The new Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is due out in the UK this month.
This means all across the UK, newspaper, TV news editors and media commentators are brushing off the same article they’ve written or broadcast since Tarantino’s first film, Reservoir Dogs back in 1993. Here’s an example of a ‘journalist’ talking of the ‘blood-soaked film’.
So since 1992 any film Tarantino has made or is associated with, is passed off by the UK as a violent frenzy and just something should be done! It’s got to the point where last time round Tarantino just stopped talking about it because it is enormously tiresome answering the same questions asked of you a few years earlier. For example…
And we get to 2019 and first out the blocks is The Guardian with it’s usual anti-violence article wringing its hands desperately with lines like this.
His interest in savage violence against woman is, if we look back, a common thread in almost all his films.
The article does try to correct itself later by admitting that, actually, Tarantino has both sexes as the victims of violence as anyone who has actually watched his films will tell you. Yes, there’s violence towards women including rape, but there’s also violence against men, including rape. Tarantino isn’t discriminating; he’s using violence as a filmaker because that’s one of the tools at his disposal and no matter of middle class media handwringing is going to change that as it shouldn’t.
Violence has been in stories going back to The Bible and beyond. We are violent so having that explored with the horrible consequences is better than The Rock shooting people and a small spurt of computer generated blood awkwardly jumps across the screen, or the latest Marvel film which has endless amounts of bloodless violence but here we are, another Tarantino film and the UK’s media dribbles in excitment about being able to ignorantly go over the same ground while preaching to the same people who think Tarantino’s films as are violent as they are.
Violence will always upset people. It should, otherwise it fails to impact you as a viewer but this endless morality about something which is part of us, and part of storytelling, is pitiful and tireseome and we’ve got weeks of it to go yet.