Wed, June 1st–Film

First, we’ll finish IB. And then have our discussion.

  1. Depiction of Nazis. How did you feel about Landa? Is he all evil? Complicated? Cultured? How does the movie seem to see him?
  2. Depiction of American violence? What are we asked to enjoy? Why? Does that make you feel uncomfortable?
  3. Jewish revenge and alternate history. WWII didn’t end like this. Does it matter?
  4. Female Avengers. What do Shoshanna and The Bride have in common? Is it feminist to have women commit spectacular violence?

Now is a good time, I think, for a group project. In groups of 3-4, create a pitch for the next Tarantino movie. Here’s what you need:

  • A Keynote/PP with a minimum of 5 slides.
  • A movie title that is appropriately Tarantino-esque
  • A logline–an explanation of the plot in about 50 words. “The Bride” was the deadliest assassin of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, until the day she decided to leave the business, assume a new identity, and get married. But it was on the day of her marriage that her old “friends” – O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Budd, and Elle Driver, not to mention her boss, Bill – find her and assassinate the entire ceremony while Bill shoots her in the head, putting her in a coma. Well, Bill and his people should have tried a little harder because, after four years, the Bride has awakened from her coma. And Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…  
  • Characters: Name and explain at least 4 characters in your movie and who should play them.
  • Settings: Where will the movie take place?
  • Set Pieces: What Big Scenes should this movie have?
  • Influences: Which influences are you going to pull from to inform this movie.


Essay Questions for Tarantino–Due June 10th–Minimum 600 words

  1. Some critics have suggested that Quentin Tarantino may be one of the most influential directors ever. Trace Tarantino’s influence in modern movies by giving specific examples of his techniques, camerawork, attitude, and style being used in other movies by other directors. What about him is so appealing? See this article to get started.
  2. Some critics suggest Tarantino might be one of the most overrated directors ever. Critic David Denby wrote, “Tarantino has become an embarrassment: his virtuosity as a maker of images has been overwhelmed by his inanity as an idiot de la cinematheque.” Agree or disagree with this assessment of the director. Give specific examples of evidence.
  3. Read the analytic essay on Inglourious Basterds and answer the question: Is the movie moral? Can a movie be evil or lacking in righteousness? Does the movie ask us to revel in things it shouldn’t ask us to revel in?
  4. What should the rules be for ripping off other directors? What kinds of borrowing should be considered legitimate and what kinds are wrong? Give several examples of each. See this documentary for some ideas about the issues involved.
  5. Take a look at this interview. Connect anything he says to either movie. Does the interview give specific insight into his directorial choices?
  6. Scene Analysis. Choose a specific scene from either movie to do a deep dive on. Describe the mise-en-scene and other cinematography elements with as many specifics as possible. Trace those examples to effects the director is trying to invoke or thematic ideas.

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