A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Sunday, 28 February 2010
“Children will watch anything, and when a broadcaster uses crime and violence and other shoddy devices to monopolize a child's attention, it's worse than taking candy from a baby. It is taking precious time from the process of growing up.” - Newton N. Minow
Last weekend we saw Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film “Reservoir Dogs”, which was another of these movies that we had bought ages ago and did not want to watch until we were “in the right mood”. It proved to be the wrong day to watch it as it was a very bad experience. This is a movie that we did not enjoy seeing, and there is hardly anything good that I can say about it. Tarantino has been hailed as a genius in film-making, but I must say, his “work” is not my cup of tea. It is the cinema of a degenerate society in free-fall and his films highlight the decline of civilisation as we know it. The bad thing about his films is that they seemingly glorify this decline. Maybe it is irony and sarcasm, but it is lost on me as I refuse to be part of such a decline.
The “Kill Bill” duet (about to become a terrible trio with “Kill Bill III” announced for release in 2014) was equally distasteful to me. “Pulp Fiction” was another disappointment, as was “Death-Proof”. “Inglorious Basterds” is yet another such trashy offering pandering to the tastes of the lowest common denominator. I am not a fan of Quentin Tarantino, I think you have guessed…
Let me explain myself, perhaps in the context of “Reservoir Dogs”. The film tries to be “modern” and pushes all the “cinema nouveau” buttons (you know the ones, flash-backs, flash-forwards, flash-nowheres, flash-and-trash-because-this-story-is-not-interesting-enough-to-be-presented-linearly; it uses “unconventional” characters, it uses smarmy directorial tricks; it has foul language in every line of dialogue, etc, etc). It uses some big name actors who have jumped at the opportunity to be in a “cult-classic” by a young and up-coming writer-director (yes, Tarantino wrote the bloody thing as well!). It uses violence to shock and was planned to be controversial from its inception: “Let’s shock the viewing public into submission!” The trouble is that this trash won eight awards and six nominations…
It is a trite tale, that has been told again and again in a numerous other films (with less blood and violence and with not as much foul language). Apparently, this film is a copy of Chow Yun Fat’s “City On Fire”. A group of strangers, unknown to each other and all criminals, is assembled by a master-mind who plans a jewellery heist. It goes terribly wrong and there is a bloody aftermath. All of the criminals manage to kill each other or be killed by police; many police are killed and there is much needless, on-screen bloody violence. In the end, the moral of the story is that “crime pays” (at least for one criminal).
We loathed this offensive and disgusting film and saw it as a landmark of the decline of cinema as an art form. This was a pornographic film targetted towards sadists. Senseless violence for the sake of violence masquerading as “art” reminded me yet again of the tale of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”. I do not recommend you watch this movie, unless you are a sadist and love to see senseless violence because it turns you on. This was a pitiful, mind-rotting, inane waste of time that left a terrible taste in my mouth and made me shudder. The attempts at humour throughout fall flat and are in terrible taste. If this is what our society awards prizes to, pity us! It is the decline and fall of the Roman Empire all over again!
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.