Now that Premiere's Gone
March 20, 2007 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Cashiers du Cinemart. Film Threat's Dave Williams: "a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is, and compelling me to conclude it's impossible for you to ever get your shit together...killing one more tree for your pointless, directionless, self-aggrandizing 'zine with nothing to offer is a sad, selfish waste." Best known for the Anti-Tarantino saga, one man's quest to get a director to acknowledge his influences, Cashiers is a great '90s 'zine with archives online.
posted by klangklangston (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Obviously inspired by finding out is up.
posted by klangklangston at 4:47 PM on March 20, 2007

Someone who writes for Film Threat saying another film publication is self-aggrandizing is rich.
posted by dobbs at 6:41 PM on March 20, 2007

a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is, and compelling me to conclude it's impossible for you to ever get your shit together...

This explains to a tee what I found so tiring about Film Threat, and why I stopped frequenting their site in or around 2000. Though perusing their site now, they seem to gotten a lot of shit together, and posted it, boasting the worst of both worlds: extensive coverage of wholesale Hollywood and the sort of unpleasantness you cite. Makes me miss the navel-gazing primitivism, and Chris Gore as scrappy reviewer, not (unedited?) e-lebrity.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:52 PM on March 20, 2007

Hrm, okay. I'll report more when I finish. I just read the first page of the anti-Tarantino site and thus far, I really don't think this kid gets it.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:53 PM on March 20, 2007

OMFG Tarantino stole from Others who stole from Others who stole from Melies who stole from Corot who stole from Caravaggio who stole from Van Eyck who stole from...
posted by Dizzy at 6:55 PM on March 20, 2007

those fanboys and their small universes. and he can't even appreciate the good film that city on fire is.
posted by namagomi at 7:11 PM on March 20, 2007

roll truck roll:

you want weird? try watching the videos on this page. as a younger "consumer", i was obsessed with distinguishing original content from derivative content. i feel totally different about stuff like that today...
posted by phaedon at 7:13 PM on March 20, 2007

People don't watch QT films for the plot...
posted by mek at 7:24 PM on March 20, 2007

On Guillermo del Toro's post-Pan's Labyrinth future:

If the pattern holds, we can expect a few Hollywood films (some good, some bad) from del Toro before he does another smaller Spanish language film set in wartime with overtones of horror/fantasy again. That future film along with THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE and PAN'S LABYRINTH will be dubbed "Guillermo del Toro's Somethingerother Trilogy" and sold as a box set of DVDs. Look for it at your local Target store.

Ouchy. Just cynical enough.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 PM on March 20, 2007

I thought the guy (Mike White) made a good point. What was great and valuable about Reservoir Dogs wasn't what was lifted fron City on Fire...but QT did take a good chunk of the plot very directly and that deserves more than a mention.

Plus QT clearly got caught and lied about not seeing City on Fire beforehand, that's why the Miramax folks got nervous and created even more controversy.


I wouldn't have spent 3 years of my life trying to make that point, but I'm glad there are other who will so I can read about it 13 years after the fact and enjoy a half hour of my evening.
posted by django_z at 8:05 PM on March 20, 2007

To cop from JFA, I endorse blatant localism— Film Threat's Chris Gore used to write for Orbit and Fun, both here in Detroit, and Cashiers started around here, which Gore fails to mention in his official bio (Detroit gets no love).
For the most part, Cashiers was the spunky kid brother 'zine to Film Threat's (relatively) sophisticated publishing chops, and had more fun and more varied reviews. Which is kinda like comparing Mudhoney to the Melvins, in that neither of them really mattered to the mainstream (but here in Detroit's burbs, they were huge and had a similar audience, and were bundled with Fangoria at the local 'zine shop).
posted by klangklangston at 8:19 PM on March 20, 2007

Okay, I read through his whole Reservoir Dogs writeup, and watched the video, and my response it still sort of, so what?

I'm sufficiently convinced that Tarantino got the idea for the final scene from City on Fire, and then worked backward and created the movie from the final scene.

Why doesn't Tarantino mention City on Fire in the annoying litany of namedropping that is every Tarantino interview? I don't know. I would guess it's because 1) he didn't remember what movie he saw that vaguely led to an idea for his own movie, 2) people like Mike White exist, and 3) mentioning a critically unnoticed B-Movie as one of your primary influences is not as cool as mentioning Jean-Luc Godard or whoever. Probably some combination of the three.

The crime, as far as I can tell is, a number 3. But is Tarantino really to blame for that, as much as film-geek culture is? I would say no.

I was expecting much more, frankly. To accuse someone of plagiarizing an entire movie, you'd better have split-screens that show exact onscreen composition. You'd better show me that the placement of characters on the stage was lifted and not built upon, not to mention the dialogue.

I'd like to know White's opinions about co-opting and ownership in art. Really, where is the line between homage and plagiarism? James Joyce didn't put all those footnotes in his books; other people did.

It's hard for me to take seriously an article with a paragraph like this: Was Vanilla Ice simply paying homage to Queen? Did this trash-talking, material-stealing, bad-acting, "from the streets" kid make his original material better by sampling?

I couldn't even make it through the second video, apparently of Pulp Fiction plagiarism. Is he joking? Is he actually a big Tarantino fan, who gets excited about in-jokes like the ones all over that film?

Look, I love critics and criticism. As much as I despise the old joke that people who can't make good art become critics, I think it's tragically true here.

Ironically, though it was our Senior year, neither one of us had had the opportunity to use a camera during our years of film school.

That's not ironic, even in the Alanis sense. It's just depressing. But it's not Quentin's fault.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:46 PM on March 20, 2007

(Just as an aside, I'd mention that many of the other archives are worth looking through, as Cashiers had the sort of bad-movie verve that discerns between terrible and good, and terrible and bad.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:07 PM on March 20, 2007

People don't watch QT films for the plot...

No, we watch them for the stylish pastiche!

Dude, Detroit film school? Ha ha, lucky they got to see a camera. Oh but seriously it is kind of appalling that that sort of blindness to the genre's conventional reuse of motifs would be written down and published by someone accredited in the field. At my school, considered the boondocks, 5 hours out of LA, by those desperate to be the next Tarantino/Fincher (inference based on attire) there was continual uproar over the focus on theory and multiple hurdles to the production concentration. I am so glad, because we do have our whole lives to learn from the camera, and from the cinema, for that matter, but apparently some people don't tend to learn from history unless forced.

Thanks for the local color, Klang. Would have been good flesh for the FPP. I do enjoy comparative-littin' these small, smaller, smallest film publications. I edited UCSC's once. Not an enviable task.

Lastly: major cinema scene culling of Mike Whites needed.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:56 AM on March 21, 2007

mentioning a critically unnoticed B-Movie as one of your primary influences is not as cool as mentioning Jean-Luc Godard or whoever

It's considerably cooler, isn't it? Most of the name-dropping in QT interviews (as far as I can tell) is of obscure B-movies, isn't it?

I think QT has become more open about his Rip-Mix-Burn aesthetic since Reservoir Dogs, and the whole mystique of QT (hyper-active mouthy videostore kid turned hyperactive mouthy post-modern ironic brutalist director) revolves around what he does being rooted in finding bits and pieces that he thinks are cool and sticking them together. He's very good at it. He certainly makes it look easier than it is.

The point isn't that he quotes Godard, a lot of very dull people have been doing that since Godard was cool, but that he quotes Godard, Blaxpoitation, noir and Shaw Brothers chop-socky D-movies, and gives them all equal billing.
posted by Grangousier at 1:24 AM on March 21, 2007

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