Tarantino & Violence

Andrew brought up by a post by one Henry, to which I feel obligated to respond to.

For starters, Tarantino does not celebrate violence. The film undoubtedly in question is Reservoir Dogs (Kill Bill‘s violence was for different reasons I won’t get into). Here is a movie that occurs in the time it takes for a man to bleed to death. Henry mentioned Taxi Driver which fits into this because it’s based off of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground – a novel which attempts to do with rational egoism what Machiavelli did to political animals and which Tarantino was doing with violence.

The film is anti-violence because it shows you what violence is really like, what it really does to a man. There aren’t heros taking hundreds of bullets and still fighting on nor anybody taking one bullet and dying peacefully off to the side. Bullets to the stomach produce lots of blood, and Tarantino shoves this in your face. Violence is not pretty, not the unrealistic portrayal presented in previous films. This is why the film is so influential and important. Dostoyevsky challenged the egoists by providing a realistic portrait of what a rational egoist would really be like. Tarantino challenges popcorn-movie directors by providing a realistic picture of what violence really is.

Notes from Underground

Just finished reading Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, a phenomenal work of literature and art. This sums up my feelings for the Underground Man quite nicely:

“…The underground man, while writing his Notes, is looking over his shoulder at you, the reader, telling you he doesn’t want your pity or your understanding. As if he were engaged in polemics with a cunning and vicious enemy, he wants to shock and annoy his reader. Yet, at the same time, he seems to want to impress you…”

From this analysis

What I like about that quote is because it’s exactly how I feel… shocked, annoyed, and impressed with the Underground Man. I am amazed at how much I am like him while simultaneously hoping I am not, nor anyone else is, truly him.