View Poll Results: ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD

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

  1. #101
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Maybe because it is a '90s indie, whereas Once Upon a Time... is a 2019 studio production and will seem as much a product of its time in twenty-five years as Pulp Fiction does today--which is not a bad thing anymore than saying that The Maltese Falcon feels like a '40s Warner Bros. film or that Middlemarch reads like a 19th century English novel.
    Except OUATIH doesn't really feel like anything out of 2019. The cranes and dollies feel very much (appropriately) like Sergio Leone plopped down in 1969 Hollywood. Pulp Fiction has fine direction, but there's lots of handheld strolling down hallway shots and such. I realize some of this is crew talent + $$$ to be more ambitious on Hollywood but that's not everything. Tarantino is leaning into visuals and leaning less into dialogue to tell the story.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 11-25-2019 at 07:47 AM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Uncut Gems - 6
    1917 - 7
    A Hidden Life - 10
    Little Women 2k19 - 7
    The Rise of Skywalker - 6
    Home Alone - 5
    Richard Jewell - 8
    Marriage Story - 8
    The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6

  2. #102
    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    Except OUATIH doesn't really feel like anything out of 2019. The cranes and dollies feel very much (appropriately) like Sergio Leone plopped down in 1969 Hollywood. Pulp Fiction has fine direction, but there's lots of handheld strolling down hallway shots and such. I realize some of this is crew talent + $$$ to be more ambitious on Hollywood but that's not everything. Tarantino is leaning into visuals and leaning less into dialogue to tell the story.
    Just comparing the clips Tarantino uses from The Great Escape and The Wrecking Crew, there's a clear difference between those images and the rest of the movie in terms of film stock, lighting, makeup, etc. Crane shots aside, Once Upon a Time... simply doesn't look like a movie from 1969 (which is not to say that it needs to). Tarantino's film is certainly distinctive in the context of contemporary Hollywood cinema, but to claim that the film somehow transcends its own time is a bit much.

    The other claim you're making, which doesn't seem to follow from the previous in any way whatsoever, is that Once Upon a Time... relies more on the physical action to tell its story than the dialogue. Personally, both this movie and Pulp Fiction strike me as pretty talky, but more to the point, I don't subscribe to the notion that physical action is inherently more cinematic than dialogue. Incidentally, movies from 1969 also had a tendency toward talkiness (Le Gai savoir, Katzelmacher, and Ma nuit chez Maud are three extreme, non-Hollywood examples, but one could also point to Take the Money and Run).
    Last edited by baby doll; 11-25-2019 at 05:36 PM.
    Just because...
    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, 2019) mild
    Golden Eighties (Chantal Akerman, 1986) cold
    Till We Meet Again (Kawashima Yuzo, 1955) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Cinema, Censorship, and the State: The Writings of Nagisa Oshima, 1956-1978 by Oshima Nagisa


    The (New) World

  3. #103
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    The other claim you're making, which doesn't seem to follow from the previous in any way whatsoever, is that Once Upon a Time... relies more on the physical action to tell its story than the dialogue. Personally, both this movie and Pulp Fiction strike me as pretty talky, but more to the point, I don't subscribe to the notion that physical action is inherently more cinematic than dialogue. Incidentally, movies from 1969 also had a tendency toward talkiness (Le Gai savoir, Katzelmacher, and Ma nuit chez Maud are three extreme, non-Hollywood examples, but one could also point to Take the Money and Run).
    I would strongly argue that, yes, Sergio Leone or Peter Yates is inherently more cinematic than Godard or Rohmer (esp. the La Chinoise + Le Gai Savoir era Godard which are extremely didactic by design) just like I would strongly argue that Holy Motors or Mad Max: Fury Road are inherently more cinematic than, oh I dunno, The Class or Primer or something.

    I think QT isn't as married to or in love with his dialogue as he used to be and is thinking more visually than before. There's lots of dialogue in Hollywood, sure, but it feels lived in and incidental rather than this famous scene, for example (which feels like it is all about the tete-a-tete dialogue as the camera is locked down on the side of the car).

    Last edited by Pop Trash; 11-25-2019 at 07:50 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Uncut Gems - 6
    1917 - 7
    A Hidden Life - 10
    Little Women 2k19 - 7
    The Rise of Skywalker - 6
    Home Alone - 5
    Richard Jewell - 8
    Marriage Story - 8
    The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6

  4. #104
    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    I would strongly argue that, yes, Sergio Leone or Peter Yates is inherently more cinematic than Godard or Rohmer (esp. the La Chinoise + Le Gai Savoir era Godard which are extremely didactic by design) just like I would strongly argue that Holy Motors or Mad Max: Fury Road are inherently more cinematic than, oh I dunno, The Class or Primer or something.

    I think QT isn't as married to or in love with his dialogue as he used to be and is thinking more visually than before. There's lots of dialogue in Hollywood, sure, but it feels lived in and incidental rather than this famous scene, for example (which feels like it is all about the tete-a-tete dialogue as the camera is locked down on the side of the car).
    I don't see how the dialogue in that sequence is less lived in or incidental than, say, the scene of Brad Pitt and Andie MacDowell's daughter talking in car in Once Upon a Time..., which likewise shows two people having a rambling conversation in the front seat of a moving car.

    As to the larger point of what is or isn't cinematic, there's no reason to think film has an essence, much less that that essence is visual storytelling. What matters, whether it's a dialogue scene or an action scene, is the cinematic intelligence evident in the staging, cutting, and mixing of the sequence. In the case of Godard's La Chinoise, his cinematic intelligence comes through mainly in the juxtaposition of different discrete elements.



    Also, it's not clear to me why didacticism is opposed to visual storytelling. One could illustrate a didactic point through images just as well as through words.
    Just because...
    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, 2019) mild
    Golden Eighties (Chantal Akerman, 1986) cold
    Till We Meet Again (Kawashima Yuzo, 1955) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Cinema, Censorship, and the State: The Writings of Nagisa Oshima, 1956-1978 by Oshima Nagisa


    The (New) World

  5. #105
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Also, it's not clear to me why didacticism is opposed to visual storytelling. One could illustrate a didactic point through images just as well as through words.
    But he doesn't? That scene is JPL blathering on and on like a college professor. It probably doesn't help that I think Mao Ze Dung was a piece of shit who killed tens of millions of his own people, but that's neither here nor there.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Uncut Gems - 6
    1917 - 7
    A Hidden Life - 10
    Little Women 2k19 - 7
    The Rise of Skywalker - 6
    Home Alone - 5
    Richard Jewell - 8
    Marriage Story - 8
    The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6

  6. #106
    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    But he doesn't? That scene is JPL blathering on and on like a college professor. It probably doesn't help that I think Mao Ze Dung was a piece of shit who killed tens of millions of his own people, but that's neither here nor there.
    First of all, I don't think one can take La Chinoise as an unambiguous endorsement of French Maoists (the film ends with Anne Wiazemsky's character committing a stupid murder because she walked into the wrong apartment). In the clip, the film's ambivalent attitude toward French radicals of the period can be seen in the juxtaposition of Léaud's monologue with the non-diegetic cutaways that both illustrate and mock the argument he's making. In other words, instead of becoming less cinematic by virtue of being so talky, the film makes talkiness cinematic.
    Just because...
    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, 2019) mild
    Golden Eighties (Chantal Akerman, 1986) cold
    Till We Meet Again (Kawashima Yuzo, 1955) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Cinema, Censorship, and the State: The Writings of Nagisa Oshima, 1956-1978 by Oshima Nagisa


    The (New) World

  7. #107
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Oh shit. Brilliant. From start to finish. More later. God damn.

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  8. #108
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    I think QT isn't as married to or in love with his dialogue as he used to be and is thinking more visually than before.
    I got this sense too! Mostly through this entire film which is telling a story with swoopying crane wipes and ambient noise, radio chatter and non-speaking communication (the hippie hitchhikers). Compare this to RD or PF and it's night and day. That scene you posted is a perfect example, as would the diner scene in Death Proof, or any scene in Reservoir Dogs.

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  9. #109
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I know it's commonplace to say these days, but Leo deserves an Academy Award for this performance. The entire one shot playing out the scene with Timothy Olyphant, going back in forth between (being an actor), playing an actor, coming in and out of character, hamming it up... that might be his best scene ever.

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  10. #110
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I know it's commonplace to say these days, but Leo deserves an Academy Award for this performance. The entire one shot playing out the scene with Timothy Olyphant, going back in forth between (being an actor), playing an actor, coming in and out of character, hamming it up... that might be his best scene ever.
    I agree. I think it's his best performance to date, which means the Academy will ignore it and give him another award when he makes Jeremiah Johnson 2049.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Uncut Gems - 6
    1917 - 7
    A Hidden Life - 10
    Little Women 2k19 - 7
    The Rise of Skywalker - 6
    Home Alone - 5
    Richard Jewell - 8
    Marriage Story - 8
    The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6

  11. #111
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    The entire one shot playing out the scene with Timothy Olyphant, going back in forth between (being an actor), playing an actor, coming in and out of character, hamming it up... that might be his best scene ever.
    This was my favorite scene in the movie, partially because I got so wrapped up in the show-within-a-movie that I forgot the larger story, and partially because DiCaprio switches gears within the scene so effortlessly.

    I like that Leo isn't afraid to look foolish or play weak men.

  12. #112
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    This was my favorite scene in the movie, partially because I got so wrapped up in the show-within-a-movie that I forgot the larger story, and partially because DiCaprio switches gears within the scene so effortlessly.
    Totally. I was trying to unwind the story inside the movie that I completely forgot about what this movie was actually about. It just sucked me right in.

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  13. #113
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I dug it, but an odd movie. Some of its scenes just...exist. They can even be entertaining, but some don't seem to go anywhere or contribute to the overall. Not a negative really...just a thought on first viewing. This is one I definitely need to see more than once to digest. Pitt and DiCaprio together are the best bits of the film. When it goes away from them together, I was less entertained.

  14. #114
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    I agree. I think it's his best performance to date, which means the Academy will ignore it and give him another award when he makes Jeremiah Johnson 2049.
    I donno man Jeremiah Johnson 2049 sounds cool to me.

    All kidding aside I agree. However Pitt is more likely to get an Oscar nom push imo. Especially since he has never won an acting Oscar.
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  15. #115
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Pitt’s in a different category, though. He’s in supporting, while Leo’s in lead. So no reason they couldn’t both get a push.

  16. #116
    MadMan Lives MadMan's Avatar
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    True. Also both Sam Rockwell and Woody were nominated for 3 Billboards. I almost forgot that.
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