Quentin Tarantino: an auteur, a legend, an innovator, a perspicacious commentator, a giant amongst men….bullshit. I know that Tarantino is the darling of all so many critics and film buffs. His witty dialog is consistently quoted and hashed out in the common male vernacular. But I have not enjoyed a Tarantino film sense Pulp Fiction, and at that, I have never had the urge re-watch even this film of his. And although I admit to having a rather macabre sense of humor, I find little to laugh about in Tarantino’s blood soaked productions. His films amount to nothing but hollow scenes: masturbatory works of violence and excess.
And it is not that Tarantino’s movies are an affront to my sense of propriety. They offend me because they are simply not enjoyable to watch, while simultaneously offering no insight or reward for sitting through them. It is not because I do not understand his films, as I am often accused. Being captivated by pop culture, and stylizing gore is not penetrating or pleasant. Holding up a hyperbolic mirror to the baser fixations of society is not an excuse to then indulge them. Tarantino’s acknowledges the cultural obsession with violence and the banality therein, but offers no revelatory criticism or path out. He seems content to relish in the filth. As Allan Bloom so trenchantly opined on the American psyche “it is nihilism with a happy ending.” Tarantino’s message is superficiality squared, couched superciliously as wit and vision. For him, as Bloom puts it, “nihilism is a mood, a mood of moodiness, a vague disquiet. It is nihilism without the abyss.” Personally, I don’t have the time or the stomach to waste on the insipid phantasmagoria of a vapid masochist.
Or maybe I am just squeamish around blood.