Archive for March 6th, 2013


© 2013 by James Clark

The Hunger Games is a lavishly and subtly eccentric film. It bursts into view for us in the course of setting in relief the function of the work of Robert Bresson. As recently embraced here, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs also speaks to the urgency of dialogue with Bresson. It goes to cataclysmic lengths to get some blood moving in Bresson’s cadaverous discoveries about resentment and bathos as ravaging world history.

With The Hunger Games, director Gary Ross brings off a cinematic coup that could keep us busy fathoming for a long time. Gaining entry to a conventional novelistic template for eliciting the vaguely subversive longings of school children, Ross reconfigures the premise to bring to bear an interpersonal climate approaching perpetual, absolute zero, and, thereby, Bresson comes to Hollywood. Bresson does come to Hollywood by means of Tarantino as well; and the compelling differences of these transmissions can, I think, be vigorously explored by means of that mountain of malice, titled, Kill Bill (2003, 2004).

Whereas Ross is entirely at home with the gritty and gentle drift of his protagonist, and thereby conveys a remarkably rounded phenomenon of fully-challenged physiological and social equilibrium, Tarantino devises a juvenile scenario he purports to love to death while sketchily overseeing the matter of maturity. Kill Bill sees its marketing edge in elegant and innovative martial dynamics as sending forth topspins that could (but seldom would) come to bear upon an agenda of sub-human sufficing in revenge. Its protagonist, the Bride (only very late in the saga acquiring the name, Beatrix [a tricky Beauty indeed]), fills its four hours with hardly believable feats on behalf of survival and dominance, ripping out torrents of incredulity to match the attendant rivers of blood. But, in having repulsed and precluded most of the market for incisively recognizing the heroine’s gaping deficiencies, Tarantino provides the spectacle of being, in his own inimitable way, almost as incomprehensible a stiff as Bresson. (more…)

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