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Kubrick's "The Killing" weaves the narrative threads of each character's story into the complex yarn of a heist. Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" ties references to numerous films into a dense knot. The pleasure of watching, and difficulty of discussing, Tarantino's work arises from having to pick at, and follow, seemingly infinite threads to their points of origin. Text is henceforth hypertext. As Clute and Edwards follow the many links from Tarantino back to Kubrick, they investigate what's at stake when the canvas of noir is stretched to drape a corpus like Tarantino's. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2006_04_01_RD.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 5:01 AM
Comments[8]

  • BTW, be sure to look into diopters and what they do - I don\'t think that the one shot you say is a process shot actually is.

    posted by: Mike White on 2008-05-21 13:31:00

  • It would be helpful if you use the space of this site to list some of those other films. Thank you and keep up the great work.

    posted by: Hi-Tech Gadgets on 2008-11-12 11:21:00

  • Just started listening to your podcast and have quickly been moving through your catalog of shows. Great stuff. Regarding RESERVOIR DOGS, you talked about a certain shot in which MR. ORANGE was in focus in the back of the frame and the COP was in sharp focus to the right. This shot was not a process or split-screen. It is achived using a special lens called a SPLIT-FIELD DIOPTER. Brian DePalma uses one in almost every one of his films. Especially DRESSED TO KILL. You kind find them all over film history, from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS to BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY\'S to HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. It is a special macro lens that only has half the glass, allowing you a super-extreme, sharp focus close-up shot on one side, and a sharp focus on something very far away on the other, creating an interesting effect. That is how QT did this. Keep up the good work. Can\'t wait to listen to your KISS ME DEADLY cast!

    posted by: Joe C. on 2007-09-19 23:43:00

  • Hi Joe: Thanks for the info. We talk about De Palma\\\'s use of the split-field diopter in our episode on THE BLACK DAHLIA. Thanks for clarifying its use here by Tarantino. Glad to hear you are enjoying the podcasts. Best, Richard Edwards (co-host, Out of the Past)

    posted by: Richard Edwards on 2007-09-20 10:15:00

  • Guys, you are my heroes. Without you i wouldn\'t know about all this stuff, and about the great movies that humanity almost forgot about! Great job!

    posted by: Canal holidays UK on 2008-01-13 23:27:00

  • Great stuff, guys. I\'ve always felt that RD was a great noir -- even did a paper on this back in college. If you\'re interested in seeing a comparison of DOGS and CITY ON FIRE check out my website: http://www.impossiblefunky.com/qt/RD_4.html

    posted by: Mike White on 2006-07-06 09:10:00

  • I greatly enjoy this program, and I want to thank you guys again for continuing to do it. I have criticized and corresponded with you, and I hope we are all the better for it! :) After listening to \"The Killing\" and \"Reservoir Dogs\" I have some more of what I hope is constructive criticism. I think you need someone who disagrees with you. You both kind of double team everything. For example, in the \"Reservoir Dogs\" program, Shannon rather casually asserts that there is a clear homo-erotic subtext in the relationship between characters played by Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel. C\'mon Shannon - I\'m as open minded as the next guy, but that is a stretch. Someone should have called you on that! To me, their relationship represented the notion of honor among thieves. I believe if you analyze Tarantino in the big sense of his series of films, you see big sweeping themes. \"Reservoir Dogs\" is about loyalty. \"Pulp Fiction\" is about honor. \"Jackie Brown\" is about honesty. And \"Kill Bill I & II\" is about love. I guess I also want you guys to up your game when you are talking film technique. Calling a dolly shot a \"pan\" is just not cool. Calling the non-linear telling of a story \"flashbacks\" is not cool. Taratino even makes a big point of that on the commentary on RD. Several of my film friends here in DC - inspired by your series - are planning on debuting a podcast of our own in June. We, like you, are not interested in reviewing films. We want to subject a work to criticism and analysis, and how it relates to the larger body of a director\'s oeuvre. Our first subject will be Kubrick, and the title of our show will be \"Kubrick Yourself!\" We\'ll move through his films chronologically, then pick a new director and start again. I look forward to your constructive criticism when we launch. Keep up the good work guys - and I\'ll be out here, listening! Mango

    posted by: Mango on 2006-04-26 17:25:00

  • Thank you for your keen comments, Mango. It is good to know that you are still listening so carefully. Every show profits from having audience members like you, and I hope to be able to return the favor when you launch your podcast this summer. You were right to point out our flub on \"dolly shot\" versus \"pan,\" though I think we are generally more precise with our terminology than your comment would suggest. For example, if you listen to \"The Killing\" and \"Reservoir Dogs\" together, you\'ll see that we understand exactly how we\'re using \"flashback\" in relation to our discussion of \"non-linear\" diegesis. I\'m especially grateful that you took issue with my comment about the \"homo-erotic\" tensions of this film; in your comment you supply the term I meant to use, \"homo-erotic,\" while I accidentally used \"homosexual.\" That said, I want to stand by my thesis--though I didn\'t do enough to develop it. I agree with you that a important theme in Tarantino\'s work is \"honor among thieves,\" but most of his films are also driven by homo-erotic tensions, and even incorporate violent homosexual acts that show up the crisis of masculinity in these films. To state, as I did, that a homo-erotic tension seems--in the diegesis of these films--to stand in for for the fatal attraction between a mug and his moll which is so common in films noirs, is indeed reductive. It would be equally reductive, however, to say that \"Pulp Fiction\" is primarily a tale about \"honor.\" In other words, I think our takes on the various themes and tensions driving this film complement, rather than negating, one another. Thanks again for the attention you give our show, and your willingness to share your thoughts. Best of luck with your upcoming podcast.

    posted by: Shannon on 2006-04-26 19:58:00

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