Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two random thoughts...

1.) I've read today that Quentin Tarantino is writing a script for a spaghetti western.  I honestly can't remember the last time I was this excited for a movie.  Probably when I read that Herzog and Lynch were working on  a project together (which I think My Son My Son What Have You Done was supposed to be).

All of Tarantino's films have dealt with tropes popularized by westerns, and particularly the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Reservoir Dogs

Pulp Fiction

Tarantino's films have always had a bit of a western flavor to them...whether they've been dealt with robbers, gangsters, assassins, martial artists, or Nazi killing American soldiers.  His films are replete with western themes and tropes of anti-heroes and gun play.

As an American Indian, I have a problematic relationship with the American western...which I'm sure you can read more about in my previous post.  However, I'm sure that a Tarantino directed, Sergio Leone influenced western will be an amazing experience.  And one that I'm quite frankly very excited about the possibility of.  I cant wait to see how that turns out.

2.) For the last few weeks in my Film Historiography course, we've been watching silent films.  Basically, we've been going over Gunning's theory of the Cinema of Attractions, as well as some of the early narrative-based silent films.  However, we kicked off this course a month ago by watching Chaplin's film Modern Times.

Now, before I get started here, I feel that I should defend myself.  I like Chaplin.  I like Chaplin.  Seriously.  However...

REALLY?  Chaplin?  I mean, of the three silent clowns...I just think he's the most overestimated and the least interesting.  Well, wait...that's not necessarily true.  I don't want to say he's not as interesting as Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd.  I just don't enjoy him as much.  I find him a little overly didactic (preachy, even), sanctimonious, and vaguely insincere.  As for his films...yes I realize that he was incredibly important to film history and form, and I'd never take that away from him.  Do I find him as inventive or sincere as Keaton, or as funny as Lloyd?  Nope.

Take for instance, Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr.  Fast forward this to about 0:56 in.

Now that's a far more inventive use of the film form and the ironies of editing than anything done within a single frame of Chaplin's work.

Also, Keaton and Lloyd were just funnier and more exciting to watch.

I guess when it comes down to it, I just don't like Chaplin's use of repeated and prolonged jokes.  Or maybe I just root for the underdog?  Anyhow, I just find watching Chaplin in my courses to be incredibly boring and non-imaginative at this point.  If you're going to watch Chaplin, try Monsieur Verdoux.  It's by far his most interesting film.

Still really preachy, though.

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