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Some notes on the glorious Quentin Tarantino

August 24, 2009

In anticipation of Inglorious Bastards (2009), in the last few weeks I have watched 4 Quentin Tarantino films; Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003) & Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004). I have watched each film countless times before, but only now have I observed these films back to back and have realised there similarities.

For one thing, Michael Madsen’s character Vic Vega (aka Mr Blonde) in Reservoir Dogs (1992) and John Travolta’s character Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994) share the same last name. When searching this little fact on the web, I found that these characters were supposed to be brothers.

Another comes from Uma Thurman’s character Mia Wallace, who features in the cult 90’s classic, Pulp Fiction (1994). The only information the audience is given about the character Mia is that she is the wife of Mr Wallace, but also that she had starred in a TV pilot for The Fox Force Five. Mia’s character is a knife expert. Coincidently, in Kill Bill: Vol.2 (2004), the audience is informed that Uma Thurman’s character Beatrix Kiddo (AKA the bride, Black Mamba) is a Samurai Sword expert.
Another similarity between Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill (2003 & 2004), is that the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, in the Kill Bill series (2003 & 2004), and the Fox Force Five characters, mentioned in Pulp Fiction (1994), both feature Uma Thurman, but also have the same cultural diversity within their female members; 1 Asian woman, and 1 African American woman and more than 1 Caucasian woman.

Another connection comes from the music. 60’s and 70’s music is a dominant trait in QT’s films. I love it! I love that the music chosen has a past and QT brings them back and gives them a light. These songs are introduced to a whole new generation of movie and music fans. These songs are now imprinted onto each scene, and sometimes, not in the prettiest manner. Look at the song “Stuck in the Middle” by Stealers Wheel (1972). This song is played, in Reservoir Dogs (1992), on the radio as Mr Blonde (AKA Vic Vega) tortures a policeman. Another example comes from Pulp Fiction (1994), where Urge Overkills cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” (1994) plays as Mia Wallace snorts Vincent’s heroine, mistaking it for cocaine.
My Pulp Fiction (2002) collector’s edition soundtrack features an interview with Quentin Tarantino. He speaks entirely about the music that features in Reseviour dogs (1992) and Pump Fiction (1994). Amongst many things, he mentions that he wished for the The Knack’s “My Sharona” (1974) to play in the rape scene, in Pulp Fiction’s (1994); but the band did not approve the deal. If he did in fact use “My Sharona”, I believe that song would have been completely scared from the experience. Don’t get me wrong, the song would have given a real edge to the rape scene, but this song is still a hit, and choosing re-invent this song, would not have worked.

Quentin Tarantino has produced/directed/written films that no one else could get away with. No matter what race or gender, QT’s voice is echoed through almost all of his characters (cant say 100% all because I have not seen them all). Every time a character pauses, swears, threatens or jokes, the QT dialect of American English shines through; a dialect I am never been sick of translating.

ON ANOTHER NOTE:
Unfortunately I have had found great difficulty in finding each of the following QT’s films:

My Best Friend’s Birthday (1987)
True Romance
(1993)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Curdled (1996)
Four Rooms (1995)

If you know of any Australian (Region 4) sellers of any of these films, do let me know!
I do apologise that I haven’t been able to discuss these films.

Also, I thought I should also mention that although I have seen Death Proof (2007), Sin City (2005) and Jackie Brown (1997) I chose not to mention them in this blog, as they are not fresh in my mind.

If anyone wants to point out any others QT film similarities (without the assistants of http://www.imdb.com) please do!

Till next time,

S

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    August 27, 2009 4:33 PM

    I have a copy of Four Rooms…

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