Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Quentin Tarantino angers the Italian film industry; Sophia Loren has an idiotic reply.
Quentin Tarantino--who has made no secret of his love for classic Italian movies--has raised the ire of the Italian filmmaking community after saying, "New Italian cinema is just depressing. Recent films I've seen are all the same. They talk about boys growing up, or girls growing up, or couples having a crisis, or vacations of the mentally impaired." I'm in no position to judge this statement, not being up on current Italian cinema (sadly, I think the most recent I've seen is Life Is Beautiful, which came out ten years ago), but it seems a pretty tame comment. It's not like he's screaming, "ITALIAN CINEMA IS THE WORST! I HATE ITALIANS! FUCK YOU, ITALY!" He's just expressing his disappointment in the country's film industry; I certainly bitch enough about my own country's.
But Italian folks are now all up in arms over this, even going so far as to say that Tarantino himself is "mentally impaired," which just does further disservice to their stature and makes them seem like some snot-nosed brat kicking up dust on the playground.
But the worst of it? The absolute most idiotic thing said so far? That honor goes to none other but classic Italian actress Sophia Loren:
"How dare he talk about Italian cinema when he doesn't know anything about American cinema?"
Er...um...what? I would totally back her defending Italian cinema, but to say that Tarantino knows nothing of it, let alone American cinema? Apparently Ms. Loren has not seen any movies in the past 15 years. Tarantino has basically helped create the shape of modern American filmmaking; trust me, without Reservoir Dogs or especially Pulp Fiction, the face of the cinematic world and American culture in general would be extremely, if not entirely, different.
Tarantino ushered in a new wave of filmmaking, and actually made things interesting again. Yeah, Grindhouse may have flopped at the box office, but critics were in love with it. Tarantino's segment of the film, Death Proof, was regarded as the worst part, yes, but to the observant moviegoer, it was without a doubt the best. I've only read negativity about the expanded cut shown at Cannes, but then again, I've only read one article. Even if Tarantino does perhaps stumble--for the first time in his career, Four Rooms notwithstanding--it will not diminish his stature nor his importance nor his relevance.
Mr. Tarantino, bring on Death Proof and Inglorious Bastards. Ms. Loren, go watch some movies.