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Django. The D is silent.
June 6, 2012 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Quentin Tarantino is back.

A theory on Tarantino’s Movie Universe

Previously: This is my finest film yet (...which links to this which is a must read)
posted by mysticreferee (121 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
"The D is silent."

*dies*
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:12 PM on June 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I know python based web frameworks are hot, but this is a bit much.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:13 PM on June 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


I see you titled this post with that same quote.

*dies again*
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:15 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, he left?

I'll give him a lot of latitude, because he pretty consistently wows me, but this does seem like an alt-history wish-fulfillment movie in the very same vein as "Inglourious Basterds". I'm hoping it's a little deeper than that, as the very interesting film criticism of IB revealed over time, or at least a little more challenging than the trailer seems on the surface: since no one roots for the Nazis, but I suspect this film will be done in a style that makes some people very uncomfortable.
posted by hincandenza at 9:16 PM on June 6, 2012


Came in to mention the silent D. This looks good. I'm kinda almost always surprised that Tarantino keeps making films that look like films I'll like. It shouldn't surprise me, the Kill Bills are some of my favorite movies.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:16 PM on June 6, 2012


I am flapping my hands with gleeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:18 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like the way the fat man falls when shot, but the lovely blood splatter across the flowers is contrived. So, it looks like this will be typical Tarantino fare these days: half great, half cliche. He sustained his pace in the marathons of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and the Kill Bill's were a decent showing, but since then, well ...
posted by anothermug at 9:20 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even less-good Tarantino is still pretty fucking reliably entertaining and well-made and doesn't make you stupider. I'll be seeing this.
posted by biscotti at 9:22 PM on June 6, 2012 [25 favorites]


Also, Franco Nero sitting at the bar. Yes.

I will go see this. ON CHRISTMAS.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:24 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those weren't flowers, anothermug. That was cotton.
posted by ZaneJ. at 9:27 PM on June 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


So... a remake of The Searchers?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:29 PM on June 6, 2012


I read the script last year. It's... incredibly fun and to be honest, I think because he's using an American genre (the exploitation action film, although there are tinges of the Mondo "documentaries" particurlaly Addio Zio Tom) to investigate one of the cruelest American institutions (slavery), time periods (you know that time where people owned slaves) and settings (the South where the people owned all the slaves) the film has much more going on in contrast with IB which was much less about WWII and much more about WWII movies.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 9:30 PM on June 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am more than okay with this.

That said, the first QT movie without Sally Menke...it's the end of an era.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:34 PM on June 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


At the very least it'll be interesting to see how all the snow-filled mountains in the background fit in with the plotline, not to mention the Alabama Hills (note: definitely not in Alabama, or within 1000 miles even). With QT that's probably a combination of a joke and an homage to all the westerns shot there.
posted by LionIndex at 9:38 PM on June 6, 2012


Wow, Christopher Waltz's accent was all over the place and that was only the trailer.
posted by bardic at 9:50 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Favorite Quentin Tarantino clip of all time: Analysis of Top Gun.
posted by sophist at 9:56 PM on June 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


mysticreferee: "which links to this which is a must read"

Wow, that article is really, really smart. I hope that analysis of his intentions is accurate, it both makes a lot of sense, and would make me respect both him and Inglorious Basterds a lot more. I like that movie, but there are things about its portrayals of violence that make me uncomfortable, and not just in the usual Tarantino way, but more like they were intended to be uncomfortable. So that makes a lot of sense to me.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:58 PM on June 6, 2012


Is that Paul Krugman playing a bounty hunter? Nobel-winning economist and star of the silver screen. He is certainly a man for the 21st century.
posted by chrchr at 9:59 PM on June 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


chrchr: "Is that Paul Krugman playing a bounty hunter? Nobel-winning economist and star of the silver screen. He is certainly a man for the 21st century."

Not his first role, mind
posted by dismas at 10:03 PM on June 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


There’s a word that is common in Hebrew slang—and that Hebrew has bequeathed to Israeli English—and that’s frier, which means something like “pushover” or “sucker”—and it’s become one of the most distinctive Israeli insults.

Huh. I know frajer as a Polish word meaning "loser", interested to know whether it's origins is Polish loanword to Yiddish, or vice versa...
posted by Meatbomb at 10:10 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tarentino's eding gets better with every film, his script structures are a joy to watch, IB re starts the narrative something like four times in an hour.
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 PM on June 6, 2012


QT is making a Spaghetti Western (Spaghetti Southern?) with a bunch of actors I love? My stars and garters, I am already excited for this.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:18 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also.

Note the milkshake.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: sadly, as noted above, his long-time editor, Sally Menke, is no longer with us. I'm certain he has a big hand in those decisions, but there might be some growing pains after collaborating with the same artist that long, and learning to work with someone new (and I get the feeling that Tarantino probably isn't the easiest person to work with in the editing room.*)

This looks great to me, but largely because I know that Tarantino's trailers are always way pulpier than the finished product ends up being. So yeah, if the cherry-picked lines here seem a bit pandering and cheesy, it's because they're just that - cherry-picked from what is almost certainly crackling and layered dialog.

And Jamie Foxx's harrowed look on the chain-gang gave me chills.

*Or I might just be projecting a bit. The relationship between director and editor is ideally one of great trust and admiration and shared brainwaves, but early on will usually consist of tons of nitpicking and struggles to understand a common vision. I'm just finishing up a lighting design gig for a theatre group I don't really know very well, and the relationship between stage director and lighting designer is remarkably almost identical, so again, maybe just projecting.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:39 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


IB was significantly better the second time I saw it.

And this looks pretty rad but I seriously am worried about the accent thing. That might drive me crazy.
posted by bardic at 10:41 PM on June 6, 2012


Something something projectionist joke.
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whenever we would fill out Qdobas lunch sheet, at my old work, I would always sign off as Django because I'm a huge spaghetti western fan. There was one guy who did not get it at all and would try to rass me by calling me "D-jango", and I would always just laughed and shook my head.

I think at one point I replied with something like "So I take it you don't watch many foreign films or like jazz music much?"

It was as if I had spoken alien to him. I just laughed and shook my head as I walked away.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 10:54 PM on June 6, 2012


I might actually be spending money at the movies this year, despite my tendency in the past few years not to do it very much. But with Prometheus, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, and at least one other I've forgotten at the moment, there are actually things I want to see coming to the cineplex, for once.
posted by hippybear at 10:55 PM on June 6, 2012


Hi Sally!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:56 PM on June 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's already a very busy multiplex year for me, I haven't been disappointed with a movie all year.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's already a very busy multiplex year for me, I haven't been disappointed with a movie all year.

Yeah, I just have a wide pipe of media beaming into my living room from space that I pay plenty for, so I tend to wait for nearly everything to come to me that way. The only movie that I've seen that I wish I'd paid to see in the theater in the past 3 years was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. (Which I'm convinced is going to be looked back on in 30 years as an ignored brilliant film, much like Labyrinth, Blade Runner, and Brazil were flops at the box office and are considered classics today.)

I do go to the movies every once in a while, but not that often anymore. Of course, living 20 miles from the closest theater has something to do with this...
posted by hippybear at 11:07 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


typical Tarantino fare these days: half great, half cliche.

Part of what makes Tarantino so great is his take on cliches.
posted by Hoopo at 11:11 PM on June 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Part of what makes Tarantino so great is his take on cliches.

Exactly. I'm surprised that so many people are blind to that.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:15 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about Inglourious Basterds but it was an incredible experience to be in a U.S. theater while both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were going on and seeing an audience cheer for American suicide bombers. I guess that probably wasn't intentional, but anyways.
posted by XMLicious at 11:25 PM on June 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


@ You Guys Like 2 Party? Investigate or exploit? Eloborate...
posted by ouke at 11:41 PM on June 6, 2012


This is "Unforgiven" meets "True Grit", done by Quentin Tarantino, which is to say, awesome. His first true western?
posted by Idle Curiosity at 11:52 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well he does have a Coke Wizard...
posted by Drumhellz at 11:56 PM on June 6, 2012


Christian Thorne's 2 part essay on Inglourious Basterds forced me to reevaluate my whole attitude toward Tarantino's recent work. Watching the film again after having read Thorne's take on it was a revelation:
So why does Tarantino hate us so much? He hates us for liking his movies the way we do; he hates us because he can so easily bring us round to enjoying the sight of people being gathered into a closed space so that they can be exterminated. He hates you for how easily you can be pushed into the Nazi position, as long as the people getting killed are themselves Nazis. He hates you because you are the fascist and you don’t even know it. And he proposes the self-consuming grindhouse solution to this grindhouse dilemma, which is that people like you have to die. You will uphold your death sentence with your applause.
Cannot wait to see Django Unchained.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:58 PM on June 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Todd Alcott's breakdown on my Inglorious Basterds is a fucking werid movie from a formalist screenwriting stand point is a must read
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 AM on June 7, 2012




So... a remake of The Searchers?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:29 PM on June 6 [+] [!]


...you should re-watch the searchers
posted by From Bklyn at 12:08 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Christ, who cares about QT anymore, really.

Me.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:08 AM on June 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


On why, rather.

Also Tl;dr IB breaks all the rules you're drilled on in screenwriting 101 and does it in a way that you don't even notice that movie doesn't have a central protagonist until like an hour in.
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 AM on June 7, 2012


And that IB's structure, long tense scenes presented next to each other but barley interacting to the point where we get not one but two plans to kill Hilter, is less like standard film writing and more like four WW2 movies just happened to intersect at the same moment and we're flipping between them.
posted by The Whelk at 12:16 AM on June 7, 2012


I never bothered watching Inglourious Basterds because it looked like a pile of shit and Tarantino was already skating on thin ice with me after Kill Bill. After reading Thorne's analysis I'm glad I didn't. If a porn director left a bunch of clever-clever references inside a porn movie about how porn is really exploitative and porn watchers are a bunch of lonely wankers, it wouldn't mean the movie is suddenly worth watching, it reinforces the decision not to.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 12:19 AM on June 7, 2012


ReeMonster: "Tarantino's done. Never really lived up to the promise of his early films. This looks so tired to me. Christ, who cares about QT anymore, really. He is NOT a truly great director. Oh well. He's done"

GUYS I HAVE UNPOPULAR OPINIONS THAT WILL SHOCK YOU TO THE CORE OF YOUR BEING, SO LET'S GET STARTED
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:35 AM on June 7, 2012 [39 favorites]


DoctorFedora gets today's golden cupcake for an awesome and obscure LyttleLytton reference.

Anyway, since I'm not going to bother to write them out again, here are my two treatises about Inglourious Basterds from the previous thread. There are many interpretations, and it's an awesome movie.

Spoilers abound in those, BTW.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:47 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is "Unforgiven" meets "True Grit"

Based on the preview I'd go with Sweetback's Baadasssss Song meets The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 1:02 AM on June 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Fwiw, Navelgazer, I think you are much more on point than Thorne.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 1:07 AM on June 7, 2012


Looks fucking awesome.
posted by spitbull at 1:11 AM on June 7, 2012


Looks good, but I swear that Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are blending into one person set out to destroy all films for me.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:12 AM on June 7, 2012


I'm intrigued and I think there's some good cast choices there. If anyone's going to make a B-Movie Western, then its Tarantino.

For me, QT wandered well off the reservation with the over-blown Kill Bill (Vols 1 to 46). But then Inglorious Basterds saw him back on form, so I'll be keen to see if he can keep that quality up.
posted by panboi at 1:28 AM on June 7, 2012


My God, he made DiCaprio look interesting. He made it so seeing DiCaprio in a trailer actually made me want to see a film. If that's not genius I don't know what is.
posted by biffa at 2:20 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


After Ingorious Basterds, I'm not sure I can again sit through 2 hours of Brad Pitt trying to speak with a Southern American accent. DiCaprio's drawl is spot on, however.
posted by three blind mice at 2:24 AM on June 7, 2012


And this looks pretty rad but I seriously am worried about the accent thing. That might drive me crazy.

That annoyed me too, but on rewatch, I think Waltz's character is assuming a fake drawl when talking to the man leading the slaves in that first scene... he drops the accent when whispering to Django directly and when he says "Very well" just before shooting the man. His accent in the rest of the trailer is bizarre but not quite so obviously inconsistent.
posted by painquale at 2:26 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Exactly. I'm surprised that so many people are blind to that.

Bored, not blind.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:11 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like a fun movie. Speaking of Westerns, I recently saw and was blown away by The Proposition that takes place in the Australian outbacks. What a gorgeous and touching movie.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:15 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Reminds me of the outtakes episode of Chappelle's show, where the haters go back in time and kill a slave holder, and Chappelle basically implies that *killing someone for keeping slaves* is still considered too radical to show.

Basically, something like this movie should have been made before I was born and by now, Confederates should be folks who get shot in the face by the dozens in cheesy period adventures like it isn't even a thing.
posted by mobunited at 3:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nobody's mentioned yet that Tarantino's already been involved in a different Django movie?
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:01 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Christopher Waltz's accent was all over the place and that was only the trailer.

I think he's trying to play a german immigrant who's also an "undercover" private detective(bounty hunter), which would account for the weird mix of accents.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:17 AM on June 7, 2012


RATS. I know I'm going to be smack in the middle of New Hampshire on Christmas. Oh wise Weinsteins, book this movie in small theaters all the way to the Canadian border please!
posted by drowsy at 4:21 AM on June 7, 2012


(Also, Brad Pitt was born in Oklahoma and raised in Missouri. I think his accent will be closer rather than further to accurate.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:28 AM on June 7, 2012


Pitt's parent's farm bordered on my grandparent's in Missouri. My little sister was heartbroken to find that this offered no help in to meeting him as our grandparents sold the farm and moved to upstate New York long before he was born.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:33 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a question we're having in Chez LT: What Makes QT Movies Good?

I say it's the dialogue and the characters, and Miko says he realizes too much on the violence and not enough on a story to get his movies across.

I would definitely like to see QT make a movie with ZERO VIOLENCE to see if he can actually do it, because I watch his films for the cool character/dialogue.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:40 AM on June 7, 2012


Now he's working on a project tenatively titled Wall Street 3: The Reckoning.
posted by goethean at 5:45 AM on June 7, 2012


Leonardo DiCaprio's accents never sound quite right to me. He just always sounds like a kid doing funny voices.
posted by orme at 6:04 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bored, not blind.

The former implies the latter. How many fingers am I holding up?

Or, you know, you can just skip his movies and this thread. It's not like someone is going to Clockwork Orange your ass with some Tarantino movies.

Wait, that sounds kinda awesome.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:11 AM on June 7, 2012


I would definitely like to see QT make a movie with ZERO VIOLENCE to see if he can actually do it, because I watch his films for the cool character/dialogue

Jackie Brown had 3 deaths and at least 2 of them took place off screen. No blood or gore either. That's tame compared to almost any action movie put out nowadays.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:17 AM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Everybody here who didn't shoot an extreme close-up of their lips sucking on Rosie Perez's breast, raise your hand, alright? "
posted by ColdChef at 6:29 AM on June 7, 2012


Jackie Brown had 3 deaths and at least 2 of them took place off screen. No blood or gore either. That's tame compared to almost any action movie put out nowadays.

Jackie Brown is an understated gem. The change of gear throws people who are expecting that QT spectacle. It's a film that also manages to improve over repeated viewings.
posted by panboi at 6:30 AM on June 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I love Jackie Brown. There was a period about 3 years ago when I watched it every day for about 2 weeks. It's a movie that only gets richer as you get more familiar with it.
posted by hippybear at 6:42 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jackie Brown had 3 deaths

Chris Tucker
Bridget Fonda
Robert de Niro
Samuel L. Jackson

Their characters all get killed.
posted by biffa at 6:51 AM on June 7, 2012


the film has much more going on in contrast with IB which was much less about WWII and much more about WWII movies

"It's well known that all of Tarantino's films take place in the same universe"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought I might get slammed for suggesting that movie. I knew I wasn't the only one who thinks Jackie Brown doesn't get enough respect. It definitely gets better after repeated viewings. It's pacing reminds me of a Melville film.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:54 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes to the Jackie Brown love! It's one of my favorites, and one where QT's love and respect for the entire cast is obvious (possibly because Uma and her feet are nowhere to be seen) - it's an homage even more than most of his movies are, because it's not just an homage to movies, but to the cast. And Pam Grier can and should be in every movie as far as I'm concerned.
posted by biscotti at 6:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their characters all get killed.

Okay, big correction there, 4 not 3. And yet 2 of those deaths still happen offscreen, and a 3rd from behind. So not really a correction. It's a blacksploitation noir with barely any violence shown.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 7:14 AM on June 7, 2012


I realize that Django in Tarantino's film is a reference to the Spaghetti Western "Django", but it seems highly unlikely that any American (slave, freed slave, or otherwise) would have been named Django. It has Romani origins (it either means "I awake" or is a version of John/Jean). A quick Ngram search suggests that it was a very uncommon name in the 19th century. It appears to have become more commonly cited since Django Rheinhardt, the famous Gypsy jazz musician, who presumably was the source of the aforementioned 70s Western film. Prior to that, the only records Google Books has is of a Russian mountain range mentioned briefly in a historical study of the "Russian mission through Mongolia to China" and a newspaper mention of Rheinhardt before he was born (Google must have the date incorrect.)
posted by AceRock at 7:47 AM on June 7, 2012


I would definitely like to see QT make a movie with ZERO VIOLENCE to see if he can actually do it, because I watch his films for the cool character/dialogue

I'd like to see him do a straight movie without any winking references or cool kid flourishes.
posted by octothorpe at 8:14 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tarantino makes movies that do everything I want movies to do. They are inevitably formalist and beautiful. They have terrific music, and usually some of that music is from the lost classics category. They have suprising and excellent performances from suprising and excellent actors, and again: some of the actors are usually lost classics. They have crackling, fantastical dialogue: everything everybody says is like a hyper-cool version of the way actual people speak, and that is a specific and hard to walk razor's edge. They always have potent and enexplored sub-themes, plots, and motivators, and it is just insanely fun to talk about them even when they are nonsense (Marcellus' band aid, the briefcase, is Mr Orange gay?, does Landa know Shoshana is who she is in the restaurant? Is Landa's real motivation always for people to stay in character? Etc, etc, etc). And, finally, they always have something problematic. There is always something revolting enough, thematically (Violence, racism, homophobia, and so on. Always), to push me away and wake me up a little bit, and somehow I find that enriches the whole thing.

Different strokes for different folks and all that but Tarantino makes intentional, thoughtful movies and, as someone said so well up there, they won't make you stupider. He makes art films out of trash, or trash out of art films, or both, and there is nobody near him in terms of putting asses in seats to watch something that is not dumber and emptier than a Happy Meal.

So yeah: this trailer makes salivate.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


> There’s a word that is common in Hebrew slang—and that Hebrew has bequeathed to Israeli English—and that’s frier, which means something like “pushover” or “sucker”—and it’s become one of the most distinctive Israeli insults.

Huh. I know frajer as a Polish word meaning "loser", interested to know whether it's origins is Polish loanword to Yiddish, or vice versa...


Hebrew got it from Russian фраер [frayer], a piece of criminal slang, probably originating with the Jewish mafias in Odessa, who used the Yiddish word for "free ones" (frayer, the plural of fray 'free'). Like many criminal slang terms it made its way into general Russian culture, probably via the Gulag. I imagine Polish borrowed it from Russian during the Era of Fraternal Socialist Friendly Friends (Please Ignore the Tanks).
posted by languagehat at 8:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


XMLicious: "Say what you will about Inglourious Basterds but it was an incredible experience to be in a U.S. theater while both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were going on and seeing an audience cheer for American suicide bombers. I guess that probably wasn't intentional, but anyways."

Why do you assume that OCD, detail-oriented, message-behind-the-medium Tarantino accidentally made a loud, ironic statement about the perceived morality of a topical issue?

I'm not saying it definitely was planned, but I can't call it.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:16 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


considering it happens in a theater showing a propaganda film, a rousing Our Boys rah rah war movie about a heroic sniper that would be totally at home in an allied theatre if it wasn't for all the swastikas, I think QT knew exactly what he was doing showing the Americans as suicide bombers.
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


AceRock: "I realize that Django in Tarantino's film is a reference to the Spaghetti Western "Django", but it seems highly unlikely that any American (slave, freed slave, or otherwise) would have been named Django."

Next you're going to try to convince me that "The Lone" wasn't a common name for U.S. Rangers.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:23 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Very, very, very few things will put my ass in a theatre seat - and QT is at the top of the list, for all of the reasons dirtdirt noted above.

When I first read about the movie, I got certain images in my head, knowing only the barest plot outlines and some of the actors involved. Intrigued and wide-eyed.

Now, after watching this trailer, the images are becoming clearer, but unlike with other movie trailers of just about any genre/actor/director/etc, this one doesn't reveal everything about the movie - clips and trailers and snippets can never equal the experience of watching a complete QT film start-to-finish.

I'm in.
posted by davidmsc at 9:53 AM on June 7, 2012


I am probably the only person that thinks this looks horrible.
posted by couchdive at 9:56 AM on June 7, 2012


Say what you will about Inglourious Basterds but it was an incredible experience to be in a U.S. theater while both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were going on and seeing an audience cheer for American suicide bombers. I guess that probably wasn't intentional, but anyways.

Probably wasn't intentional? Are you kidding? The movie is practically obsessed with the idea of propaganda and the appropriation and reversal of cultural and film tropes (e.g. the Winnetou bit during the card game).

Inglourious Basterds is, for me, a perfect example of how to have a film with a message without having a Film with a Message. It's not rammed down your throat, but it's plain as day before you.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:57 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's the over/under on the use of the n-word?
Tarantino has used it quite freely in the past. Too much, in my opinion.
posted by sciencejock at 10:24 AM on June 7, 2012


I love it when I go into something thinking "yeah, this should be pretty good" and come out thinking "HOLY SHIT."

Also, between this and the Christmastime release of True Grit, I love this emerging trend of my favorite directors giving me violent rethinks of the Western for my birthday.
posted by COBRA! at 10:36 AM on June 7, 2012


I would definitely like to see QT make a movie with ZERO VIOLENCE to see if he can actually do it, because I watch his films for the cool character/dialogue

Yeah, I'm in the same boat. I was all excited about Reservoir Dogs until that horrible scene with the cop; the same with Pulp Fiction.

Would love to watch Kill Bill and IB, but I'm just too scared.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:54 AM on June 7, 2012


There're two ways to make a movie that makes people think. The first way is you have a message, and you have a plot that revolves around that message, characters who talk about that message, a script that says Important Things about that message. The second way is you make a movie that assumes something unexpected, and then you make any damn movie you like, but people notice that unexpected assumption, and even if they don't have the words for it they can talk about it and think about it and maybe come to conclusions you weren't even expecting them to find in the first place.

Tarantino's films make those sorts of unexpected assumptions. He breaks rules in his films, both written and unwritten, but at the same time he adheres to styles and genres that practically nobody but he takes seriously. His rule breaking has become more and more daring, at the same time as his genre obsessions have grown more and more obvious. Like practically every filmmaker worth a damn, he has an obsession with celebrity and deception: how appearances bely reality, how people project (ahem) an image that they know to be untrue, how you can tell more about somebody by studying what they think an image ought to be than by studying the actual image they manage to manufacture.

What separates Tarantino from other directors is the JOY he exudes for the flashiness and bravado of cinema. He embraces the falseness and the lies because, well, they're wonderful fun. He loves cliche and melodrama and avoids "realism", yet he writes strong characters and thoughtful dialogue. A friend pointed out last year that the romance between Butch and his girlfriend in Pulp Fiction is a terrifically-realized relationship, absolutely believable. Tarantino's insightful. He knows people. He just doesn't care about making those well-rendered people seem "real". He's making movies, and he all but guarantees his audience that they'll get the kind of over-the-top Hollywood experience that movies are known for. Only even more so, because Tarantino can craft over-the-top like nobody else.

In the process, whether incidentally or intentionally, he asks a lot of questions about our willingness to believe in pretty stories or in "gritty" stories that promise not to lie to us. His films are about how we not only believe in myth but how we make up myths for ourselves, about ourselves. His films seem to say out loud that it doesn't matter if a myth is false as long as its exciting, but the question that always seems to bubble up is: if we can enjoy a story for its own sake, can we stop pretending it's the truth? Can't we admit our love of falseness and stop letting it dilute the truths that actually matter?

This isn't a question he directly asks in any of his films except perhaps Inglourious Basterds. But because of the way he makes films, there are questions we can ask, if we choose. His movies are film critic gold, not because he's trying to sell a message, but because he avoids selling one at all. You can interpret his movies any way you'd like and not be entirely wrong, and the films are well-made enough that you can mine and mine and mine them and still have new details to examine.

If you don't want to do that, well, then you've still got dynamite entertainment, made by a director who understands pure visceral cinematic pleasure better than maybe any other director alive. Tarantino films work on the popcorn level fantastically. Just don't trick yourself into thinking that just because he's so inviting on the surface, nothing much must be going on down below. The entertainment value of his movies is part of what he's trying to say about movies, or rather, what he's not saying but we're hearing anyway.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:59 AM on June 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


What's the over/under on the use of the n-word? Tarantino has used it quite freely in the past. Too much, in my opinion.

Interesting question. But are you asking if he is going to personally use it? Or if he wrote it into the script? Or how much does it show up in the movie? And is it necessarily wrong that he wrote it? Or that he over uses it in his script? Is writing it for a character, or even his character as in Pulp Fiction, wrong? I recall Spike Lee had a few words over the topic about the time Kill Bill came out, but it seemed odd at the time because this was after Pulp Fiction and even after he did a cameo in Girl 6.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:03 AM on June 7, 2012


What's the over/under on the use of the n-word?

Not sure there's any way around it in this one given the setting.
posted by Hoopo at 11:31 AM on June 7, 2012


I originally posed the question about the n-word tongue-in-cheek because of the issues the word has caused with regard to Tarantino in the past, all of which Rocket Surgeon touches on.
I was a huge Tarantino fan in the beginning. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are great. Jackie Brown was an initial let-down, but has grown on me. Since then, meh. IB was ok, but hated the ending (no matter what lesson he was trying to teach.)
I think Tarantino is a great wordsmith and writes great dialogue and certainly knows how to build a scene. To me though, his use of the n-word in several of his movies has seemed less about truth in character and setting and more about the cleverness of the dialogue. For me it was offputting, but that just may be me. In fact, sometimes I've felt that his attempts at clever dialogue act to undermine the characters and/or setting, especially in IB. I feel the same way about Mamet. Love Mamet's stuff but sometimes the dialogue reminds me I'm watching a Mamet play/film instead of keeping me in the moment. With regard to Django, I'm very curious to see how the n-word surfaces in the context of this movie where not using it would seem to be disingenuous. I suspect for me it will depend on the "truthfulness" of the rest of the dialogue.
posted by sciencejock at 12:03 PM on June 7, 2012


Wow people. I thought Inglorious Basterds was an amazing movie, the first time I saw it, Way better then Kill Bill and possibly even better then Pulp Fiction
I never bothered watching Inglourious Basterds because it looked like a pile of shit and Tarantino was already skating on thin ice with me after Kill Bill. After reading Thorne's analysis I'm glad I didn't. If a porn director left a bunch of clever-clever references inside a porn movie about how porn is really exploitative and porn watchers are a bunch of lonely wankers, it wouldn't mean the movie is suddenly worth watching, it reinforces the decision not to.
It's not much like Kill Bill and didn't even seem like much of a "Tarantino" movie to me. The "references" in the analysis are all supposition on Thorne's part and they are not very obvious at all when you're watching the movie (at least the first time through). Plus it's awesome.
What's the over/under on the use of the n-word?
Not sure there's any way around it in this one given the setting.
The supposed script was leaked online. I tried to 'scan without reading' the first couple pages of dialog and didn't see it, but I don't want to spoil the movie. I don't think Tarrentino is going for super-realism in this film.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2012


You know...kill bill was a much better film 40+ years ago, when it was called lady snowblood
posted by couchdive at 4:39 PM on June 7, 2012


I liked it when it was a series of cave paintings about the Shell Queen against the Great Bear.


Fucking posers.
posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on June 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


You know...kill bill was a much better film 40+ years ago, when it was called lady snowblood

It's almost like the famously flim-geek director did something that he expected his famously film-geek fans to get.

Crazy.
posted by Amanojaku at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Was DiCaprio so amazing in Gilbert Grape that we just keep pretending he's capable of amazing performances (two decades later) when he rarely turns any in?

I like the guy. And I think he tries really hard. But there's more to acting than just effort and will, and I never feel a thing coming from inside him. He's one of those surface actors that is lost if he isn't given something to do (often smoking or squinting, more often both)

Scorcese's misread of Leo as the new Deniro is such a puzzling thing to me.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:01 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's coasting, we KNOW he actually has a range but all his modern roles have been Squint'n'Stare. If nothing else he was the perfect Manic Pixie Bream Boy in Titanic and there was no squinting or staring there.
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 PM on June 7, 2012


I'm still not convinced that QT wasn't replaced by some sort of shape-shifting alien that hates film half-way through Kill Bill... still I hold out hope.

Then again: Prometheus.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:16 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never really thought collages quantified as good art...even in film
posted by couchdive at 9:51 AM on June 8, 2012


He's coasting, we KNOW he actually has a range but all his modern roles have been Squint'n'Stare.

That's not fair. He usually gets at least one operatic freak-out. Which he's really good at.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2012


I never really thought collages quantified as good art...even in film

I would be humbled by publicly expressing a sentiment so ignorant of the fact that all art is, in essence, a sort of collage.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:59 AM on June 8, 2012


There really should be a megacut of Dicaprio Losing His Shit scenes.
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Say what?
everything in essence, is sort of everything. if you put it like that.

Collage - taking stuff that already exist and making it something else.

The term itself literally means "glue"...as in stealing a bunch of crap and gluing it together to form a pile of glued together crap. Something QT bases his whole life's work of.
posted by couchdive at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2012


Manic Pixie Bream Boy

I smell an Aquaman live-action deal in the offing!
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:23 AM on June 8, 2012


So you're saying no art form involves glue?
posted by The Whelk at 11:24 AM on June 8, 2012


What I said, is posted above here, buddy.

To explain: I, personally, find it hard to ride on the jock of folks who make money on other peoples work and do not give massive amounts of humble credit to the original artist.

To be fair in more recent films QT has finally given some credit, spoke of, and gave props, to his varied and multiple influences. Which is good! Those bits of information were not always so specifically forthcoming in his earlier years.
posted by couchdive at 11:38 AM on June 8, 2012


I think Leo is a pretty capable actor, but his erstwhile prettyboy heartthrob status has turned out to be something he still has to fight against in the public eye. It tickles me to no end that his boyish good looks are slowly fading and that he's turning into a ratty Steve Buscemi type.
posted by painquale at 11:38 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


and that's a silly question, glue is for huffing.
posted by couchdive at 11:39 AM on June 8, 2012


Thoughts on Slavery, Black Women, and 'Django Unchained'
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on June 8, 2012


The Whelk: There really should be a megacut of Dicaprio Losing His Shit scenes.
Like, say..... this?
posted by coriolisdave at 6:40 PM on June 8, 2012


Thoughts on Slavery, Black Women, and 'Django Unchained'
Man, what a wet blanket.
The Whelk: There really should be a megacut of Dicaprio Losing His Shit scenes.
Like, say..... this
Hah, he really looks like he's freaking out, unlike the ones for Nic Cage where he just looks hilarious.
posted by delmoi at 9:32 AM on June 9, 2012


Like, say..... this

holy hell I can summon things into existence by asking for them? This is going to be a fun week.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I, personally, find it hard to ride on the jock of folks who make money on other peoples work and do not give massive amounts of humble credit to the original artist.

I presume you are talking about things like him lifting from City on Fire for Reservoir Dogs.

That's fair enough; credit should go where it is do. My response is based in the fact that art is, for the most part, assembled from other things, including previous art, and, in fact, one of the qualities that you see in mature forms of art is extensive intertextuality, where artists reference other art, and trust their audience will know the reference and both their enjoyment of the film and the text of the film will be deepened by this knowledge.

The young Tarantino was something of a rip-off artist. The older Tarantino is far more sophisticated and knowing.

And collage is an art. A great one.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's fair enough; credit should go where it is do. My response is based in the fact that art is, for the most part, assembled from other things
I don't really think it's that fair. All movies are like other movies. Who cares?
posted by delmoi at 9:26 AM on June 10, 2012


I think it's fair to he critical of that, within reason. I think there's a enough of a separation between straight up copying and taking elements to produce something new to make a distinction. Where someone places value, or even whether they do place value, on that continuum is a personal choice. A value that should be sufficiently informed before they decide to throw out both baby and bathwater. Lady Snowblood is one piece of the vast puzzle of Kill Bill, and only scratches the surface of what makes that movie. I would have to say that's hardly a fair assessment of Kill Bill and totally disagree. Whether he lifts from other films is not an argument that someone would dispute, but whereas the assertion he copies other films with the implication that there isn't any substance beyond the original is rather tenuous and wouldn't have much traction inside a knowledgeable discussion of his films.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 3:42 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


All very fair points! He goes to no end to tell about his inspirations nowadays. I was a big time movie guy back in the day and it just hit a nerve to see his bragging and cocky demeanor during all of this at the time. Of course, the other thing is, at least a bunch of people got to see some good films they might not of, because of him. Cheers
posted by couchdive at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2012


The official red band trailer for Quentin Tarantino's "The Man With The Iron Fists" starring RZA.
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


LAST!
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:13 PM on July 6, 2012


There is another.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on July 6, 2012


There can be only one.
posted by homunculus at 8:34 PM on July 6, 2012


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