The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Heretofore Unmentioned #71


Quentin Tarantino

16 comments :

Trader said...

He never got over the brilliant Pulp Fiction, unfortunately...

Kreisler said...

As ever, a reference to other images. What's the first use of the "I'll just shoot myself in the head" pose? Got a feeling there's a Diane Arbus photo of a kid doing it but it probably predates this.

estiv said...

The older I get, the more respect I have for Bob Dylan, because eventually he pulled out of his career/talent death spiral. So there's hope for Quentin Tarantino yet. Until then I'll just keep viewing Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction every so often, and watching each new release once, just in case.

TourqueYMada said...

Although tempted to yell Do it! Do it!, I
refrained.

And restrained myself.

I wish him well; I know that, in addition to a manic energy and a seemingly-endless supply of hot air, he has some thoughtfulness and some talent. And he not only loves moviemaking, he loves movies.

He can't be all bad.

Grindhouse notwithstanding . . . . .

Tommy O'C said...

"To steal from others or not to steal from others,
That was never the question..."

The despair of a man who's run out of auteurs to "pay homage" to...

Trader said...

A piece of art is always the product of some others. (thought from myself ;) )

Cinebeats said...

Never understood the hype but on a side note, can anyone explain to me why Tarantino is "mentoring" the kids on American Idol this week? I thought it was a joke when I first heard it but it seems to be true

Trader said...

maybe out of bore... :)

swac said...

Hey, I liked Jackie Brown...

Tommy O'C said...

Hey, I liked Jackie Brown...At the risk that you may have said this facetiously (or not), I'd say that Jackie Brown deserved a better reception. I just finished the Elmore Leonard novel it was based on, Rum Punch. Quite a bit was changed for the movie. Enough to keep it interesting reading. And the book was actually more violent.

It's almost like the "further adventures of the gang from Jackie Brown." Even though the book stands on its own merits, I can't take issue with any of the changes Tarantino made.

Except that he made it such a bendover-backwards vehicle for Pam Grier that some of the book's excitement may have been lost by playing up her role at the expense of the other characters. Then, again, I kept visualizing the movie's cast in my mind, so he must have got something right.

As in, Pam Grier.

Tom Sutpen said...

When I heard Tarantino was doing 'American Idol' my immediate thought was that it was some kind of early promotion for Inglourious Basterds. Then I remembered that film will be distributed by Universal, not 20th Century-Fox.

Bizarre.

They're either paying him very very very well for these appearances . . . or he owes somebody over at Fox a favor . . . or he jumps at any gig his agents hit him with . . . or he doesn't know what the term 'overexposure' means.

My guess: All four.

Jackie Brown is, to me, Tarantino's finest film to date . . . with Death Proof coming a not-distant second in my estimation.

Make of that what you will.

Huck Caton said...

I was the boom operator on something ("Sleep with Me," perhaps?) when QT dropped by to see his friends (who were making the picture, whatever it was) and to talk with the DP about shooting his upcoming feature. As I was sitting at the sound cart between setups explaining why the (Italian) sound mixer *needed* to see "Red River" before he died— Quentin jumped into the conversation with both feet and we ended up spending most of the night discussing the merits of Howard Hawks. (Turns out we were both big fans. Surprise.)

He insisted I read the script of his new project ("Pulp Fiction") which he just happened to have with him (!)—and that I should take it home if I didn't have time to finish before we wrapped for the night. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but he ended up acting in the movie and they needed him to come back the next day to finish the goofy ad-lib party scene we'd been doing.

I read the first twenty pages and decided I didn't need to take it anywhere *or* finish it as I didn't care much for the darn thing. (Shows how little I know, apparently.) The DP and I were sitting together at lunch for some strange reason and Tarantino decided he'd join us. His "date" was this very, um... *hard*-looking, crazy beautiful young woman dressed in a very tight Catholic girls' high school uniform with (apparently) no undergarments whatsoever. She spent the bulk of the evening sitting at the sound cart whist the mixer waited (not in vain, as I understand it) for a reasonably accurate reenactment of the "Basic Instinct" interrogation scene.

I remember Quentin being a hoot and fun to blab with. He was kind enough to advise me ahead of time whenever he thought he might yell in his scenes (a tip appreciated by boom men everywhere)—although he was so over the top in his performance, I couldn't imagine them using any of his stuff in the movie. Of course, I never saw the picture so perhaps he was amazing in it. After all, I wasn't even astute enough to see genius in "Pulp Fiction" when its creator was standing right in front of me with a copy fresh out of Kinko's!

Wouldn't mind seeing that "high school" gal again, though... I can tell you that much.

swac said...

Sleep With Me...is that the one where he gives his interpretation of Top Gun as the world's most homoerotic action movie?

And no facetiousness implied, I think Jackie Brown is a great film. Certainly one I can return to every now and then.

As for Inglourious Basterds, the trailer I saw made me cringe, but I know I'll still trudge out to see it in hopes of a flash of ... something.

Huck Caton said...

Hmmm… the Top Gun nonsense rings a bell (I think). Was Parker Posey on the receiving end—something about her personal grooming habits ("smooth as a baby seal")? Or did I dream all that?

I told Tarantino I thought his script was swell, although I doubt very much he cared *what* I thought of it.

I'm not entirely certain I've ever seen anything of his; too violent.

Tom Sutpen said...

You did not dream all that . . . and clearly Tarantino was permitted to develop his own material for that film, given that no one on earth would have written that 'Top Gun' bit other than he (adeed to which, this was a year before everybody and his brother in the American film industry started imitating him).

I would recommend you see Jackie Brown if none other (no facetiousness in my previous comment either, by the by). It is his best film, and the violence quotient is relatively low.

Huck Caton said...

Thanks, Tom, for the Jackie Brown recommendation—I'll check it out! Quentin may have roughed out the Top Gun business in his head but nothing was ever actually scripted for that scene. We shot loads of rubbish and Tarantino's was just more of that. I know camera rolled out a couple of times on Quentin, so it was impressive that he could go on for ten minutes or so (a full 1000' mag) spouting all this stuff about Top Gun or whatever else he had rolling around in his head. Some of it made the crew laugh (always a good sign) but most of it was an obviously smart guy trying too hard.

After we wrapped that night, some person was clever enough to realize that we didn't have really have any cutaways, so the thing wasn't going to cut very well. So, the next night (we were shooting something else at the same location) we re-staged the party and shot entrances/exits and cutaways to various folks. Tarentino came back for that. Sadly, without the "high school" gal. (Drat!)

As I said, I liked Quentin just fine and actually think I may have done pickups on one of his features a couple of years back. (Were there some goofy commercials or something in "Grindhouse"?) Is "Sleep With Me" worth seeing? I recall it was very hard to boom because 90% of it was unscripted and wireless booming was in its infancy. There was a crazy long 360 degree party scene around a pool (what was with all the party scenes, I wonder?) with the handheld camera swinging all over the place. My shoulders still hurt.