Hilarious review of film maker Quentin Tarantino in a book by Ian Penman. Copy/past:
“Quentin Tarantino has once said he likes to take genre characters (‘the pimp’, ‘the gangster’) and put them in a real-life situation. Which, when you think about it (which you’re not supposed to) is really only a pseudo-adult kind of Roger Rabbit with guns.
So you see -unreal people in real situations - that’s the reason that despite their spitty hissy tom-cat woozy-Uzi male-violence malevolence these are real ‘feel-good’ movies. A real feel-good deal for People Like Us. People who can spot pop-trash references the way people used to spot wildflowers and lapwings. People too sassy smart to get a feel-good fillip out of Forrest Gump but yet too squishy-brained to make the effort to get haunted by some Kieslowski meditation on the fracturing of late twentieth-century identity. Because these (last) days People Like Us want our fractured identities signed sealed and delivered inside a fast-food pop-cult package - you see, we don’t want to be haunted; we don’t want to wake up later in the night with strange visions shifting around the bare room of our conscience, or tears of trepidation asking to be cried; we don’t want to ask too closely about the failure of love in all our lives and the fever of disappointment that stalks us daily. No, we’re far safer in San Quentin, the adult Theme Park where everything is just a mild wild half-teen half-toon update of old nasty noir references; where pasty-faced men in black suits are our version of giant Mickeys and Goofys who pat us on our nodding heads on the way to the exit as they say: It’s OK little children, go home safe in your fan-fan-fantasies.
Tarantino’s bad guys are just one-dimensional parodies of badness: boy-men facing unreal pulp dilemmas. On some level -like a lot of society- Q.T. is both dazzled by the glare of ‘bad’ men and frightened of the real evil that lurks in all our tense hearts. Thus in Pulp Fiction, we get a six-foot-plus hyper-cool black assassin who talks with the voice of a nerdy white video-rental-store manager. This ice-blooded Isaac Hayes of the hinterlands talks about things like The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family and A Flock Of Seagulls and stuff that nobody talks about - black or white - unless they’re a Q.T. kinda pop cult bore; unless they’re Q.T. in OD.
His success speaks to us like this: if I can be cool, so can you - just by enjoying my film and repeating the lines afterwards with your friends in the pub where they have the Pulp Fiction CD on an endless loop on the CD-jukebox... “ Says Penman, obviously no fan.
From the NRC website:
“Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Deathproof, has been reviewed badly in Holland. The director of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill has made a movie with violence in abundance, about “Chicks with cars.” Reviewers Bas Blokker and Jeroen Stout found the humor uninspired and too stupid for words, the total movie lazy and sluggish.”
Has Tarantino passed his time on the forefront of culture? Seems like he keeps making movies in the spirit of the times that made him successful: the ‘summer’ timeframe of the middle nineties. Shame for his fans (but may be they too cling to the past?). Must say I personally agree with Penman.