Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tantra and Tarantino --- Day 354

Walk: Mindful Body, Sundance Kabuki Theater (Django Unchained)
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

Hatha, actually, but it didn't go with Tarantino.  Taught yoga about peace, opening to self, etc. and then went to Tarantino's latest movie - 2:45 hours of 'clever' violence.  Which is my type of violence - there's dumb pyrotechnic/slasher violence and then there's the smart stuff: Psycho, Bonnie and Clyde, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Godfather, Miller's Crossing, Pulp Fiction, No Country For Old Men, those kinds of movies.

People who hate violence on the screen would never split these hairs, and you do feel a little odd relishing these movies.  I liked them from the teenage get-go, but tricked my brother into watching the actual deeds and screaming while I was totally clever at knowing just when to cover my eyes and then getting him to tell me what had happened.  He believed I was watching too, and it took him a few years to realize I was doing this.  (Sorry..) 

But then Alfred Hitchcock one-upped the eye-coverers/me with Psycho.  No musical buildup, no obviously scary murder scene, just sudden, completely unexpected, illogical in terms of what you were looking at Violence.  It was never the same after Psycho for me.  Every smart-violent movie from then on was judged for its ability to out-think, out-fox, walk the audience into unforeseen gore and keep it rapt in suspense the whole time.  Sadistic, voyeuristic on everyone's part.

And not easy.  Into this genre walked Quentin Tarantino, an instant master who probably has seen and digested every violent movie in the film canon. As I said, I saw his latest, Django Unchained, today, and once again he is at the top of his top game.  The movie, his version of Spaghetti western,  is complex even in its uncomplex bloodbaths.  Tarantino wraps his scenes in history-based, suspenseful, entertaining, humorous irony.  So you, the movie-goer, admire him for how he has structured and shot the brutal horror.  But when the horror happens, it is truly horror, and there you are mixed up about yourself.  Watching in some mixture of repulsion and awe which becomes self-repulsion for sitting/not leaving the theater watching the grisly, visceral gore. This then leads to even more awe of the writer-director who could have brought you to this point and held you. 

Yoga and Tarantino.  What a mix - and I feel so lucky to have the freedom to put this preposterous combination together on this Christmas day in this amazing city.  Doing what I please watching Tarantino do the same.  Not many would probably choose to follow in these footsteps, but if this is your type of movie, even though it isn't perfect/doesn't have the humor or taut storyline to offset the graphic gore (like Pulp Fiction), you will like it a lot.  Others, stay away...

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