Wednesday 23 October 2019


Did you know that the Hollywood sign is copyrighted, and that
theoretically, you need to pay a fee to show it?

Quentin Tarantino's new movie 'Once Upon a Hollywood'* is a whopping 2:45 min. The Shark and I decided to check it out anyway. Our luck, it was playing at Maxim, Helsinki's haut-cinema that has cushy chairs and tables in-between for drinks and snacks. We bought our wine and settled in for the long haul. Everyone who can read knows the movie takes place in 1969, the year film-star Sharon Tate and some of her pals were murdered by Charles Manson and his girl-gang. So we knew the end before it began. But QT had a lot more to tell us about Hollywood. The pace is slow, laid-back, deliberate.

The scene at the Ranch where Manson and his gang hang out is full of menace and suspense. But long enough to be a short movie. I kept wishing Eki had been in on the edit. The Shark liked it and compared it to the Serge Leone westerns. The movie's slow-pace helped to accentuate how boring, banal and cruel movie-making and life in Hollywood can be. And he nailed the period.

The clothes, the music, the locations are perfect. So are Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt. Di Caprio's has-been, aging B movie actor and Pitt as his minder, fixer, driver, drinking-pal are sure to get Oscar nominations. 10-year-old Julia Butters, who stole her short her scene with di Caprio, should get the Best Supporting Actress award. In fact, the movie is sure to be a top choice for lots of Oscars. But  even if the Shark and the critics loved every 165 minutes, for me, 'Once Upon...' would have been better if Tarantino had followed Eki's rule: Kill your little darlings.

*'Once Upon a Time....' SERGIO LEONE trilogy

Sources: Helsingin Sanomat, New York Times, The Washington Post, the Shark, personal experience

Next week: 'and the WINNER is...PUTIN the IMPALER'

Note: I still haven't seen the film. And will probably wait until it's available for streaming. So, i haven't got much of notes per se. Overall, while i can appreciate the craftsmanship, and understand why Tarantino has his fans, i'm not necessarily one of them. Somehow i feel his films tend to be too self-conscious, perhaps pompous even, screaming "Look, look, *this* is a movie!". And they are also often unnecessarily violent. I do not see how that adds to the experience - or, perhaps i'm just getting soft with age.



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