Friday, March 27, 2009

5 Off My Head - QT's Choice Birthday Cuts

Today is also Quentin Tarantino's 46th birthday, and in his honor I will now name my five favorite movies of his.

Wait, what's that you say? If you don't count Inglorious Basterds since it ain't out yet and then don't count the bits and pieces of movies he's directed through the years (Four Rooms, Sin City) or the television episodes and then if you do count Kill Bill's two volumes as just one film, well if you do all that then he's only directed five movies, you say?


But indeed it is the case. Madness! Fingers crossed that Basterds will be the glorious Inglorious-ness all his other movies are even though he shot it so very quickly and this will mark a turn towards a quicker pace of work output for QT in the future. Spit it out, motherfucker! Sorry, thinking on Tarantino brings out the vulgarian in me.

I will, in his honor then, list my five favorite moments of violence from Quentin Tarantino films. Why this topic? Why the fuck not? But, for me, as you might hazard to guess, this is tough! It's tough stuff. QT's violence is fucking poetry. Still, I'll make a go at it.

Elle's eyeball a'poppin, Kill Bill Vol. 2 - No matter how many times I watch this movie - and I've seen it a fair number of times - this moment never fails to truly disturb me. Notsomuch the part that disturbs everyone else - the eyeball squish into dingy shag carpet heard round the world! - but what follows. Meaning Elle's thrashing freak-out take-down of the trailer. Something about the quickness of the action, and the total finality of the blinding, and Daryl Hannah's fierce despairing wails... it unnerves me deeply every time.

Melanie in the parking lot, Jackie Brown - It's the quickness of this one too that unsettles. One minute she's being her usual bitchy self, hilariously pushing Louis's buttons ("Where it is, Loooooooouis? Huh?", the next wham bam blown away in between two cars in the fucking mall parking lot.

Beheading at the board-room table, Kill Bill Vol. 1 - I was going to include Lucy Liu's scalping by samurai sword here instead but I think I prefer this moment because Lucy actually gets to deliver a line in her awesome way of delivering lines following it:

"So you all will know the seriousness of my warning, I shall say this in English. As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you're unconvinced that a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is... I collect your fucking head. Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now's the fucking time! [pause] I didn't think so. Gentlemen, this meeting is adjourned."

Mia's Adrenaline Shot, Pulp Fiction - Oh sure there are loads of moments I could've picked from Pulp Fiction that are maybe not so over-talked before - Vincent in the bathroom, or hanging out with the Gimp - but honestly when Mia's screaming with that fucker poking out of her chest it gets me every damned time.

The mid-film collision, Death Proof - So hard to watch I've gone back and watched it probably fifty times. One of the most brutal and horrific things I've ever seen on film. It's like the shower scene in Psycho only you see Marion's face shredded off by a fucking tire!


There are so many more I can't get to - how much ear gristle and gore floods the screen in Reservoir Dogs! - so y'all need to tell me yours in the comments! And I'm hoping that come August 21st I can add a good head-battening to the count!

And just for the heckuva it - who doesn't love a random list? - here are his films listed in order of my preference, fave to least fave ("least fave" being relative - I love all of these movies):

1) Jackie Brown
2) Death Proof
3) Kill Bill
4) Reservoir Dogs
5) Pulp Fiction

How's your list go?


Anonymous said...

1) Pulp Fiction: my first film of his, kinda special place in my heart.
2) Kill Bill: blew me away, and really really couldn't wait for part two
3) Jackie Brown: Really mature work from him, kind of goes outside his own genre, if you will
4) Reservoir Dogs: the conversation around the breakfast table is enough to make me love it
5) Death Proof: I liked it, didn't love it, just not firing on all cylinders (pun intended) through every gear (okay, now I'm over-doing it)

Bea said...

1. Pulp Fiction - I was 15 when I saw it for the first time and it changed the way I watched movies.

2. Kill Bill - I really thought it would suck. Especially when I heard it had to be split into two movies. I thought it would totally late and self-indulgent. I was SO wrong.

3. True Romance - Alabama's opening/closing narration gets me every time: "Usually, that's the way it goes, but every once in awhile, it goes the other way too."

4. From Dusk Till Dawn

5. His C.S.I. episode is so freakin' awesome. Especially since that show is so. Boringly. Formulaic. And his episode just kicked ASS.

Joel said...

I'm so happy to find someone else who thinks Jackie Brown is his best film!

1) Jackie Brown
2) Kill Bill
3) Pulp Fiction
4) Death Proof
5) Reservoir Dogs