Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

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swo17
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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#726 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:55 am

Sorry, didn't deserve to brutally murdered while eight and a half months pregnant

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#727 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:05 am

For sure. Nobody does. Nobody 'deserves' to die in any way whatsoever.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#728 Post by Big Ben » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:17 am

I had the very unfortunate experience of seeing the crime scene photos for Forensics in school and I have never, ever, ever forgotten them. And thinking about it now I don't even think they were the worst ones. Given the passage of time I think the reality of it all has been lost on society somewhat but given the paranoia that set in after the murders (Steve McQueen started carrying a gun openly for instance.) I don't really see how the event wasn't culture shifting in nature.

I wouldn't advise looking at those photos or even reading about the specifics of the crime but it's the final thing I point to when people are somewhat apprehensive or outright dismissive about the Manson Murders impact on culture at the time. If someone was willing to do that to a pregnant woman who wouldn't they target?

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#729 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:35 am

Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:51 am
The film definitely wants you to believe that beyond the regrettable death of a human being, which is by itself a common occurrence in Tarantino's films, Tate's death was a transformative moment that evolved culture forever - for the negative, and only its undoing could make us whole again.
This is just flatly incorrect - if anything, Tarantino does his part to dispel the myth that Tate's death was bigger than Tate herself by humanizing her so - the inherent senseless tragedy of the loss of a kind woman's life itself takes center stage, almost as though Tarantino is asking "Shouldn't that be enough, on its own, to terrify you?"

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Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#730 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:35 pm

No, I do think the movie uses the Manson murders as a watershed moment in American history and culture. But there is no need to accept this literally. It’s really only a metaphor.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#731 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:36 pm

Within the reality of the film, they aren't a watershed moment in history or culture. The film goes out of its way not to nod to the fact that they actually are. Part of my interpretation of Tarantino's revisionism here, similarly to how he treated World War II and slavery, is to treat the gravitas usually granted to these things with outright disrespect and/or disregard. What I think Nasir007 is missing is that Tarantino is taking what culture has already established is the case for 50 years is a tragedy that we all share, and looking only at the human impact in two homes on one street in Los Angeles.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#732 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:49 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Within the reality of the film, they aren't a watershed moment in history or culture. The film goes out of its way not to nod to the fact that they actually are. Part of my interpretation of Tarantino's revisionism here, similarly to how he treated World War II and slavery, is to treat the gravitas usually granted to these things with outright disrespect and/or disregard. What I think Nasir007 is missing is that Tarantino is taking what culture has already established is the case for 50 years is a tragedy that we all share, and looking only at the human impact in two homes on one street in Los Angeles.
True to an extent. But the film is not a closed system. To work at all, it does require you to know Manson’s cultural importance and have it in mind during the film.

Manson revelled in and played into the media’s mythologizing of him. Tarantino refuses to contribute anything further to that mythology. But the animating idea of his film is fundamentally that the Manson murders can/do function as a moment of lost innocence in America.

But we probably agree that the movie is a critique of Manson’s place in culture rather than an endorsement or furtherance of it. The film is fundamentally on the side of what it imagines Manson destroyed, and against Manson.

Anyway, my overall point was that you don’t need to believe the murders were actually the moment America lost its innocence to enjoy and appreciate the movie any more than you need to believe in the geocentric universe to enjoy and appreciate The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost. All you need is to see how it’s being used to generate significance.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#733 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:50 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:49 pm
Anyway, my overall point was that you don’t need to believe the murders were actually the moment America lost its innocence to enjoy and appreciate the movie any more than you need to believe in the heliocentric universe to enjoy and appreciate The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost. All you need is to see how it’s being used to generate significance.
I think the film loses something if you don't buy into that immediate premise. Choice of material is not arbitrary, especially in a film with real-life figures and with real events at least partially recreated.

If you don't buy into the monumental importance of Tate's murder, then a giant 'so what' hangs over the film which can be extremely distancing for audiences. In the sense, why this murder in particular? If what you are saying is, you can chuck all the importance of this murder, then the question remains that why did the author/auteur choose this particular murder? Couldn't he have chosen any other murder?

And of course the answer to the question of why he chose the Tate murder necessarily predicates on the perceived importance of the event.

You can't separate the two. The author clearly thought it monumental enough to make a film around it. That itself is a signal to the viewer.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#734 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:09 pm

He could have chosen any other murder and gotten across everything but the build and release of tension that comes with supposition that the viewer knows what is coming, so in a sense, the answer to your question is "yes," he could have chosen any other murder and this would have been a very successful picture.

Regardless: The importance of Tate's murder has been built up for the wrong reasons - because of idolatry of those who committed the murder, not the person who was murdered herself. This is a film that rejects that half century of mythmaking.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#735 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:22 pm

Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:50 pm
Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:49 pm
Anyway, my overall point was that you don’t need to believe the murders were actually the moment America lost its innocence to enjoy and appreciate the movie any more than you need to believe in the heliocentric universe to enjoy and appreciate The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost. All you need is to see how it’s being used to generate significance.
I think the film loses something if you don't buy into that immediate premise. Choice of material is not arbitrary, especially in a film with real-life figures and with real events at least partially recreated.
If you want to reject the premise of a film, that's your business. But all discussion stops there. It'd be like discussing Dracula with someone who hates it because they don't think vampires exist.
Nasir007 wrote:If you don't buy into the monumental importance of Tate's murder, then a giant 'so what' hangs over the film which can be extremely distancing for audiences. In the sense, why this murder in particular? If what you are saying is, you can chuck all the importance of this murder, then the question remains that why did the author/auteur choose this particular murder? Couldn't he have chosen any other murder?

And of course the answer to the question of why he chose the Tate murder necessarily predicates on the perceived importance of the event.

You can't separate the two. The author clearly thought it monumental enough to make a film around it. That itself is a signal to the viewer.
The Manson murders are unquestionably a major touchstone in American culture and history. There is no debate here.

Why Tarantino chose these murders to hang his movie on is complex, but boils down to the following:

1. They took place in and were centrally concerned with Hollywood.

2. They occurred just as a larger change in Hollywood was occurring, with the studio system crumbling, fantasy genres like westerns and musicals going into decline, and films with greater violence, sexual content (including the mainstreaming of porn), and a more negative outlook gaining prominence.

3. They occurred just as a larger cultural shift in America was in effect, one in which the optimism of the 60s gave way to the fear and paranoia of the 70s.

So Tarantino takes the rather widely believed idea that the murders represented a loss of innocence in Hollywood (and America more widely I guess) and uses it to spin a fantasy. Again, you don't have to take the idea as literal, you just have to understand why it exists to grasp the significance of Tarantino's project.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#736 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:24 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:22 pm
It'd be like discussing Dracula with someone who hates it because they don't think vampires exist.
Choosing to believe that you plucked this example from your real life

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#737 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:22 pm
Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:50 pm
Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:49 pm
Anyway, my overall point was that you don’t need to believe the murders were actually the moment America lost its innocence to enjoy and appreciate the movie any more than you need to believe in the heliocentric universe to enjoy and appreciate The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost. All you need is to see how it’s being used to generate significance.
I think the film loses something if you don't buy into that immediate premise. Choice of material is not arbitrary, especially in a film with real-life figures and with real events at least partially recreated.
If you want to reject the premise of a film, that's your business. But all discussion stops there. It'd be like discussing Dracula with someone who hates it because they don't think vampires exist.
Nasir007 wrote:If you don't buy into the monumental importance of Tate's murder, then a giant 'so what' hangs over the film which can be extremely distancing for audiences. In the sense, why this murder in particular? If what you are saying is, you can chuck all the importance of this murder, then the question remains that why did the author/auteur choose this particular murder? Couldn't he have chosen any other murder?

And of course the answer to the question of why he chose the Tate murder necessarily predicates on the perceived importance of the event.

You can't separate the two. The author clearly thought it monumental enough to make a film around it. That itself is a signal to the viewer.
The Manson murders are unquestionably a major touchstone in American culture and history. There is no debate here.

Why Tarantino chose these murders to hang his movie on is complex, but boils down to the following:

1. They took place in and were centrally concerned with Hollywood.

2. They occurred just as a larger change in Hollywood was occurring, with the studio system crumbling, fantasy genres like westerns and musicals going into decline, and films with greater violence, sexual content (including the mainstreaming of porn), and a more negative outlook gaining prominence.

3. They occurred just as a larger cultural shift in America was in effect, one in which the optimism of the 60s gave way to the fear and paranoia of the 70s.

So Tarantino takes the rather widely believed idea that the murders represented a loss of innocence in Hollywood (and America more widely I guess) and uses it to spin a fantasy. Again, you don't have to take the idea as literal, you just have to understand why it exists to grasp the significance of Tarantino's project.
I am not rejecting the premise of the film, I am testing it for soundness based on my worldview and conception of the narrative.

Based on what you outline, it is easy to assign significance to his project but it is more difficult to attribute merit if you do not buy into the premise which you don't seem to require.

Simply from a comparison point, it is mightily evident in what was averted when the Nazi leadership is wiped from history or slave-owners are wiped from history. But what was averted here is not evident unless you buy into the premise - a specific culture, dear to Tarantino, was salvaged.

I guess we do agree that the movie itself considers these moments epochal. We disagree about whether the appreciation of the film is tied to the viewer also considering them epochal.

PS: I do like the film from a writing, directing and acting point of view. It is a well-made film. But I am struggling to assign it any profundity.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#738 Post by knives » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:05 pm

Why must it be profound to be great?

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#739 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:06 pm

Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
the premise - a specific culture, dear to Tarantino, was salvaged.
There is absolutely no indication within the narrative of the conclusion of the film that culture wouldn't head in the same direction it did anyway - Tate and Polanski living next door to Dalton is already an indication of Hollywood cultivating new talent and moving forward, and things like cowboy shows and drive in movie theaters didn't go away because of the Manson murders

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#740 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:54 pm

Nasir007 wrote:I am not rejecting the premise of the film, I am testing it for soundness based on my worldview and conception of the narrative.
Movies aren't logic puzzles ("testing for soundness"? Really?). And even then, I haven't seen you test anything. You just keep saying you don't buy it, and that this affects the film, and that's about it.

Your posts have all the sense of wondering whether The Last Temptation of Christ is a good movie because you don't buy the premise it's critiquing: that Jesus is the son of god and without sin.

You don't have to buy the premise on a literal, real-world level. We're not testing reality here. We're watching movies. You just have to accept the premise and see how the movie uses it to generate meaning. That's kind of the whole point.
Nasir007 wrote:Based on what you outline, it is easy to assign significance to his project but it is more difficult to attribute merit if you do not buy into the premise which you don't seem to require.

Simply from a comparison point, it is mightily evident in what was averted when the Nazi leadership is wiped from history or slave-owners are wiped from history. But what was averted here is not evident unless you buy into the premise - a specific culture, dear to Tarantino, was salvaged.

I guess we do agree that the movie itself considers these moments epochal. We disagree about whether the appreciation of the film is tied to the viewer also considering them epochal.

PS: I do like the film from a writing, directing and acting point of view. It is a well-made film. But I am struggling to assign it any profundity.
None of the film's merits are tied to accepting the premise as a proposition about our actual world. The Manson murders are used as a metaphoric short-hand for the cultural shift that occurred as one decade transitioned into another, and allows us to imagine a fantasy in which those changes, in Hollywood and elsewhere, are in no way the product of Manson. It's not saving culture, just imagining if a very ugly part of our culture, one allowed to become an unfortunate myth, were not allowed to taint something imperfect but beautiful. And we are allowed to imagine this beautiful moment continuing for just a bit longer. But only a bit longer. The death of the studio system, Vietnam, porno chic, European grindhouse films, the violence inaugurated by Bonnie and Clyde, they're all still there in the background, as the film shows.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#741 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:30 pm

I appreciate the interaction. It just seems like we disagree on how the movie is supposed to work. I would say it did not work for me on its own terms but I was able to find things that I liked anyways.

I'd also add that I find a lot of discussion around the film nebulous - kind of like 'make of it what you will' which is fine as art is many things to many people. I see various arguments from various people and I am happy to entertain them but nothing really seems to be coherently coming together for me.

I am thus content to sit back with a 2 hr movie (the first 2 hrs) and enjoy its languid pleasures.

I don't think I have more to add about deciphering what the movie is trying to convey. ✌🏼

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#742 Post by bearcuborg » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:50 am

I caught this at NYC’s Village East in 70mm, and consider myself quite fortunate...the film grain is vital. Seeing it in digital would be too other-worldly. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for Robert Richardson and the production design team. Quentin Tarantino’s eye for detail is as meticulous as Wes Anderson, the way everyday products like hairspray are displayed, the way food looks, to the electronics the characters use... If anything, it’s one of the better car movies since American Graffiti. I read somewhere that Tarantino asked for 2,000 cars, when the usual period project only calls for 200. It’s not only his most convincing period picture, it’s as good as any that I can think of which recreates a bygone era AND making it feel completely lived in.

I went in expecting to dislike it, with lots of baggage since 1997 but by the end of the movie, I was almost moved to tears. It’s quite moving, especially Robbie’s last words. And while I can’t quite convey why the movie had that effect on me, I consider this to be the most effective use of Tarantino’s alternate history technique.

The whole cast is damn fine, in particular Pitt, who I found myself adoring. Maybe because he was a dog person. His relationship with DiCaprio was a beautiful flip side to something like Paul Schrader’s Auto Focus. The use of the Batman theme during the credits further solidifying their partnership.

The early driving scenes help set a intoxicating LA vibe. Sharon at the theater had this Amelie watching movie goers kind of magic, but not as a joke, because the actors on the screen are still the ultimate special effect. I’m not one for ranking movies, but I can’t imagine he could ever make a better movie than this one.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#743 Post by cdnchris » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:47 am

I had pretty much the same reaction to this as bearcuborg, though I'm admittedly fond of all of Tarantino's films. I wouldn't say it's my favourite but it is certainly up there, but something tells me it's the type of film that could get better with repeat viewings. I do also like how Tarantino refuses to play into this mentality of mythicizing Manson, instead showing the whole group for what they were: a bunch of losers and idiots, which I think was summed up nicely in the last little bit of the movie
SpoilerShow
When Booth is trying to recall the name of one of the cult members from the compound, Tex chimes in:

Tex: I am the devil. I am here to do the devil’s business.
Cliff: [pause] Naw, it was dumber than that.

That follow-up and Pitt's delivery of it to something "Tex" Watson (apparently) actually said manages to do more damage than what follows.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#744 Post by bearcuborg » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:13 pm

That’s a devastating way to sum up that interaction cdnchris, nice.

Quentin Tarantino Used an ‘Absurd Amount’ of Vintage Cars in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’


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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#746 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:08 am

I wish Tarantino had read Dave McGowan's great book Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream before writing the script. If he had, maybe, just maybe, the film would have been interesting.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#747 Post by dda1996a » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:38 am

Sounds like a book about Pynchon to be honest

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#748 Post by Big Ben » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:40 am

Petty Bourgeoisie wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:08 am
I wish Tarantino had read Dave McGowan's great book Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream before writing the script. If he had, maybe, just maybe, the film would have been interesting.
Could you elaborate? The author of that book David McGowan also believed that the moon landing was a hoax and that 9/11 was an inside job which makes me consider that book and your post with just a bit of hesitation. While the film takes place in 1969 I'm unsure why you believe a book that ostensibly attempts to rewrite perceived notions of the hippie movement would somehow contribute to the overall narrative that QT is presenting here. Sure Rick doesn't have a positive view of the moment but I think it's disingenuous to assume gross naivety on Tarantino's part due to one mans uh, "idea" of what the hippies were like. It's one thing to make revisionist fantasy(Which Tarantino has done three times now). It's something else entirely to deny reality altogether and use that as a springboard for all manner of unscrupulous things.

Is your issue with how the world is presented? Is it the people? The settings in which they interact?

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#749 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:16 am

My issue is that OUATIH is an uninteresting film. Simply painting by numbers.

I'm not endorsing or denouncing the David McGowan book. Well, I guess I was, because I labeled it "great". I just simply think that it could have provided a spark for fresh ideas.

How about this for a scene? Rick, with his anti-hippie attitude established, has to go shoot some pro-Vietnam war propaganda at Lookout Mountain Air Force Station. He can't tell Cliff where he is going, so he walks up the canyon to the base, flashes his clearance and in he goes to shoot his propaganda on the worlds biggest, most well equipped sound-stage. But it's not Hollywood types he is surrounded by, but troops! He runs into Bob Hope or John Wayne and says hi. Films (or voices) what he has to, but before he leaves the base, walks past two gents engaged in a nice conversation - Gregory Peck and Dennis Hopper! Under his breath Rick mumbles "Hell's Bells, even the military jobs are getting weird". Maybe toss in Manson in the distance but he's away enough so that the audience can't make a 100% identification.

Come on, that's better than Rick talking to a 9-year-old about his mid-life crisis or the useless Bruce Lee scenes.

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Re: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

#750 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:57 am

Petty Bourgeoisie wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:16 am
My issue is that OUATIH is an uninteresting film. Simply painting by numbers.
Can’t argue with that. If Hollywood pushes out one more 2.5 hour revisionist history feature centered almost entirely on long dialogue scenes and practical recreation of period-accurate details of the era, I’m going to die of boredom.

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