Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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I Sez: That’s Enough Quentin Tarantino

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on September 28, 2007

TV sweep continues tomorrow, goddamn college/social life/slow Torrent speeds

So by now most if not all of you have most likely heard–Quentin Tarantino is currently planning an excursion into erotica for his next major picture. Sez Tarantino: “If I actually do an erotic movie, I’m going to have to reveal what I find sexy, what turns me on. And when it comes to sex in movies, it’s got to be kind of kinky, because that’s what’s cinematic, that’s what’s fun. Everything else is just – shagging.” Unsurprisingly, Captain Quent intends the movie as a throwback to the soft-core European sex movies of–you guessed it–the 1970s.

Now, to my memory, Tarantino has shot but one sex scene in his entire life. Tony Scott directed the hott Slater-on-Arquette action in True Romance, and the Bruce Willis-Maria de Medeiros scene in Pulp Fiction fades out before things get really interesting, so the sole representative of Tarantino’s erotic verve is the hilarious, if sexually uninspired, spontaneous screwing between Bridget Fonda and Robert DeNiro in Jackie Brown (“Wanna fuck?” “Yeah…yeah, that’d be great”). But that isn’t really what worries me about this announcement, and somehow, neither is the idea of anything involving both butter and Michael Madsen.

What bothers me is that Tarantino felt the need to announce what his next picture would be at all–not the plot, not the cast, but just the retro genre to be fetishized, which basically is all QT needs. This is a familiar pattern. For the last ten years, Tarantino has essentially done nothing but very specific 70s throwbacks–the blaxploitation one (’97’s Jackie Brown), the kung-fu one (Kill Bill 1 & 2), the Girndhouse road chase one (Death Proof) and now the porno drama (God I can’t wait to see the title). These movies are all awesome–in fact, sometimes I think Jackie Brown is the man’s best flick–but his inability to stop looking backwards in his films gets a little harder to digest each time.

Why doesn’t Quentin Tarantino ever just make, like, a movie? I mean, yeah, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were clearly influenced by specific genres, and yeah, a lot of their inspiration came from the 70s, but they couldn’t be traced back as specific tributes to any one genre, and consequently, they deservedly earned Tarantino the rep of being one of the country’s most unique and most distinctly modern directors. But now it seems like Tarantino is unable to find a starting point for his movies that isn’t firmly rooted in the past–the man’s constant quest to relive the cinematic glory days of his youth has officially crossed the line from charming into the territory of the somewhat depressing.

Maybe what Tarantino really needs is to choose to direct someone else’s script. With the Kill Bills and Death Proof having scripts that were, at least compared to previous efforts, decidedly on the slight side, Tarantino’s latest movies have been little but opportunities for directorial virtuosity. If Tarantino could apaply his new tricks to a script that was actually fairly interesting, he could easily come out with his best movie in a decade. Get Shane Black on it or something.With much of the dregs of 70s filmmaking trends still untapped–the disaster film especially seems like an all-too-likely likely suspect for a future QT project–Tarantino needs to get back to making actual movies sooner rather than later. He doesn’t even need to listen to me about it–just see the disappointing returns, now matter how it’s been cut, for Death Proof for further evidence. You’ve lived in the same decade for over 30 years now. It’s time to grow up a little, Quentin.

3 Responses to “I Sez: That’s Enough Quentin Tarantino”

  1. kyle said

    i certainly expect him to break any current cinematic records for “erotic shots of bare feet” with this one. foot fetishists should be all over it.

  2. Al said

    The warm reception to the turgid “Death Proof” only encouraged him.

  3. Justin said

    Kill Bill is one of the best Late Period films ever released. It’s like if Bruce Springsteen released Born to Run in 2006. Not like he’s in his late period, but he might be.

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