Tarantino’s Depiction of Violence
Quentin Tarantino is well known and often criticized for his depiction of violence in his films. Although at times graphic, Tarantino’s violence holds a purpose. This paper will look at two films, Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction, and their depiction of violence and the aesthetics used. It will also look at classic film conventions and ultraviolence aesthetics used by Tarantino. Finally, the paper will determine what aesthetics Tarantino carries over in each film.
Quentin Tarantino’s depiction of violence in Pulp Fiction becomes bloodier and more graphic as the film continues. Early in the film, Martellus shoots two people, neither of which show any blood or even a gunshot wound. Tarantino uses a classic film convention where the victim of the gunshot clutches the spot where they were shot, covering what in real life would be a gunshot wound. He employs another classic film convention later when Mia is stabbed in the heart with the adrenaline shot. Instead of showing the violent act, Tarantino shows Mia’s reaction to being stabbed in the heart. In the next segment of the film, Butch shoots Vincent with a small machine gun. It riddles Vincent’s body with bullet holes and is the first time the clutch technique isn’t used. Vincent’s body is shown covered in blood around the abdomen in a very bloody bathroom. This marks the transition in Pulp Fiction from a more classical style of violence to contemporary ultraviolence.
From now on in the film,
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1. Sobchack’s argument pertaining to on -screen violence that she wrote thirty years ago was that any violent acts portrayed in movies back then was to emphasize the importance of an element in a story, an emphatic way of engaging the viewers and forcing them to feel what the movie was about. It gave them a sense of the substance of the plot which would allow them to feel for the characters and yearn for good to overcome evil. In other words, the effort made to engage audiences through depictions of violence created violence that was artistic and well done, or as Sobchack writes, violence was “aestheticized.” Violence was incorporated into film in a stylistic
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“The Godfather Part II” is the second movie in the Godfather trilogy, and mentioned as one of the best movies of all time. Is this a fair criticism of the movie? Well, the only way to find out is to dissect a movie and what makes it great. A movie can be critiqued in a variety of ways, but one of the main criticisms is how the visuals explain the story, and bring it to life. The story of a movie, and how it flows, is the pivotal component that draws viewers in and keeps their interest. With movies, one effective way to critique a movie is to observe the believability, and impact of the acting. Film is a visual media, this is a known fact, however, fitting music can contribute to setting the mood, and tone of a movie. What most makes a movie worth watching is the story, and how it is laid out throughout.
Fight Club is a unique film that has many different interpretations consisting of consumerist culture, social norms, and gender roles. However, this film goes deeper and expresses a Marxist ideology throughout; challenging the ruling upper-class and a materialist society. The unnamed narrator, played by Ed Norton, represents the materialist society; whereas Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt, represents the person challenging the controlling upper-class. Karl Marx believed that the capitalist system took advantage of workers, arguing that the interests of the upper-class class conflicted with that of the common worker. Marx and Durden share the same views about the upper-class oppressing the materialist, common worker. By interpreting Fight Club through a Marist lens, the viewer is able to realize the negative effects a capitalist society has on the common worker by seeing the unnamed narrator’s unfulfilled and material driven life in contrast to the fulfilling life of Durden who challenges the upper-class. The unnamed narrator initially fuels the upper-class dominated society through his materialistic and consumeristic tendencies; however, through the formation of his alter ego—Durden—the unnamed narrator realizes the detriment he is causing to himself and society. He then follows the guide of Durden’s and Marx’s views and rectifies his lifestyle by no longer being reliant on materials. Also by forming fight club, which provides an outlet, for himself and the common worker,
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