Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Evolution of a Film Cultist

You can plot the development of most film cultists of the past two generations based almost entirely on their attitudes towards Quentin Tarantino, roughly using the spectrum below:

1) [Pop Culture Recluse] Never heard of Tarantino or not seen his films.
2) [Rising Enthusiast] Watched some or all Tarantino movies and loves them. Quotes films in front of friends before exchanging high fives.
3) [Snobby Elitist] Hates Tarantino and calls him a thief. Loudly plugs the obscure movies he steals from and praises lesser known directors who do essentially the same postmodern thing but aren’t as well known. Resents his popularity.
4) [Cynical Veteran] Has seen all Tarantino movies and finds them enjoyable and energetic. Well versed in Tarantino’s influences and accepting of his work as intelligently derivative. Occasionally sighs about endless imitators and minor news stories about Tarantino grandstanding (as well as when he smears his name on everything he funds, distributes or approves of).

Basically people at all four levels can be annoying in their own way. #2s scorn #1s. #3s scoff aloofly at #2s. I’ve been in all four positions at one time or another but am currently a #4 getting really sick and tired of #3s.

My dislike of #3s has been exacerbated lately with the upcoming release (April 6, 2007) of “Grindhouse” and the handful of highbrow and elitist critics pre-hating it for really childish reasons. It makes some cultural watchdogs unhappy that the general public occasionally doesn’t need their services to dig up a particularly stylish or interesting auteur. Yes, Tarantino has an enormous ego and borrows/steals from lesser known films, but he’s contrived to provide two feature length films of nearly surefire entertainment value far the price of one. What’s not to love?


Mad Dog said...

Rose McGowan?

FilmWalrus said...

I object! Rose McGowan seems a rather inspired casting choice, not really for talent sake but as an aesthetic fit. I feel like the decision to link a modern exploitation starlet to the era of that spawned exploitation films is a witty idea.

Besides, I don't think the role calls for the acting chops of Maggie Smith or Judi Dench. I wouldn't be surprised if the script notes called for "goth hot" or "satanic... yet sexy" and going for Maggie Smith once again for such a role would just be too obvious.

Unknown said...

I agree with your divisions and analysis...but we've had that discussion before.

Sometimes you still need to be a little bit three, like when he says/does especially crass things.

Oh wells.

Mad Dog said...

Well if anything is modern exploitation trash, it's Charmed.

Patti said...

I think I'm an ignorant #4, but I haven't seen enough films to legitimately carry the sort of opinions I sort of have.