RESERVOIR DOGS (1992, Tarantino)
Quick post today – man, it’s hard to blog when you’re busy! This is the classic less-is-more shot, famous from Tarantino’s debut film. I think it’s pretty unique moment from Tarantino, as there’s not a lot of “less-is-more” when it comes to violence in his work, to say the least. Think the forehead carvings in his thrilling Inglourious Basterds. (If you can think of any other don’t-show moments from Quentin, please chime in.)
UPDATE – Ah ha, this makes sense – according to my pal Carlos (comment below), and a few internet mentions I can find, such as the BBC‘s “the man who gave the world the X-rated Reservoir Dogs, which featured the now-famous ear-chopping scene,” the ear chop was indeed graphically filmed. Only when the film received an X rating did Tarantino go back and film (or edit in) the pan-away which I’m sure is far more famous and iconic than the gore effects would have been. Am I alone in the fact that when the foreheads get carved (which I love, by the way) in Inglourious, all I can think about is that it’s rubber. If anyone can confirm that original ear version with a link, please let me know.
Stuck in the Middle with Tarantino
Not only are such moments often more powerful than if the act of violence was shown, due to the viewers imagination creating far more effective imagery, but these moments are also much cheaper to film (perhaps in this very early part of his career, that was a leading consideration). Win/win. Reminds me of the shark in Jaws. All that money spent on the roboshark that wouldn’t work, and what finally made that movie terrifying and indelible? Not showing the shark.
Here’s the atypical look-away from the gore in a Tarantino picture at 1:16 –
And of course, let’s not forget the spoof on The Simpsons.