You're Still Not Fooling Anybody: Hate Song of Vengeance
"You're Still Not Fooling Anybody" opens with a clip of Kurt Loder reading out that Mike White's original tackling of QT (he ain't worth to get his name full credited here) was not allowed to be shown at the New York Underground Film Festival. "Who Do You Think You're Fooling?" aptly showed how QT ripped off a lesser known film, "City on Fire". And by ripping off, I mean that Mike White was able to compile 10 minutes of footage from both films and neatly juxtaposing them. Be amazed as the sound from "R. Dogs" is placed on top of the image of "City on Fire" (as Ringo Lam's film is in Cantonese, you can follow the story by reading the subtitles). Fitting like a glove, both films have robberies that go wrong, people shot in the stomach, a revelation about a character's profession and hit men approaching the building.
The MTV news clip included a statement from the so-called director (read: petty thief), saying he would look forward to watching "City on Fire" (original title: "Long Hu Feng Yun"). At this point White's title becomes prophetic: Who do you think you're fooling, QT? Yes, the teens who watch MTV News and haven't seen "Who do you think you're fooling?". But anyone who did see Mike White's short won't believe you.
After the MTV News segment "You're Still Not Fooling Anybody" continues with a split screen with on the left "Pulp Fiction" and on the right a series of films QT plagiarized. Or at least that is White's intention... the problem is that in "Pulp Fiction"'s case QT stole a lot of short scenes from lots of movies. So here we can question whether it is robbery or just a homage. The moment where the suitcase in "Kiss Me Deadly" is opened (the nuclear box of Pandora) is an iconic image in film history, which has inspired many directors: Alex Cox used it in the trunk scene in 'Repo Man', to name but one. That in "Pulp Fiction" a suitcase is opened can be seen as a nice nod to "Kiss Me Deadly", just like the scenes which bear resemblances to a.o. "Charley Varrick" and the cartoon "Three Little Bops". It's a bit more problematic for the Ezekiel paraphrase (from "The Bodyguard") and the adrenalin shot (from "American Boy"): as we are looking at over 30 seconds each of very similar footage, it's likelier to call this plagiarism. QT likes to use nods to other films (from "Kiss Me Deadly" to "Thriller - They Call Her One Eye") and there's nothing wrong with a few nods (the technique of 'sampling' is widely used in movies, music and literature). The title of this review is a nod to "Lady Snowblood" (a film QT plagiarized to the maximum in "Kill Bill"). However, if your film appears to be the same as another film for more than half a minute it may be questionable. When it's ten minutes, it's time someone called the cops.
I don't think "You're Still Not Fooling Anybody" should be seen as a short. In these days of the DVD it looks more like an extra, an appendix, a message to QT that Mike White still isn't fooled and that he still knows his cinematic history as well as QT. You're still stealing, QT, you're still not fooling anybody.
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