Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Tarantino and His Wrecking Crew Catch the End of a Golden Age in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | July 31st, 2019

For superstar auteur Quentin Tarantino, there’s no business like show business -- never has been for the whole arc of his career -- and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” doubles down on everything that fanboy and fangirl (mostly fanboy) disciples have studied with religious devotion since the days of “Reservoir Dogs.” A nonstop pastiche of pop culture references both iconic and obscure, the new feature embraces revisionism and fantasy in its interpretation of events surrounding the gruesome murders of Sharon Tate and friends by members of the Charles Manson Family in August of 1969.

Tate is played by Margot Robbie, and our knowledge of her senseless and tragic demise hangs like a dark cloud over the otherwise freewheeling portrayal of the “more than a friend, less than a wife” bromance between Leonardo DiCaprio’s washed-up, alcoholic TV actor Rick Dalton and his Hal Needham-inspired driver/stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Los Angeles plays itself as an equally important character, and appreciators of meticulous period detail and history by suggestion will devour the Boss Radio/KHJ promo spots interspersed with expectedly perfect soundtrack selections like Los Bravos’ “Bring a Little Lovin’” and Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show.”

Cinematically, Tarantino does so many things so well it can be easy to forget that his magic armor has been deflecting all manner of criticism for years. His Wikipedia biography contains an entire section labeled “controversies,” selecting a quintet of issues that includes his problematic relationship to the N-word and his irresponsible mistreatment of Uma Thurman during the filming of a dangerous driving scene while making “Kill Bill.” Additionally, his proximity to Harvey Weinstein and his 2003 defense of Roman Polanski have been haunting a number of the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” conversations.

Arguably, QT tightened his own noose by grossly underwriting Tate and depriving her of nearly any scene in which the audience is allowed inside her head. At Cannes, Farah Nayeri was the first person to call out the lopsidedness of Robbie’s onscreen agency in comparison to what DiCaprio and Pitt were given to play. Tarantino was predictably unapologetic. Rich Juzwiak’s thoughtful and thorough case against the filmmaker’s “shittiness toward women” is a must-read that lays out a strong case, adding another chapter to the continuing discussion of gender in the director’s films.

It will surprise nobody that Tarantino’s contract granted him final cut or that the length of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is 161 minutes. The pacing, rhythm, and crosscutting all aid in evoking the episodic television milieu inhabited by Dalton and Booth. And the leisurely running time carves out plenty of room for the actors to stretch out (Booth’s meal preparation ritual for scene-stealing pet pooch Brandy is as much fun as Dalton’s heart-to-heart with precocious co-star Julia Butters, who manages to make off with a scene or two herself). It’s easy to read Tarantino’s own artistic anxieties concerning relevance and vitality into the movie’s thematic exploration of faded and fading glory, but the film can certainly be properly pondered without any biographical inferences.

Except for the foot fetishism.

Recently in:

WATFORD CITY – A reported 10-gallon spill of liquid gold at the Garden Creek I Gas Processing Plant in 2015 – just before the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy – could now be renamed as the largest land spill in human…

The 2019 North Dakota Senior Games begin this Thursday, August 15 and will continue through Saturday, August 17. There are 20 events scheduled for the Senior Games, which take place at various locations around Fargo and West Fargo.…

Thursday, August 29, 6-10 p.m.This Skateshop, 625 1st Ave. N, FargoShop vintage, enjoy a complimentary drink, play some vintage board games, VHS movies will be projected on the wall. It’s predicted that it will be an epic night for all!

Editorial

The power of song

by Sabrina Hornung

In this issue David Crosby said, “You know, music is like a lifting force. It makes things better.” Truer words have never been spoken. This week we decided to change things up a bit and offer our readers an exclusive music…

Basing Gun Control On Militia Muskets Is NutsThere was a picture of hundreds of colorful backpacks in the Fargo Forum that were distributed to children at the Fargodome a couple of days ago. It was part of the 21st Annual 2019…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Ojata Records and the Dogmajal owner and operator Jeremy Swisher about the ever-growing Grand Forks record store and hotdog shop.HPR: We might as well get the elephant…

If you’ve ever craved an outdoor music festival where you can walk to downtown shops, do yoga or go fishing in between sets, you’re in luck. The Greenway Takeover Festival returns to two stages in the heart of Grand Forks…

By Scott Ecker notharrisonford@gmail.comLast Tuesday I joined many local artists and audience members for Theatre B’s season preview at the Hjemkomst Center. As one of their board members, I see Theatre B regulars very often. …

Arts

‘Local American epics’

by Sabrina Hornung

The US Postal Service recently released a set of stamps celebrating the New Deal era post office murals that were federally commissioned during the Roosevelt administration, though the mural that graces the walls of the New…

The annual mainstage summer musical, produced by Trollwood Performing Arts School and sponsored by Bell Bank, opens Thursday, July 11. This year’s performance is Disney’s “Freaky Friday.” Trollwood Performing Arts…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights…The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and…