Tuesday, February 09, 2010

On Quentin Tarantino...and Mel Brooks?

From a Salon discussion about Quentin Tarantino. The participants in the exchange are film critics Jack Matthews and Anne Thompson:

Matthews: I don't see where any of this refutes my growing contention that Tarantino does not seem to have anything to say. Given, he is a master at regurgitating his vast movie knowledge in ways that are original to their genres. He has a terrific gift at writing movie dialogue, he casts his films with eccentric precision and he gives an audience its money's worth. But as far as I know from watching his movies, he's not contributing to the human experience outside of movies.

Thompson: Making entertaining, innovative, original, not-like-anything-else films is a contribution to the human experience. You seem to be asking for some kind of old-fashioned message/theme/educational value to Tarantino's moviemaking. Is that required?

Matthews: It's only required if someone wants to leave a legacy of greatness, which Q.T. confirmed with his London comments. No question, he has proven his greatness to his hardcore fans, among whose numbers many critics and film scholars can be counted. But in the 16 years since "Pulp Fiction," he has not come close to matching that film's brilliance. His movies, while enjoyable to watch, are self-indulgent games for him. If "Inglourious Basterds" is a great war movie, "Blazing Saddles" is a great Western. They're both fun but that's all they are. 

1 comment:

Thomas Garvey said...

Thompson only proves that Tarantino is a critic with a camera. Indeed, that's what critics love most about him.