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Thread: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

  1. #26
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    If any of you are familiar with Karina Longworth's podcast You Must Remember This, the Manson season from a couple of years back was excellent. The concept of the podcast is that it can spend an episode exploring all the interesting things that intersect with a small part of the larger topic of the season. So it had a whole episode just about the film history of the western movie set that later became the Family's home. There's also one episode about his friendship with The Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson and their long attempt to get Manson a record deal (it involved ordering his young female followers to do sexual favors for LA's music industry people). One thing that I always found bafflingly underplayed in pop culture and history's assessment of Charles Manson is how utterly fucking racist he is--people glum on the crazy hippie cult leader thing, glossing over the fact that his main objective for his cult was that they would bring back black slavery.

    I assume any of these aspects would be entry points for Tarantino. Which is why I'm really hoping it's not just about the Tate murders, which is usually the only aspect dramatizations and fictionalizations of Manson ever really mine from.
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  2. #27
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Forgot who said it on Twitter, but it almost seems more apt to be a PTA movie than Tarantino.

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  3. #28
    По́мните Катю... Izzy Black's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    My initial instinct is that this may not be a good idea. But he's successfully navigated tricky terrain before, so we'll see. In Django, he sided with a freed slave. With Basterds, he put us on the side of Nazi-killers. Hopefully he'll find a way to similarly make this palatable.
    How is this tricky? I mean you kind of explain below, given that he's stepping foot in the slave narrative and Holocaust narrative tradition with genre films, but as a genre film, it's not tricky at all. They're masterfully executed revenge narratives where the audience identifies with victims of the worst atrocities imaginable. That's why I'm skeptical about how this film is going to work. If it's not a revenge narrative, then I can see it. But I imagine it would have to be something quite unlike what he's done before.

  4. #29
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I'm also a bit baffled by the adoration of Manson as a counter-culture hero of sorts. Even leaving aside the brutal murdering, his motivation was unfounded narcissism and wounded ego. He essentially instigated the Tate murders because a music producer realized he was out of his mind and went back on a record deal. Doesn't sound very anti-establishment to me.

    Quote Quoting Izzy Black
    If it's not a revenge narrative, then I can see it. But I imagine it would have to be something quite unlike what he's done before.
    The Devil's Rejects is sort of the Manson story played as a revenge film, and I don't think QT's ego would allow him to do something that another director has done before and so recently. It's still Zombie's best film, by the way.

  5. #30
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    The Devil's Rejects is sort of the Manson story played as a revenge film, and I don't think QT's ego would allow him to do something that another director has done before and so recently. It's still Zombie's best film, by the way.
    I think of it more of a horror film than a traditional revenge narrative, and not a particularly good movie either. The revenge narrative almost always works in virtue of the audience's capacity to identify with the protagonist and feel they've been so wronged that it justifies explosive acts of violence (at least on the screen).

  6. #31
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I don't think QT's ego would allow him to do something that another director has done before and so recently.
    I will say it may be similar enough for this to be true, but I think more than that, I just don't see how a revenge narrative works here. Even when he's not doing revenge, the violent actors in his films either find redemption or experience great misfortune in a way that's cathartic for the audience. I don't know what his angle is going to be on this story, but the violence in his films is almost always framed in this way (i.e. toward some morally cathartic release).

  7. #32
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Eh, I really like Devil's Rejects. I used to be all hyped up about Zombie based on his first two films and everything else afterwards disappointed me except for that Superbeasto flick.

    The catharsis in that film is a little bit more complicated than in the Tarantino epics. Audience identification should probably go to the sheriff played by William Forsythe based on human decency, but since he's basically a stereotype of fascist redneck and the Rejects are a family of misfits who care for each other I think most audiences find themselves caring for them even as they gruesomely kill and maim innocent people for a good half of the runtime. I don't know if all that is intentional but there it is.

  8. #33
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    Quote Quoting Izzy Black (view post)
    How is this tricky? I mean you kind of explain below, given that he's stepping foot in the slave narrative and Holocaust narrative tradition with genre films, but as a genre film, it's not tricky at all. They're masterfully executed revenge narratives where the audience identifies with victims of the worst atrocities imaginable. That's why I'm skeptical about how this film is going to work. If it's not a revenge narrative, then I can see it. But I imagine it would have to be something quite unlike what he's done before.
    Tarantino is known for an embrace of stylized violence coupled with flippant humor. Unless he finds the right artistic angle, this could be really a poor match considering the gruesomeness and the specificity of the horror. With Nazis or slave owners, we're talking about a large movement of badness. It's easier to plug in your rewrite of history. The Manson case is specific with a very specific set of atrocities that happened to very specific people. It will have to be a different film than he's done before.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
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  9. #34
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Tarantino is known for an embrace of stylized violence coupled with flippant humor. Unless he finds the right artistic angle, this could be really a poor match considering the gruesomeness and the specificity of the horror. With Nazis or slave owners, we're talking about a large movement of badness. It's easier to plug in your rewrite of history. The Manson case is specific with a very specific set of atrocities that happened to very specific people. It will have to be a different film than he's done before.
    I agree with this, which is why I don't think IB and DU are any obvious indication or precedent that the task ahead is a comparable challenge.

  10. #35
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    Quote Quoting Izzy Black (view post)
    I agree with this, which is why I don't think IB and DU are any obvious indication or precedent that the task ahead is a comparable challenge.
    I mention them only as evidence that, despite his reputation as a provocateur and exploiter of violence, he understands what it's like to be a moviegoer and to want to see some semblance of hope in humanity.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  11. #36
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I mention them only as evidence that, despite his reputation as a provocateur and exploiter of violence, he understands what it's like to be a moviegoer and to want to see some semblance of hope in humanity.
    Absolutely. But I'm not sure how he's going to be able to navigate this one. It was easy to see with those, even before I knew the plot details, because they're clearly from the point of view of the victims. Doesn't matter if he went the revisionist route or not, or even how particular the cases are.

  12. #37
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    Eh, I really like Devil's Rejects. I used to be all hyped up about Zombie based on his first two films and everything else afterwards disappointed me except for that Superbeasto flick.

    The catharsis in that film is a little bit more complicated than in the Tarantino epics. Audience identification should probably go to the sheriff played by William Forsythe based on human decency, but since he's basically a stereotype of fascist redneck and the Rejects are a family of misfits who care for each other I think most audiences find themselves caring for them even as they gruesomely kill and maim innocent people for a good half of the runtime. I don't know if all that is intentional but there it is.
    It doesn't work for me. I don't see the catharsis in the sense I've described in QT's films. I'm not a fan of the film, but I should note that in horror, what I'm talking about is often not even the goal at all. I'm talking specifically about a kind of emotional relief arrived at from our identification with the moral outrage that informs certain acts of violence. In QT's films, we get characters that are pretty easy to root for because of the injustice done to them. I'm curious to see how QT can incorporate this approach to violence in this next work, if this is indeed his next work.

  13. #38
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I mention them only as evidence that, despite his reputation as a provocateur and exploiter of violence, he understands what it's like to be a moviegoer and to want to see some semblance of hope in humanity.
    There is none of that in Hateful Eight though, part of the reason I didn't like it too much.

  14. #39
    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    I would hope they don't reenact the murders at all if this gets made.
    I'm in this boat. I think Tarantino's generally been masterful at finding a palatable entry-point for his audience, but I don't see how he finds an artistic angle on this that works. Avoiding that depiction altogether would be an interesting flip of expectation coming off the brutal Hateful Eight, which had some violent scenes that I would agree skirted past the line of being artistically meaningful.

    Stylistically, I think this has the potential to be really interesting for Tarantino given the 60s LA setting and the types of characters involved. But otherwise, definitely think this is really tricky terrain. A little more apprehensive than excited here, but to his credit, Tarantino consistently surprises me in a good way.
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  15. #40
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    It depends on the moviegoer. I really don't mind a nihilistic perspective on life which is why I enjoyed Hateful Eight.

  16. #41
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Notable in this conversation is that though it is essentially a Holocaust revenge fantasy, there are no scenes of Nazi atrocities in Inglourious Basterds.

  17. #42
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Devils Rejects sucks.

  18. #43
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    My usual pattern with Tarantino movies is something like ...

    2-5 years of "Oh, good grief, I'm getting so tired of the hype over this movie. What a dopey premise. What a pretentious title. It's going to be a schlocky mess."

    2 1/2 hours of "Holy crap, this is wildly entertaining."
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  19. #44
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    Notable in this conversation is that though it is essentially a Holocaust revenge fantasy, there are no scenes of Nazi atrocities in Inglourious Basterds.
    The opening scene?

  20. #45
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    The opening scene?
    Talking more specifically Holocaust imagery.

  21. #46
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    He definitely reveled in antebellum slave imagery and tropes, though, so I don't think that was necessarily a conscious choice to avoid it. I also thought that cooking the Nazi command in a confined chamber was meant to be an ironic subversion of the holocaust.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  22. #47
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    The film has the trappings of a Nazi / WWII war movie that primarily focuses on the military occupation and activities of Nazi Germany in France, but I'm not sure that I would discount the opening scene as Holocaust imagery (I'm assuming you're thinking primarily of things like shots of concentration camps in saying this?). The opening scene has the structure of a common Holocaust narrative and particularly brings to mind Anne Frank, arguably the most famous Holocaust victim.

  23. #48
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    I'm wrong.

  24. #49
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    It's also a fantastic scene, but with a fictional character.

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  25. #50
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    What Izzy said. That scene also features a French character forced to obey the invaders of his country, which works in a way as a symbol of the whole occupation.

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