Monthly Archives: June 2019

Allusion Profusion [ED WOOD & PULP FICTION]

From the Chicago Reader (October 21, 1994). This is also reprinted in my collection Movies as Politics. — J.R.

*** ED WOOD

(A must-see)

Directed by Tim Burton

Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski

With Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Bill Murray, Lisa Marie, George “The Animal” Steele, and Vincent D’Onofrio.

*** PULP FICTION

(A must-see)

Directed and written by Quentin Tarantino

With John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Maria de Medeiros, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Harvey Keitel, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, and Tarantino.

[The media] ask those who know nothing to represent the ignorance of the public and, in so doing, to legitimize it.

– Serge Daney, Sight and Sound

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story. — Orson Welles

In Vamps & Tramps, Camille Paglia’s latest collection of sound bites and press clips, one finds an extended account of her long-term obsession with Susan Sontag, including the following nugget: “She is literally being passed by a younger rival, and she’s not handling it, I’m afraid, very gracefully. . . . I am the Sontag of the 90s, there’s no doubt of it.” Her statements recall Wynton Marsalis’s compulsive self-positioning as Miles Davis’s rival/replacement — especially in the 80s, when Davis was still alive — as well as repeated assertions reviewers have made over the past several weeks that Quentin Tarantino is Jean-Luc Godard’s successor.… Read more »