trying to match wits with me...."


Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:22 (fourteen years ago) link

you should go to revival movie screenings in los angeles, morbs, tarantino can be seen hanging near the back at half of 'em just watching some old movies. you guys could bro down!

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I've seen Tarantino twice, randomly, in the past 3 years in NYC.


Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

You both can discuss Rio Bravo, Weekend, and Angie Dickison's tittays put your nads in a twister.

Inculcate a spirit of serfdom in children (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link


Inculcate a spirit of serfdom in children (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link

four years pass...

“As far as I’m concerned, digital projection and DCPs is the death of cinema as I know it. It’s not even about shooting your film on film or shooting your film on digital. The fact that most films now are not presented in 35 millimeter means that the war is lost. And digital projections, that’s just television in public. And apparently the whole world is okay with television in public, but what I knew as cinema is dead.”

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 May 2014 03:39 (ten years ago) link

so finally you agree about something? idgi

gbx, Tuesday, 27 May 2014 03:45 (ten years ago) link

he & i agree on a TON of shit (Leone, Budd Boetticher, Eric Rohmer), just not on grindhouse garbage and the worthlessness of his own career in the last dozen years. I just thought it was notable that an ILX god could express such caveman OTM sentiments.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 June 2014 18:24 (ten years ago) link

eight years pass...

Don't think I'd read a word about this till I bought it on impulse today:


Suspect I'll end up disagreeing with every third sentence--it's on '70s films (heavily tilted towards American films, I assume, but I'm not sure)--but it should be entertaining.

clemenza, Friday, 18 November 2022 17:58 (one year ago) link

(ILF...the wilderzone.)

clemenza, Friday, 18 November 2022 18:09 (one year ago) link

He was on Stern today; haven't listened yet

ex-McKinsey wonk who looks like a human version of a rat (Eric H.), Friday, 18 November 2022 18:13 (one year ago) link

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