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Okay, I had to pause The Hunting Party (1971) after the first minute-and-a-half grabber, because I’m wondering something.

In his book Cinema Speculation, do you think Quentin Tarantino picked obscure, violent, male chauvinistic vs. women’s lib movies on purpose? And if so, for what purpose? To give us insight into how he’s acquired such a unique style and ear for dialogue? (I mean, the street shootout in Reservoir Dogs is straight out of Caged Heat.)

First off, let me distinguish and oversimplify the difference between a misogynist and a male chauvinist.

A misogynist despises women.

A male chauvinist believes he’s better than women.

Also, a chauvinist doesn’t always have to include a man thinking he’s above a woman in stature. You, the chauvinist, merely considers your group, whatever that is, as superior to other groups. (See article title.)

So, is Tarantino sharing his personal favorites? Opening our eyes to missed cinema classics?  Because he doesn’t really say that or approach his list of movies as great. But why dedicate paragraphs, and chapter titles, to these specific movies? He doesn’t say that either.

SIDENOTE: I’m writing this assuming you have read, or heard about, or have flipped through the pages (even if it was a digital swipe on Amazon) of Quentin Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation. Just go with it.

Is Tarantino exposing the hypocrisy in Hollywood for their sometimes false and sometimes dated movements and so-called progress? Because he doesn’t really compare any of his primarily-1970’s catalogue to today’s social standards/climate/complications. He compares the current flooding of superhero movies to how protagonists stopped dying or losing in the end (in the early 70’), but not much else.

Is he preaching to the choir? Giving a history lesson? Making movie recommendations?

Yes, Tarantino exposes Hollywood (and some specific filmmakers) for being fake. He also explains how movie-making was once a business and not so genre-specific or artistic as it would become by the 1960’s and 1970’s (which I think only defines part of the history of cinema when you recall the magic-trick silent films and the camera moves many directors were performing before the 60’s). The potential for what movies could be, and their place as a respected art form, wasn’t a serious conversation until the French New Wave, but filmmakers were often putting forth effort to do something new before that.

SIDENOTE:  The same type of respect didn’t happen for comic books until the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.

I get that Tarantino didn’t write a book about his favorite movies. (I heard he announces his favorite movies every week or something? Somewhere?)

So he’s bringing our attention to some original scenes and ideas and characters without claiming they’re the greatest. That’s cool.

Only, I’ve got this movie (The Hunting Party) paused, and I’m again thinking about Tarantino’s lack of insight or lack of acknowledgment of certain elements: bad acting; poor character motivation; corny, lazy music (not dated music); boring storylines; TV-movie lighting …

For instance, there’s a scene in Rolling Thunder (one of Tarantino’s chapter titles) where the leading lady pampers the leading guy after he kicks her out of his car. Sort of interesting, but not very believable or commendable of either characters. Also, the movie was flat and kind of corny.

Another strange example that doesn’t seem fully analyzed by Tarantino is Walking Tall. According to our author, the actor became a household name (sorry, I don’t feel like looking up names and how to spell them right now). I’m sure that was true. But Tarantino fails to bring up the main character being a racist (which is weird since Tarantino makes great points about racism and Hollywood just not getting what the hell qualifies … like today).

What about the numerous macho scenes in other selections of his that remind us of our dirty, old, estranged uncle? (That’s not specific to my family.)

A guy’s dumb wife who deserves respect because she’s a hot little number? Revenge flicks? Shootouts?

I don’t know. I’m parsing this stuff out, because the pattern of what appeals to Tarantino is kind of bothering me.

And here’s an abrupt break to make this into two articles.

But before Part 2, here’s something to ponder …

QUESTION: Am I the movie chauvinist?


Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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