Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Death proof

Saw Inglourious Basterds in the weekend. Can't recommend it to anyone, though. Like Kill Bill, it was a purebred genre movie which didn't reference anything real, just other movies in the same genre. While Kill Bill was fun, Inglourious Basterds was just filled with cruel violence that was unnecessary for the plot.

There was one good scene in Inglourious Basterds though - the opening scene. It includes a long conversation during which nothing happens except two people talk politely with each others, but which is full of suspense anyway.

One criteria for good art is that it tells facts about reality. In this sense, realistic, long conversations can be art. Many important things depend on vapid chit-chat in small groups. The devil is in the details and in subtle signaling. The blogs of pick-up artists tell stories how vapid chit-chat determines the success of seduction, and also deal with relationship game. Families are one fundamental building blocks of society, and their formation and stability depends much on vapid chit-chat. It also determines very much how various professional and hobby groups get stuff done or don't.

The only TV program which takes vapid chit-chat seriously is Big Brother, and it is hugely popular around the world.

Death Proof is another Tarantino a movie, where the first hour consists entirely from vapid chit-chat. It even lacks proper suspense, as things start to happen only afterwards. It is both boring (nothing happens!) and ingenious (at last they film the stuff that social reality is made of!) at the same time.

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