07 April 2007

Coming Through Slaughter

  • What's Gould For The Goose: If you missed it, Jimmy Kimmel guest-hosted for Larry King the other night, and in one priceless bit, he pretty much crucified Emily Gould, one of the editors of the vile Gawker website. You can catch the video here. Note how the lass's face grows positively histrionic in her expressions of confused injurement. Her eyes pretty much say everything: she's like a dippy fourteen year-old trying to justify breaking curfew. Too bad: she's a cutie, but thicker than pea soup. (What? Gawker doesn't mention her evisceration appearance? You don't say. I guess no one is stalking her....)

    Key quote: "... I would hate for you to arrive in Hell and [sic] somebody sending a text message, saying Guess who's here..."

  • It's An Uncut Log: I keep thinking about blogging and what a bad influence it has on my own writing. I never take blogging too seriously: I just type straight into the computer, maybe half-editing, and shrug everything off with the alibis of informality, ephemerality and ultimate insignificance. In short, it makes me sloppy, or encourages my innate sloppiness more than I should allow. Call me old-fashioned, as if you haven't already a hundred times, but I need to see things on paper. I need text to be tangible for it to matter. (Then again, I grew up writing on a typewriter.) I wonder if the kids these days suffer the same sort of hang-up. For me, blogging is improv: one just does, and tries not to fall too seriously on one's permanently pock-marked face.

  • Take Me To The River (And Yes, It Is A Big Pussy Joke): Read some of the reviews of Grindhouse-- quite a lot of them, in fact-- and have decided it's just not for me. Maybe this makes me officially a Pussy, but I tired of gore-gasms when I was, oh, thirteen or so. (Ninja movies starring Sho Kosugi, with people getting shuriken tossed in their eyes; I vaguely remember when they seemed cool to me.) Gore's fine in Webster and Shakespeare and such, but the sexual edification some people find in gross-out action turns me off just as much the sick imaginations themselves. Some of the stuff I've heard about-- a trampolining cheerleader in one of the trailers getting, ahem, sharply penetrated you-know-where-- is enough to make me want to lose my lunch even in the abstract. (I dare not say "specular.") And it's almost always women: the most disturbingly "creative" deaths-- to say nothing of the humiliations-- are reserved for the women, as they were in Shakespeare's day, but taken to radical extremes in modern movie-making. But maybe my stomach just turns too easily these days; or maybe I'm just getting increasingly intolerant of obnoxiousness, or what some call "audacity." Who knows. *shrug* It hardly matters; Rodriguez is skilled but not essential viewing, and I've pretty much gone off Tarantino completely. And yet, why do I feel so guilty about determining so firmly not to see this? Probably because it's judgmental before the fact, and I despise people who commit that intellectual fallacy. I feel like such a fucking hypocrite.

  • 'Tis Pity She's A Slore: Re Tarantino: I'm really surprised more feminists aren't taking him to task for the increasingly blatant misogyny in his work. Sure, in his past few pictures he has been going out of his way to establish the female action hero. But I get the impression he does so largely to ameliorate the violence he wants to play out on screen. It's like making his central characters women somehow redeems, or tonics, the deeply fetishistic barbarities in which he wishes to revel like a rutting pig. (I use "barbarities" as a kind of median between "indignities" and "atrocities.") He enacts them with such casual glee, and yet so many women I know aren't bothered, and the leading feminist voices remain conspicuously mute on the subject. Sure, rake T.S. Eliot over the coals for much, much less; but Tarantino slides past like a coke-dealer at a night-club. Pfft.

    Two things further: First, yes, it's always a perverse sign of some imminent apocalypse when I prattle on about gender issues. And secondly, Tarantino's greater sin, in my estimation, is that he has become intolerably pretentious about his cinematic onanism-- and, ergo, boring. Like a power-drill to the forehead. Oh, crap, I may just have given him an idea....

    ADDENDUM: The competition to succeed Anthony Lane continues. Somewhere, Rex Reed is pounding bitchily away on his desk and insisting that "a shotgun filled with handjobs" was his, damn and blast.

6 comments:

Davyth said...

I watched Grindhouse early today, and found Tarantino's cinematic ode ("Death Proof") to blaxpoitation (think Cleopatra Jones) and car chase movies disappointingly flaccid unlike Rodriguez's pulp horror film ("Planet Terror"). Rodriguez, at least, seemed to revel euphorically in the kitsch elements like Shakespeare with Titus Andronicus--evoking genuine passion and cheesiness. Tarantino's b-movie was like a poor lover: full of tender anticipation, soft dialogue, but the hard edge went limp with too much self-consciousness.

Dr J said...

Flacid, passion, tender anticipation: quite the Freudian review there. ;-) Not entirely inappropriate from what I hear, though. I almost wonder if half of QT's and RR's recent projects are designed to elude criticism: take their movies even a bit seriously, and you fall into their trap; don't, and you're a simpleton. *shrug*

Davyth said...

Despite what all the poor reviews said, I still enjoyed the movie. It ran counter to anything else out there--unabashed cinematic hokeypokey, libido, misogyny, cheesy special effects and pure escapism. Tarantino's flick almost came close to killing the mood with its attempt at ironic b-movie theatricality, but it was still a guilty pleasure in the end. Like you said, it's a change from the ironic closet of intellectual onanism that movies come out of lately.

nic said...

Maybe the feminists are leaving Tarantino alone because he's just a freakin' idiot and not worth their time!

sylvia said...

And in breaking news, Tarantino thinks he's the next Shakespeare ...

sylvia said...

Sorry -- nic beat me to it! :)

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