Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood Look, the afterglow of this sunset avenue is so beautiful

First of all, I must say that I am grateful that in such an era, there are still such pure filmmakers as Tarantino making movies, especially this kind of high budget and big stars involved in the first-line production. The movie is full of “old school” flavor from shooting, props, backgrounds, except for the bridge that embeds DiCaprio in “The Great Escape”, the movie can be said to use almost no CG technology, all the props and streets are built sets, watch Cliff drive from the mountains to West Hollywood, and then drive to Burbank, the 60s LA jumped off the page.

It must be said that Quentin is an absolute anomaly among all the well-known directors. To understand Quentin’s films, one must understand Quentin the man. His biography will not be elaborated here, but the inspiration for the shots, the shooting techniques, and the scripts of Quentin’s films are largely derived from his previous life experiences. I see many bad reviews on the Internet pointing out that the film does not have a clear line, there is no story continuity, these comments are not wrong, I would like to add that in the first half of the film you do not even see the dramatic tension between the characters, for the average fan is indeed some “blanket”, and the era of Hollywood, most people are difficult to resonate with. But that doesn’t stop the movie from becoming a very “Quentin” classic, because “Quentin doesn’t give a fuck”. Quentin, the man, not only said “Violence is fun” on a TV debate, but also rudely dismissed the issue of too few lines from the lead actress during the film’s launch. The controversial clips of his films show that he doesn’t care what the outside world thinks. At first glance, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” can really be described as a movie that is a bit of a mess, with “meaningless” scenes all over the place and no characters driving the plot forward, but more like the times are dragging the group forward. Generally speaking, I don’t like movies with uneven information distribution and messy shots. A good movie is like a good dish, its “personality” must be consistent, a patchwork of shots is like a dish with a confusing taste, not a delicacy. Here I must mention an exception, that is Quentin. Many people think that the movie is full of meaningless and redundant shots before Cliff visits the Manson farm, which is somewhat true from the perspective of a coherent story: for example, Cliff drops Rick off at home, to change cars and drive back to his RV behind the open-air theater, which is still a lot of information, and then Quentin shows about 5 minutes of Cliff returning home to put Canned dog food to feed Brandy a sequence, the whole sequence basically and the film itself or the film wants to show the background without any connection, is very simple a dog waiting for the owner to feed him. After the second chapter, Rick received a bad guy role, the night before reviewing the script due to a little drunk, about 15 minutes Rick on set constantly NG, adjust, reshoot, this section is also very interesting, there are some information, but the processing of this clip is obviously stretched out. The first half of the movie is a lot of time is composed of these “meaningless” shots together, so if you look at it this way, you can naturally understand why many people feel that the first half of the movie is dull and uninteresting. Seemingly unrelated to the story but very interesting shots, this is exactly what I think Quentin interesting place. It’s a funny thing to try to find a meaning for Quentin’s existence in every shot. Generally speaking, good films seldom add meaningless shots in the film, because meaningless shots will make the audience withdraw from the film, some directors will pursue perfection to the point of paranoia in shot design, and strive for each shot to have its own meaning and place in the film. In fact, most of the best directors are this way, in an effort to streamline the shots while each shot to convey the message with the film’s theme, such as the industry’s well-known Spielberg hidden long shot. But Quentin is not this way, his film is more often the pursuit of the film as a vehicle itself is interesting, if you love the film form itself (such as me), you will find the film from beginning to end are full of surprises. Take a few “meaningless” shots, Cliff feeding the dog sequence, Edgar Wright-style editing, Rick back and forth to sort out the lines of that shot into the perspective of the cameraman are all very enjoyable to me, I do not know how many people see the dog feeding section suddenly have a kind of inexplicable smile, I anyway Is very much like that section of the nonsensical plot. Many people say that Quentin’s style, is to play smart chatter, is a variety of angles shot leg close-ups, is no Zhengzhou hysterical violence, I think are not quite in place, his style should be a kind of 30 or 40 years ago that old film people have the strength, simply put is the sky is the limit of ideas with a slightly crude treatment. Of course, the old filmmakers were more constrained by circumstances and budget, while Quentin’s film is deliberately rough. If you use a metaphor, it’s like “Kill Bill” suddenly jumped out of a white eyebrows in Cantonese to the heroine from the United States to learn the Japanese kendo criticism worthless a number of ways. This taste in the old Hong Kong films and Hollywood B movies are very common.

If the average good movie is a coherent and exciting roller coaster, then Quentin’s movie is more like a carnival, which has both a carousel, a roller coaster, and occasionally a house of horrors, you never know what you will play in this carnival. I really can’t find a Chinese word (forgive my rusty Chinese level) to describe it, probably what I want to express is that he knows every trick in the director’s book, better or worse, and he will show off these tricks in the most unexpected fashion. Quentin’s films have always been able to scratch the cinematic itch that no one else can scratch.

Quentin’s films often like to promote a “necessary” violence, do not look at his films are very direct shots of violence, in fact, in recent years he has been trying to convey something quite “positive” (since “Kill Bill”, almost all are full of halo In fact, in recent years he has been trying to convey something quite “positive” (starting from “Kill Bill”, almost all of them are stories of invincible protagonists full of halo to punish evil and promote good). In his films, the lack of legal institutions makes people have to carry out their own “justice”, and for me, this chaotic setting of “no church in a barbaric land” is a good outlet for catharsis in modern society. Especially for the Manson family, an evil and arrogant group, the last thirty minutes of Cliff and Rick’s hysterical and somewhat hilarious performance simply made me laugh. If you know anything about the Manson family and their exploits, you’ll understand why Quentin’s ending for them is so ironic and yet appropriate.

It’s a popular saying that the media avoids giving serial killers or terrorists more exposure, and because of public pressure, everyone chooses to avoid talking about or even mentioning these evil people to the core because “they shouldn’t be the focus of the public and the media”. Ironically, however, the Manson family has more pop culture references than we can count on two hands. I vividly remember the first time I watched the Manson Family documentary, when the Manson Girls wrote the word “Pig” in blood after brutally killing Tate and her baby, yet at their trial in 1970, they held hands and sang a song However, when they were tried in 1970, they held hands and sang, and faced the trial and media interviews with smiles on their faces, and I felt sick and angry from the bottom of my heart. For me, this film is the best interpretation of the Manson family, the film not only did not avoid their evil, but also their evil, self-righteousness, arrogance, to the big screen, and then destroyed in an almost cruel and playful way. Turning them from a dark piece of Hollywood history into a clown that people make fun of. What’s more interesting is that during the infamous Manson family trial, one of the Manson girls, who was involved in the entire Tate murder case, argued during the trial that the crime she committed was entirely due to the use of LSD (hallucinogenic drugs), and one of the “Manson girls” in the movie was also taken with acid Cliff’s face was smashed to pulp.

Quentin used his film to sweep away the haze that covered the sky of Hollywood at the end of the Golden Age. In the midsummer night when evil showed its fierce fangs, Quentin presented, destroyed and then molested the evil of Manson through the iron fist and flamethrower of his characters. Violence, in the face of these desecrated Hollywood men, is the answer Tarantino chooses. Through hysterical violence, innocent people can continue to live their dreams in Hollywood, and fallen movie stars regain their lives. This is his love letter to all the people who dreamed but did not reach the top of the Golden Age, which was dying, and his tribute to the B-list TV shows and stars that grew up with him. An easily overlooked detail in this movie is that the fictional character Rick Dalton starred in Bounty Law, which actually coincided with Steve McQueen’s TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive, but their subsequent trajectories were very different. McQueen then successfully transformed into a movie star through “The Magnificent Seven”, while Rick starred in a movie that received a lukewarm response. Quentin chose to focus his camera on Rick, who is similar to McQueen but not similar to him. The intention is clear: the film is intended to pay tribute to the golden age of Hollywood is not accurate, the film is a requiem for those like Tate, Dalton, who have not yet had the opportunity to show their talent in Hollywood and then forgotten by the public with the changes of the times.

When the cast and crew of this movie started rolling, I was a little saddened by how quickly the times have changed. The days of “I bought a ticket to the cinema to see Tom Cruise fly a plane and be handsome” are gone. With the advent of the information explosion era, in a market where people have absolute freedom of choice, simple star appeal is no longer the only criterion for people to enter the cinema. Remember the last time you walked into a movie theater simply for a big star’s participation? Nowadays, the appeal of IP is far greater than the stars, and the appeal of IP is gradually surpassing the requirements of the director, look at the IPs owned by Mickey Mouse, a series of remakes of classic Disney movies, Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter owned by Warner, DC, and so on. However, it should be pointed out that the director with a unique style can still give this big IP a different dynamic, such as Videtti for “Thor 3”, such as Guin for “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and negative examples such as Za Guardian for “Justice League” and “Super Batman”.

Dedicated to the last golden age of Hollywood cinema, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” born in 2019, is experiencing firsthand the alternation of Hollywood filmmaking philosophy. Big stars and big directors no longer dominate the market, Mickey Mouse and Warner with their huge IP stockpile and advanced digital technology have repeatedly lowered the standards required of stars and directors, as opposed to film shots, story, character building, we are more likely to discuss, background settings, action choreography, CGI, eggs. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, born in 2019, pays homage to the “golden age” that went out of fashion sixty years ago, and is witnessing the slanting sun of the “post-classic era”. A data, as I write this article, no plot changes, only the use of CGI re-arrangement of the new “Lion King”, with nearly seven times the box office left behind “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Big stars and big directors, is no longer a 100% insurance formula, replaced by the arrival of the era of big IP. Look at Marvel’s next “five-year plan”, the stars are becoming less and less star-studded, and the choice of cast and director is “racially diverse” and “inclusive” in the modern world is safer. Even some cozy casting methods tend to take up more weight. Whether I like it or not, this is the future trend of mainstream cinema, and the change of times is irreversible. But at least in the present, Quentin such filmmakers are still making such mainstream movies unlike the times compromise, twenty years later, many people may forget the Lion King the same plot shot twice, but as a classic of the times, revisiting “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, I believe I can still keep the moment I walked out of the cinema stirring.

Quentin may be a jerk, but his talent, vision, uncompromising and respect for the art of cinema is worth walking into a movie theater and applauding for. It was a great day. Maybe the era of movie stars and movie masters will eventually pass, but at least today, the art is still shining in its own unique light.

Let’s celebrate while it lasts.

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