Monday Face/Off: Quentin Tarantino

Carlotta (has ‘Lick These, Quent’ tattooed on her toes):

Quentin Tarantino is like a beloved childhood toy; he doesn’t get worse as it gets older, he gets better, more cherished, valuable, sentimental even. His films are like a hot bath with scented candles and the soothing background tones of Joe Tex; they’re not your everyday bath, but a I’m-going-to-set-aside-time-tonight-to-indulge-in-a-luxurious-bath type bath. So when his films come along, you can afford to splash out on the premier seats because you know, YOU KNOW, it’s going to be amazing and you’re going to cry with love and satisfaction, because what you’re witnessing is an experience not just a film; you feel part of every one of his genres, be it martial arts or historical thriller, because every minute detail is planned out. In fact, a hot bath with scented candles and soothing background music is too clichéd for the likes of Tarantino, whose films are anything but. Even his name makes him sound like a Casanova, if we forget for a minute his actual face. All in all, Tarantino is our favourite bedtime story. How d’ya like them apples, Flossie?

 

Flossie (keeps a katana above her bed to remind herself that suicide > populism):

So I’ll start by saying that I don’t have any major beef with Tarantino’s films. I liked Pulp Fiction and I agree that it’s a ‘modern classic’. It deserved to win the Palme d’Or in 1995. But, it’s the fact that every time Tarantino releases a new film everyone seems to lose their minds praising the guy like he’s some kind of genius and ultimately, they’re only referring to a handful of (admittedly entertaining) spaghetti westerns and grindhouse flicks. I’m just not entirely convinced he’s worthy of all that attention. He’s overrated. There I said it.

 

Carlotta:

First of all, a ‘handful’ of entertaining films? My dear Flossie, please indulge me by naming a Tarantino film that doesn’t do it for you, and maybe I’ll let you off. But I probably won’t, because you’re wrong on every level. I cannot think of a single Tarantino flick, whether he wrote or directed or even starred in it, that didn’t make it in at least one person’s Top 10. So when people ‘lose their minds’ over his films it’s because there literally ISN’T a bad Tarantino film, so I don’t blame them and in fact I’d fling my bra in wild exhilaration at Tino if he passed me by. Also, I’ve already got you on the fact that you admittedly find his films entertaining. Did you know he also worked on Sin City? And I know that you like that film. And what about True Romance? Natural Born Killers? Boom.

 

Flossie:

His films are cool, I get it, but are they anything else? Do his films actually MEAN anything? He seems to be obsessed with the blaxploitation era, with Samuel L. Jackson being his mouthpiece in several of his films, but do black people even like his films? Spike Lee doesn’t. He’s spoken out before about Tarantino’s use of the ‘n word’, saying it’s disrespectful and he finds it insulting, and now Tarantino is making action figures of black slaves so people can ‘play slavery’. What makes Tarantino feel like he has the right? Is he trying to be an honorary black man? Not cool.

 

Carlotta:

He is an ARTIST! Tarantino has already spoken out about his use of the n-word because he has rights as a writer and those rights mean that he can be anything or anyone he likes. Are you saying white people can’t write as black people? Also, blaxploitation schmaxploitation. Spike Lee’s opinion doesn’t count; he’s over-sensitive and reading WAY too much into it. I’m half German and I didn’t get offended with his use of Nazism and German stereotypes in Inglourious Basterds, it just is what it is. And if his films mean anything? Well, who cares if they don’t. Jurassic Park doesn’t mean anything and it’s still amazing. Thus, meaning does not come hand in hand with quality. OVER AND OUT.

 

Flossie:

I’m not saying white people can’t write on behalf of black people, I’m just making the point that a lot of people are offended by the ‘n word’. Anyway, bra waving aside, Tarantino is completely one-note. If you love ultra-violent movies, as you clearly do, then Tarantino’s collection would contain more gems than the crown jewels. However, if like me you’re looking for something else, a little drama, a little worldly wise, then you would see that Tarantino doesn’t get any better than badass entertainment. He’s a gifted screenwriter, and he has a massive fanbase, but in director-terms, he overshadows far more deserving filmmakers in terms of popularity and recognition.

Plus, why would you wave your bra for Tarantino? The guy is weird. The whole world knows about his foot fetish (very strange) and now he has had some kind of insane outburst on Channel 4, shouting about how he is NOT A MONKEY – he’s crazy people! Talented or not, he clearly has anger management issues.

 

Carlotta:

And how wonderfully do those psychological complexities influence in his films? He’s insane, but so was Van Gogh and the guy cut off his bloody ear, for Pete’s sake. But Van Gogh was deemed a genius too (albeit not in his lifetime). Before I start comparing Tarantino to Einstein, if it’s a period drama you’re searching for then, sure, look no further than Keira Knightley’s filmography and zzzzzz…. oh, sorry, I seem to have fallen asleep mid-sentence because HOW BORING. Certainly, I want a bit of action, drama and full-throttle BADASS thrown in my face and that’s exactly what Taratino delivers. But what about those small moments of emotional perfection? Like the moment Vernita Green’s daughter in Kill Bill witnesses Uma Thurman’s character kill her mother in front of her eyes? That lost look, that complete daze in the little girl’s eyes, that’s drama right there baby! And yes, I would wave my bra whilst wearing another bra and top (because I’m not really that kooky) and wave it in front of Tino because he so completely doesn’t care what anyone, mainly Hollywood, really thinks even if he IS stark raving mad. That’s true artist right now. Love love love <3

 

Flossie:

Ok, so you’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t watched Kill Bill 2 – I couldn’t be bothered sitting through it after the headache that was volume 1. It was just one long bloody massacre. I asked myself, who are the lunatics that revel in this kind of a bloodbath? Should I be afraid of them in public? Are they closet serial killers? ARE YOU, CARLOTTA???

 

Carlotta:

Yes, I am in fact a serial killer. See how well I’ve hidden it from you? That's because I LEARNED IT FROM TARANTINO.

Bloodbath indeed, but saying watching violent films makes you a serial killer is like saying watching rom-coms makes you a sentimental SCHMUTZ with unrealistic expectations in love and men. And, by the way, you really should watch Kill Bill Vol. II. How can you leave it on such a cliffhanger TOPPING?!?!

 

Flossie:

Maybe he’s an artist of cruelty, I’ll give him that. But I don’t think we should applaud that like monkeys (whoops, did I sound like Tarantino there?). He’s just an indicator of how popular taste has sunk, like people going crazy over Inception like it was the best film of the century- WATCH MORE FILMS PEOPLE! So yeah, I’ll go and see Django Unchained, and I’ll probably enjoy it, but with one MASSIVE pinch of critical salt.
PS Good to know you’re not also a part-time flasher, as well as a killer.

 

Carlotta:

Artist of cruelty? Where are you getting this from, Aristotle? Okay, no problem, don’t forget to take your teeth out and have a Horlicks before bed tonight, by the way. Also, I think I’ve won this because you’re still going to see a new Tarantino film despite you thinking he’s overrated. OVERRATION WINS! But, before we leave, name your favourite Tarantino film.

 

Flossie:

I suppose Pulp Fiction is the best of the bunch, you already got that out of me, and I will go and see his new movie, (with a sense of niggling resentment..). But I know and I think Tarantino knows, that he’s been typecast as a director and forced by studios to make films that his fans want rather than surprise us by doing something unusual, and now he can never live up to a film he made almost 20 years ago. Pulp Fiction 2 will bomb, and then everyone will talk about how’s he’s got nothing left to give. I almost feel bad for the guy. Except I don’t. SUCK ON THAT.

 

Carlotta:

AHA! SO YOU ADMIT YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TARANTINO FILM! See, everybody does. And perLEASE, as if all his films are the same. There’s a different genre each time. He’s never made a Western in his life! And okay, sorry, but HE KILLED HITLER. His fans expect something new with every film and he always delivers! Anyway, that’s enough chat about racism, sexism and feet for a Monday. Shall we agree to disagree, grandma?

 

Flossie:

Sure, whatevs. Isn’t it time for your bath?

 

Carlotta:

Yes, yes it is.

 

How do you feel about the almighty Quentin? Let us know below, and don’t forget to suggest a topic for our next Face/Off!

 

By Carlotta Eden and Flossie Topping

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