Culture remains a fickle beast. In this serious of articles, members of the Committee get together and discuss which film directors have been given an unfair deal. Because, every yen needs a yang, we analyze which ones are being indulged when they should be vilified.
Joseph Mankiewicz Goes Free –
Joseph Mankiewicz’s name has fallen from the lips of cinemaphiles and the Committee and I feel it must stop. Mankiewicz is one of the most recognized filmmakers in the history of cinema, his 1950 film All About Eve. As well, he would become the first and only one of two to win an Academy Award for Best Director and Best Screenplay consecutive years.
Witty and urbane, Mankiewicz was a purely east coast guy. He hated almost everything to do with Hollywood, except maybe the actresses. Nonetheless, Hollywood could not keep him for long.
Mankiewicz would fly the coup and abandon Hollywood while still making films. Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra would feature prominently among those films. His last feature Sleuth, the far superior of the two made, was the original version of the Anthony Shaffer play.
Quentin Tarantino is banished to purgatory
Quentin Tarantino is a very talented storyteller and filmmaker. However, when you re-watch his work and get away from all the surrounding noise that surrounds it, was are you left with? Slick cinema without much growth. A plethra of gun shots and death but not much growth to be seen. The cinematic language Tarantino spoke in during interviews, that made us fall in love with his vision of cinema.
However, as time drug on, and film after film passed, the juvenile poetry that graced his early films began to be just noisy prattle. The stylish, cool violence has become a boring fetish inducement that only packs minutes on the film and much us.
Quentin , we had such high hopes for you. Too bad it was all just bravado and smoke mirrors. In article on the UK Independent website, author Johann Hari writes:
“The moral vision of Reservoir Dogs turns out to have been something well-meaning viewers projected onto it: Tarantino really does think violence is “like, cool.” He has been systematically squandering his cinematic talent ever since – in ways that reflect disturbingly on us, the viewers.”
That is why we at LBJBR welcome Joseph Mankiewicz back from obscurity purgatory and condemn Quentin Tarantino to pompous ass pergatory.