Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1993)

So, the "Like A Virgin" conversation.

One point of view, halfheartedly espoused by Mr. Blonde (who, remember, was in prison for most of Madonna's career), is that it's about "a girl who's very vulnerable...she's been fucked over a few times...and she meets a guy." This Mr. Brown calls the Sensitive Girl thesis: the singer has had bad experiences with love, had her heart broken, and now the right guy comes along and he's making her believe in love again, almost as if she had never known of its bad side.

The other point of view, Mr. Brown's thesis, is that the song is only about sex: the singer's experience is entirely of the carnal variety, and her current malaise isn't heartbreak, but jadedness. She's become habituated to the normal pleasures of sex - "dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick." But when "this John Holmes" type come along, he's equipped to make her feel again - i.e., he's physically big enough to challenge her, and make her feel like the whole sexual experience is fresh again. He's jolted her out of her malaise, as it were.

In other words, the debate is about whether "Like A Virgin" is about spiritual/emotional renewal or a bigger, better sexual thrill.

Or: was Reservoir Dogs so revolutionary because it opened our eyes to new possibilities in filmmaking, in film-watching, engaging our minds in ways they hadn't been engaged by what Hollywood had been cranking out our whole lives? Or was it just that it gave us more profanity and more violence and more style than we were accustomed to? Was Tarantino's arrival that of a fiercely intelligent filmmaker, or just the guy who (thought he) had the biggest dick around?

The point of this movie, I think, is to say that there's no difference between those two propositions, and maybe no difference between those two propositions and the third one I snuck into the parentheses in that last sentence.

He may be right.

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