When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
One obvious way to do this would be to take this and note the many influences. This has been done to death already, every bit that Tarantino hoped to keep packed or wanted us to find out has been laid out in the open. But this just gives us someone, genius or not, who stole from the right places.
Another way would be to see that it doesn't work the same way as it did when new because it has all been made ordinary by slavish followers, gobbled up by familiarity. The moments of simple banter away from plot, the fooling round with edges of story without showing the main center-piece, bleeding on a floor, following Mr. Blonde outside to pick up a can of gasoline; Tarantino was probably proud that he was being "real", making a radical break from Bruckheimer's Hollywood.
It's bits and pieces of Godard, Cassavetes, Altman, and others. To see it now shows how theatric it is, not "real" at all. (The least theatric acting is by the bound cop. Roth is just woeful.) It's The Killers, with the violence and gum pop visuals as typical to see as The Killers was typical without them in its own time.
Me, I'd like to settle for something else that brings us to real influence of a more elusive kind.
Everything you see here is coming from a young guy who was at the best possible time in his life, lifted from obscurity and everything was beginning to click into place beyond expectation. Can you imagine how giddy he must have been to hear yes from Keitel and here's a check?
It's Tarantino coming in from the outside as someone young and eager to make a dream come true; it's bursting with energy but disciplined, kept in check by not having everything at your disposal, being the new kid on set. It would be nothing without this energy.
And it's Tarantino being rooted in his own world as he brings the dream alive, suburban LA. None of the story has any outlet into real lives, it's all bounced around movie cutouts. Gangsters showing up before a heist for breakfast in tuxedos? But it's the video clerk's imagination cruising through his own world. He has guys exchange banter about a stripper from Palos Verdes, Roth improvise a story about buying weed the summer of '86.
So this is the most vibrant sense I get; someone making it, not having to prove himself because he's there, making a movie with name actors around town, relaxed and fired up at the same time. See if you can feel this off his screen presence (and what a stark difference from his surly presence now).
His next one would be the apogee of this path. It can also be traced to the 30 year old who had flown himself to Amsterdam to write away from home like a Hemingway, living the dream.
- Mar 25, 2016