Tarantino criticism

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AgentEcho
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Tarantino criticism

Postby AgentEcho » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:39 pm

I just got back from "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".

After Fire Walk With Me premiered, the then hot shot new kid on the block had this to say about the film and Lynch: "“David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different.”

My lord does someone need to throw that one right back at Tarantino. It was never a fair comment about Lynch or FWWM.... and it couldn't be a more apt criticism for Tarantino's latest string of work, dating back at least a decade. Unfortunately Tarantino is overrated and critics and film nerds kiss his ass. But, as FWWM's reputation has soared as it has aged, I really question whether Tarantino's latest films will stand the test of time. Someone's going to have to explain to me what the cultural value is in narcissistic gonzo revisions of real life tragedy and trauma.
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mtwentz
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby mtwentz » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:14 am

AgentEcho wrote:I just got back from "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".

After Fire Walk With Me premiered, the then hot shot new kid on the block had this to say about the film and Lynch: "“David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different.”

My lord does someone need to throw that one right back at Tarantino. It was never a fair comment about Lynch or FWWM.... and it couldn't be a more apt criticism for Tarantino's latest string of work, dating back at least a decade. Unfortunately Tarantino is overrated and critics and film nerds kiss his ass. But, as FWWM's reputation has soared as it has aged, I really question whether Tarantino's latest films will stand the test of time. Someone's going to have to explain to me what the cultural value is in narcissistic gonzo revisions of real life tragedy and trauma.


Tarantino is like Lynch in that neither director has made a truly 'bad' film in their career.

I haven't seen Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, but as of now, it has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 84%. On an objective scale, it's a critical success. I'll wait until I see it to make my own judgment, but it looks like Tarantino has scored another hit.

As far as Tarantino being overrated, I kind of agree with you, but we can't deny he has reached a level of success commercially that no other filmmaker in our time has achieved. But to compare Tarantino and Lynch is a little tough- there are similarities in the films they make, but Tarantino is obviously more for the mainstream, while Lynch is more an art house movie director. But they've both pushed the boundaries and influenced the industry, so in that way they are similar.

I just think Tarantino didn't 'get' what Lynch was going for in FWWM.
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AgentEcho
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby AgentEcho » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:51 am

It's fine to not "get" FWWM, but the comment was disrespectful at a minimum, and I think it would be fitting for this one to come home to roost for Tarantino. (It won't because he's a critics darling)

Naturally since I feel he's overrated, I don't think the good rotten tomatoes score really proves anything. And I should say I did and still like his work from the first part of his career. I particularly like Jackie Brown, which is oddly his most unheralded film.

I don't know how appropriate it is to go into detail about why I've found his work for about the past dozen years to be a trajectory of disappearing up his own ass, given not everyone has seen those films and especially OUaTiH which was just released, but I found the irony of his criticism of Lynch being something I'd say is more fair to level at him at this stage in his career too much not to comment on.
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blueangel
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby blueangel » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:56 pm

I was going to go and see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood UNTIL I read that Tarantino said this about Lynch and then I decided to not support him. I have never cared either way for his films but a few are alright, he is nothing original and I can't believe that he of all people had the nerve to say this comment about David Lynch.

David Lynch is far superior to him.
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby baxter » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:07 pm

I can never separate Tarantino's films from his obnoxious personality. I once went to a screening of that Grindhouse film he did (with the long car chase), followed by a Q&A. Dunno why, since I never really cared for his films. He gave his typical "I'm a genius" answers, including how the ability to write the amazing dialogue in his films is "his gift".

Everyone in all of his films talks exactly the same way! The same very stylised crap dialogue that is meant to be post-modern and witty, but is actually just dumb, and it tells you nothing about the human condition.

Watch an Eric Rohmer film if you want good dialogue.

You may have realised that I have never seen why Tarantino gets worshipped so much. His films seemed to define some concept of "cool" for an entire generation in the 90s, and they all put the shitty songs from his shitty soundtracks on my pub jukebox all the shitty time, and it really wound me up. "I'm cool because I just put on a song from a film which a newspaper said was really cool!". Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

(Apologies if you actually like his films- I'm being a bit aggressive for no reason)
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Leo K
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby Leo K » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:17 pm

Big Tarantino fan here but I’ve no problem with the criticism. I love both Lynch and Tarantino as each have a distinct personality that is uniquely their own and the reason I see all their films. I don’t expect them to like each other as long as they keep making movies.


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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby Agent Earle » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:00 pm

100% in agreement with Leo K! Both are great filmmakers, I hope they get to create more content which I can enjoy the hell out of. As it is, I haven't had this experience with Lynch's products since The Straight Story, as much as that depresses me...
baxter
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby baxter » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:01 am

I can absolutely see that Tarantino is a proper auteur with a unique style. I've just never clicked with it. Maybe I should revisit his early work and see if I can get into it. I've never seen the Lynch comparisons either. Wild at Heart is the only film that to me has any similarity with a Tarantino film, and that's only because it has graphic violence. Directors from that period who share much more with Lynch (to my eye at least) are Atom Egoyan and Gregg Araki (particularly The Doom Generation).

Now the reasons I hate Tarantino are also the reasons I love Lynch! He has a unique style, his dialogue is very stylised, and his films contain shocking moments. So I'm a massive hypocrite basically. Or there is just something in the mood and vibe of a Tarantino film that I find boring.

It might simply be a case of me not liking something because I knew annoying people who loved it. c.f. fans of Oasis in the 1990s. I like the band in retrospect.
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby mtwentz » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:24 am

Whether one thinks he's the best director of all time, or a two hit wonder (Reservoir and Pulp) who's parlayed initial success into puffing up his reputation beyond what it deserves, I think most of us agree it's in poor taste for Tarantino to boost his own standing by attempting to disparage the works of others (Lynch was not the only director Tarantino criticized).

I hope he's grown up since that 1992 interview.
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby N. Needleman » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:02 am

At that time it was all the rage for everyone to shit on FWWM and Twin Peaks. I would like to believe QT has revised his opinion.

I am a big, big fan of Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds etc. and I liked OUAT quite a lot. A very lyrical, quieter film for him, and a brave departure for a man who could've simply catered to an audience used to wall to wall dialogue and violence.
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bowisneski
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby bowisneski » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:45 am

I've always felt that was a shitty and hypocritical thing for him to say because he and Lynch are both far up their own asses in the sense that they make what they want without a care for the how the world will feel about it. Something that I think is freaking great and how every director should approach their work.

I was wary about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood because of the premise and I was
Spoiler:
afraid I was going to see the Mason murders in over the top Tarantino fashion
but I ended up loving it. It had the feeling of Season 3 and Blade Runner 2049 where it is unapologetically what it is, luxuriates in mood, and is beautiful.
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby Rainwater » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:59 am

I was never a big fan, he's obviously a talented filmmaker, but to me his talent is wasted on his sensibilities which don't match mine at all. I have enjoyed parts of his work before, but my favorite movie "of his" is one he only wrote, True Romance(which, I suspect, he would've ruined, had he directed it himself which almost happened). That being said, the above comments do make me want to check out Once Upon a Time.
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mtwentz
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby mtwentz » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:41 am

Was it just me, or did the coffee scene in Pulp Fiction "The Bonnie Situation" seem heavily influenced by Twin Peaks?
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AgentEcho
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby AgentEcho » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:04 pm

Rainwater wrote:I was never a big fan, he's obviously a talented filmmaker, but to me his talent is wasted on his sensibilities which don't match mine at all. I have enjoyed parts of his work before, but my favorite movie "of his" is one he only wrote, True Romance(which, I suspect, he would've ruined, had he directed it himself which almost happened). That being said, the above comments do make me want to check out Once Upon a Time.


I'd largely agree with this take, in that it is clear he is talented... his movies usually engaging, but especially with his most recent work, I'm not jiving with what he's trying to do. I'd split his career into two eras: the "contemporary crime film era" spanning from Reservoir Dogs to Kill Bill (or maybe his "Grindhouse" segment) and the "historical fantasy" era from Inglorious Basterds to the present. I did really like a lot of the contemporary crime films, with Jackie Brown being my favorite. It's been the historical fantasy era where my appreciation for his films have been sliding downwards. OUTH has all the same issues I have with the other films of that era, though it is indeed for the most part, a quieter film than the rest.

I'm sure there are folks who really jive with Tarantino and think Lynch is incoherent and pretentious... but had Lynch gone out of his way to trash Tarantino or another's work, I'd expect his critics to have a field day with it.
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Re: Tarantino criticism

Postby Cappy » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:33 am

AgentEcho wrote:Someone's going to have to explain to me what the cultural value is in narcissistic gonzo revisions of real life tragedy and trauma.


I had a similar reaction to Once Upon A Time... Within the context of the film itself, I don't really know what the point is in
Spoiler:
having a film that sets viewers up to expect the Sharon Tate murder, then deflects and has the would be killers meet a violent demise. What was the point in spending any time at all building up Sharon Tate as a presence in the film, if she only exists to greet Rick Dalton at the end of his story? I enjoyed the experience of watching the film immensely, it was a fun ride. But on a level, there was something almost hollow and empty about it. This didn't detract from my enjoyment of it, but it did push me to really think about the underlying subject matter.

The way I've been able to find meaning in this film is to reflect on the cultural/historical significance of the Manson murders. A common take is that these crimes ended the 60's, ended the hippie moment, and signified a turn from that zeitgeist to our current one of paranoia, fear, and mistrust. Of course, bad things happened prior to Charles Manson, but I can't help but think ever since then American culture has had a very weird fixation on violent crime. We live in a world today where people have imagined themselves as the victims (or potential victims) of violent crime so often that we can never truly interact with strangers without assuming the worst of them on some level. Maybe this is the fault of media coverage of violence, or the drug epidemic, or 9/11 influenced anxiety, or the proliferation of mass shootings, etc. But I see evidence for our culture of fear starting with Sharon Tate's murder.

And if Sharon Tate's death is what ruined a perceived age of innocence, then maybe a world in which she lives is a utopia, or at the very least the party of the 60's never ended. But the hippies and good vibes never went away. Maybe Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison never died. Maybe Roman Polanski never became a rapist. Maybe all the bad things that happened since then never happened at all. It's fun to speculate, but impossible to know. But when Rick Dalton walks up the driveway of 10500 Cielo Drive, she stands atop it, almost as a prize that signifies that end of the hero's journey. For Rick she symbolizes ascent or upward mobility in showbiz, but to American culture at large, maybe she stands for something we lost, something that maybe we can somehow access again.

Also, did anyone else find that final crane shot of Dalton walking up the driveway to be reminiscent of the final crane shot of Once Upon a Time in The West, where the camera pans of the new city cropping up in the railway's wake? I know that Tarantino loves Sergio Leone...


Anyway, that's how I find meaning in Tarantino's latest work. Maybe it's a stretch, but it works for me.

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