Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tarentino: A Quick Look at Reservoir Dogs and Inglorious Basterds

Reservoir dogs
Reservoir dogs, directed by Quentin Tarantino is a film about a jewelry store robbery gone wrong.  It has a non-linear plot structure and does not come together until one of the last scenes. Tarantino doesn’t stray far from his love of violence, with multiple shooting scenes as well as torture.  This film is most unique in its strange balance of scenes. The scenes, in which violence plays a large role and are hectic, are contrasted nicely with long monologues or conversations between characters. These long dialogue scenes did get somewhat tedious, however they were contrasted nicely with the up-beat, dramatic scenes. In addition, the non-linear plot allowed for Tarantino to jump around and fit in different parts of the story when he chose to do so. One scene in particular which I felt was well done was this scene.
This scene starts immediately following the credits, the viewer has no prior warning and no context, this helps add to the drama and intensity. In addition the camera shot does not show the road, just the two men, and the driver, Mr. White, isn’t looking at the road. This again adds to the drama. Lastly what makes this scene special is how the dialogue contrasts the chaos of what the viewer sees. This helps in this scene and in many others, to balance out the violence.

Inglorious Basterds 

Inglorius Basterds is Tarantino's take on the holocaust and Europe in the 1940s. He remains relatively historically accurate until the ending scene in which Hitler is blown away by a baragge of bullets. Tarantino uses drawn out conversation and framing to build tension. The movie overall builds tension up until the final scene in which hell breaks loose. Tarantino's framing can be seen in this scene.

Tarantino uses 2 main shots in this. He has a close up of the german's face, which includes a slow zoom. This shot cuts back and forth with a slow zoom of a dark space. This dark space creates a feeling of mystery and uncertainty. The suspense builds as we as the viewer get deeper and deeper into the dark space. Tarantino creates a strange dynamic in this scene. He makes the audience empathize with the German, even though we want to see him as the enemy. We are just as uncertain as to whats behind that entrance as the German. When the "Bear Jew" finally does emerge, Tarantino immediately zooms out to give the audience a full look at the new character. We then see the German through his eyes instead of a third person view. This new camera angle is shot at a high angle, showing that the German is powerless.

Another way Tarantino builds tension is through long conversations. This can be seen multiple times throughout the movie. Many times it is the conversation itself, rather than the film techniques which helps add tension, but Tarantino is able to use a combination of both. 

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