October 13, 2003


AKE OUT THE GORE AND "KILL BILL" IS AN EPISODE OF "MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS": Is Quentin Tarantino the single greatest phony in the history of Hollywood? I realize that's saying a lot -- about Hollywood, not him. But it's the sole explanation I can think of to explain his bizarre prominence.

All of Tarantino's work is pure junk. How can you be a renowned director without ever having made a film that's even good, to say nothing of great? No film student in 50 years will spend a single second with a Tarantino movie, except to shake his or her head.

Tarantino does nothing but churn out shabby depictions of slaughter as a form of pleasure -- and that, for decades, has been what the least imaginative and least talented of Hollywood churn out. Supposedly it's "revolutionary," or something, that Tarantino films revel in violence to a preposterous degree, but that's like saying it is revolutionary for a presidential candidate to revel in complaints against Washington bureaucrats. Nothing about Hollywood is more hackneyed or trite than preposterous violence -- and that's all Tarantino has ever put onto film.

Set aside what it says about contemporary Hollywood culture that the supposed liberal progressives of this city now ceaselessly mass-market presentations of butchering the helpless as a form of entertainment, even, as rewarding self-expression. Why do we suppose that, with Hollywood's violence-glorifying films now shown all around the world to billions of people -- remember, mass distribution of Hollywood movies to the developing world and Islamic states is a recent phenomenon -- young terrorists around the globe now seem to view killing the innocent as a positive thing, even, a norm? Set that concern aside. Tarantino's films are simply trite as regards adoration of violence. In Hollywood, nothing could be less original.

And his supposed innovative screenplays? Spare me. The out-of-sequence technique Tarantino uses is praised as ingenious, yet every first-year film student is taught this device. To laud Tarantino as innovative because events happen out-of-sequence is like lauding The Bridges of Madison County as innovative because it opens with a discovered letter from someone who has died. All novice novelists know that device. Of course, the novelistic device may be used well or poorly, just as time-shifted cinema may be good or bad. Tarantino's out-of-sequence film moments are, uniformly, trite drivel.

And supposedly Tarantino is some kind of counter-genius for getting box-office stars like Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman to debase themselves in his drivel. But commercial Hollywood types debase themselves for a living; most never do anything else. To persuade someone to do that which he or she was eager to do anyway isn't much in the way of accomplishment.

Tarantino must draw his prominence in Hollywood, and among film-buff culture, from the very fact of his phoniness. First, his career says that you can do nothing but wallow in preposterous violence -- Hollywood's cheapest and least original aspect -- and still be revered. Second, his career validates the idea that you can accomplish nothing at all in any meaningful sense and yet acquire fame. The idea that you can get celebrity, money, and women through the movies without having any merits whatsoever is at the core of the Hollywood's conception of itself. Tarantino is its ultimate expression of this phoniness. Please don't tell me that makes him ironically postmodern.

Corporate sidelight: Kill Bill is distributed by Miramax, a Disney studio. Disney seeks profit by wallowing in gore -- Kill Bill opens with an entire family being graphically slaughtered for the personal amusement of the killers -- and by depicting violence and murder as pleasurable sport. Disney's Miramax has been behind a significant share of Hollywood's recent violence-glorifying junk, including Scream, whose thesis was that murdering your friends and teachers is a fun way for high-school kids to get back at anyone who teases them. Scream was the favorite movie of the Columbine killers.

Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice. But history is hardly the only concern. Films made in Hollywood are now shown all over the world, to audiences that may not understand the dialogue or even look at the subtitles, but can't possibly miss the message -- now Disney's message -- that hearing the screams of the innocent is a really fun way to express yourself.




Easterblogg's subsequent groveling apology
Outrage in Hollywood New Republic editor accuses "Jewish executives" Harvey Weinstein and Michael Eisner of money grubbing with violent movie "Kill Bill"
Oct 22, 2003: Easterbrook dismissed by ESPN
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