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Showing posts from August, 2019

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Thoughts on the 9th (?) film by Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), the new film by Quentin Tarantino, is a difficult one to unpack, critically speaking, so this cursory review, if one can even call it such, is more a summing up of initial thoughts, as opposed to any sort of definitive statement. An attempt to process some of the reactions to the film, both from my own initial viewing, as well as the cultural conversations that have surrounded the film since its first release.
To begin, I felt the charges of racism and misogyny seemed a bit off to me, although his female characters have never been more transparent as they are here. It's rare for a Tarantino film to be this lacking in non-white representation, but not unprecedented. Reservoir Dogs (1992) has only one black supporting character, and Inglourious Basterds (2009), despite historical revisionism, is still a largely "white" film. And while the violence at the end of "Once Upon a Time...&q…


Thoughts on the film by Neil Jordan
A new film by Neil Jordan is always going to be an event for me; even if turns out to be one of his occasional excursions into the conventional world of mainstream Hollywood. Greta (2018) feels more in line with Jordan's other, often flawed studio endeavours, We're No Angels (1989), Interview with the Vampire (1994), In Dreams (1999), The Brave One (2007), etc, lacking from the outset the more distinctive spark and invention found in his more personal efforts, such as The Company of Wolves (1984), The Butcher Boy (1997), Breakfast on Pluto (2005) and Ondine (2009). Jordan's Hollywood excursions are often massively compromised and far from his greatest works and Greta is no exception.
While not as visually stunning or thematically rich as the similarly overdone psychodrama In Dreams, it's not as compromised or hysterical either. It's not as polished or prestigious as Interview with the Vampire, but it's also less prosaic. And un…