Monday, March 3, 2008


I just read the script of Tarantino's DeathProof last night from the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse double feature this past year. It still kills me that the movie didn't click with the American film-going audience. I'm all about breaking out of traditional percieved artistic media boundaries, and I was hoping this was gonna be the beginning of something bigger. Tarantino said in a interview that he would be happy to make grindhouseesque stuff for the rest of his life and that they might try to make the fake previews that seque from Planet Terror into Death Proof into Grindhouse 2, but I'm guessing that whole project's been shelved based on the returns they got on the first go round. Going with the dimishing returns of sequels (altough this certainly breaks out of the trad. concept of sequelation), it wouldn't be smart money betting on a next installment, which is just a shame. Personally, I really enjoyed both films, and thought the whole thing was just a raving, Bschter-schlocking good time. I can see how film-goers might get a little antsy though, as the whole thing clocked in at like three and a half hours. As someone who has on many occasions spent an entire day at the moviehouse going from one movie to the next to the next to the next, I've got no problems with length. It's all about the quality for me, and Grindhouse gave me no pause, which is strange because I'm not into Roger Corman or Dario Argento or much of the source stuff. I did like Vanishing Point and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry though. I dig on some car chases, but I'm getting away from myself here.
The criticisms of Deathproof tended to be that Tarantino is indulging himself too much, that the wandering dialogue was way over the top, and that he should've tightened up. I can see how that makes sense within the context of a 2 in 1 movie experience that they were trying to build, but otherwise I disagree. I thought that both films could've been tightened, and maybe that might've been worthwhile in so much as there really needed to be an intermission (w/ the let's all go to the lobby song which I think was actually from slightly before the grindhouse era, but whatever), but I think in their stand alone form, which apparently is how they're being packaged now probably as a means to try and recoup expenses and turn the whole project into a prosperous one, they could've both been given a chance to stretch their legs a little more. I for one love Tarantino's writing. I think he's not just witty, but much like Mamet's early stage work, really captured the cadences of actual speech, if from specific social groupings. Think about it. What is it that's so great about Pulp Fiction? Those conversations between Jules and Vincent about foot massages and travelling in Europe, Vincent's awkard date with Mia, Fabienne and Butch talking about their future; then there's still all the violence and craziness inflected stuff too. He takes a language of real people and then puts it through the pulp grinder. I for one, dig it.

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