Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino Panned as the Hacks They Are

Richard Spencer says that "there’s really nothing much to Machete besides a catalogue of depraved and predictably left-wing outrages" — Latino Violence is Sexy. "Now, one could accuse me of being a prude and taking Machete too seriously," the reviewer writes. "I should just enjoy the film as a grotesque ballet and laugh when Machete severs off arms and legs or, in one memorable scene, eviscerates a man and then swings through a glass window on his small intestine.

Referenced is Steve Sailer's review of Rodriguez' mentor's film from last year — Kill Adolf. In it, the revioewer says the director "would also have served admirably as the Idea Man in the Ministry of Truth’s Fiction Department," offering this "extract from Winston Smith’s diary that’s Tarantinoesque avant la lettre:"
    April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him. First you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water. Audience shouting with laughter when he sank.

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Anonymous Abdul Alhazred said...

I won't defend Rodriguez -- though I truly enjoyed The Faculty -- but as for Tarantino?

Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown (especially), and Death Proof remain great favorites of mine -- I'm less enthused about Kill Bill, though I adore Tarantino's soundtrack choices.

Inglourious Basterds had its moments -- most especially the finale in the movie theater -- but yes, I could have done without some of the excessive violence (head bashings, scalpings) -- but loved the use of David Bowie's song Cat People (Putting Out Fire) for a story set in 1944...

I'm certainly not against violence per se in films -- I'm still fascinated by the final shoot-out in Scorsese's Taxi Driver -- but I felt even Scorsese was taking things too far in his very flawed film Gangs of NY, a film I am unlikely to ever watch again.

(Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Casino, however -- I can watch again...and again...and again...)

12:49 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I just saw a story about Scorcese's homage to Elia Kazan. Really, can't violence be depicted as it was in Kazan's day, off scene (obscene as it was with the Greeks)?

Sailer's Orwell quote was an eye-opener to me. I always thought Huxley got it more right, but Orwell was truly prophetic when it came to film violence, and audiences cheering it on. Huxley got the sex part right.

Imagine, were heading toward a synthesis of Orwellian and Huxleyan dystopianism! Malthusian belts and a boot stamping on a human face - forever!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


When I first read that passage from Nineteen Eighty-Four, I wondered whether Winston was describing a movie or a news reel.

If I recall correctly, there is a similar use of media in A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. When Alex is being conditioned, he is made to watch videos depicting "ultra-violence;" and he notes that the "movies" seem a lot like footage of beatings and abuse that weren't merely staged, but which really happened.

I had to read Orwell, Huxley and Burgess in a paper on fictional dystopias, which has turned out to be the most relevant course of study I ever had. (Other assigned writers were H.G. Wells and Samuel Butler. Who could have guessed that pessimistic SF would turn out to be the most prophetic literature of the modern world?)

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I offer no defense of Rodriguez. For a dissenting view on Tarantino, however, see

-- Nephi Pelagius

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or google "Andy Nowicki We Are all Basterds Now"

11:52 AM  

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