Quentin Tarantino Takes on Gawker and Snarky

I hope the word “snarky” becomes extinct by the year 2015. Snarky denotes a style of writing that’s already dated– the usage is like attitude without the benefit of humor or cleverness – it’s all style and no substance. Think of it as the difference between being a George W. Bush-asshole and a social-commentary-Louis-Black asshole.

That’s why Gawker, permanently enrolled at the school of snark, has never made me laugh. The site is all about pointing fingers and humiliating people so we can feel good about ourselves, and laugh with smug, ironic detachment at the misfortune of others.

So hats off to director Quentin Tarantino who is suing Gawker Media for posting links to the leaked script for his now-shelved movie The Hateful Eight. Not a king of subtlety, Gawker’s Defamer blog linked to the 146-page script and cunningly titled the post “Here is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script.”

So this is where the world has come to! Not only do we have to fear the NSA tapping into our email accounts and men wearing Google Glass recording us at the urinal, but we also have to have sites like Gawker shit in the cinematic pool for the sake of getting a momentary spike in daily Web traffic.

In the words of Tarantino:

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time, they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally.”

 Because Gawker is snarky and full snark, Tarantino’s lawyers stated that the gossip site took great joy in leaking the secret script.

“Their headline boasts `Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ —  ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website.”

Sites like Gawker, TMZ, and a million other hybrid rip-offs are no better than the exploits of revenger porn king Hunter Moore who took great delight in profiting from sex photos hacked from people’s email accounts.

Tarantino demands actual and statutory damages as well as Gawker’s profits in the amount of at least $1 million. In turn, we the public will not get to see “The Hateful Eight.” Is that too snarky?

Running Back To the Romance of ‘Chungking Express’ With Quentin Tarantino

If you weave your way through director Wong Kar-wai’s stunning oeuvre, you’ll find that his films are wont to be populated with wistful, forsaken characters plagued by their own specific existential romantic yearning. Whether it’s his early films like Happy Together and Fallen Angels, or his classic duo In the Mood for Love and 2046, the trail of tears and emotions of his work occupy the same internal space, residing in the warmest corners of your heart, filling you with an inevitable sense of sorrrow but also an ineffable joy and pleasure in the arduous nature of love.

And one of his most acclaimed films, 1994’s Chungking Express is a dizzyingly beautiful picture, packed with incredibly well-shot moments—thanks in large part to cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s phenomenal eye. The film’s colorful world swirls around the screen like a melting impressionist painting, illuminated by the The Cranberries’ “Dreams,” the Mama’s and the Papa’s “California Dreamin,” and the rest of it’s perfectly curated soundtrack. The camera waltzes about its characters, always in motion to tell the story a lovestruck tale that proves desire doesn’t always have an expiration date.

Roger Ebert wrote about his experience watching the kinetic and enchanting film back in 1996, saying:

At UCLA last summer, Quentin Tarantino introduced a screening of “Chungking Express” and confessed that while watching it on video, “I just started crying.” He cried not because the movie was sad, he said, but because “I’m just so happy to love a movie this much.” I didn’t have to take out my handkerchief a single time during the film, and I didn’t love it nearly as much as he did, but I know what he meant: This is the kind of movie you’ll relate to if you love film itself, rather than its surface aspects such as story and stars. It’s not a movie for casual audiences, and it may not reveal all its secrets the first time through, but it announces Wong Kar-Wai, its Hong Kong-based director, as a filmmaker in the tradition of Jean-Luc Godard.

And it’s true, no one loves this movie more than Quentin Tarantino. And if you haven’t seen him geek out about it, you’re going to need to. In the clip below he introduces the film, expressing his love for Wong Kar-wai’s previous work, before going in depth about the female characters in Chungking and about the infectious nature of cinema and how loving movies is enough to be able to make a good movie yourself.

So check out Tarantino gushing about Chungking Express below and let’s take a walk through the film’s wonderful soundtrack because lifeis short and “a person may like pineapple today and something else tomorrow.”

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Check Out Quentin Tarantino’s Favorite Films of 2013

Back in the summer, we ranked our top favorite films of 2013 six months into the year. Upstream Color, Frances Ha, Something in the Air, and Before Midnight fell highest on our list, with an updated version a few weeks ago, adding Stories We Tell, Blue Jasmine, and a few notable others to the list. Our next iteration will most definitely include Steve McQueen’s brilliant 12 Years a Slave, but in the meantime, Quentin Tarantino has provided his favorite films of 2013 for everyone to enjoy—and it’s a mixed bag. In alphabetical order his list goes as follows:

1. Afternoon Delight (Jill Soloway)

2. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)

3. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

4. The Conjuring (James Wan)
5. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)

6. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)

7. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

8. Kick Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow)

9. The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski)

10. This Is The End (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg)  

But if that list doesn’t satisfy you, check out Tarantino discussing his favorite films from 1992 to 2002 HERE.

What Would Steve Buscemi Do: NYC’s Automatic Tipping Rules to Be Enforced

How far out can you move in Bushwick before you fall into some lake or find yourself actually out of the city or can’t access a subway. That’s what club and restaurant workers are asking themselves as more and more places begin to comply with the (sort of new) tipping regulations. Will tipped employees be able to support themselves now that IRS rules about mandatory gratuities (a.k.a., "autograt") are to be strictly enforced?

The latest update says the added practice of adding an automatic tip of say 18% more or less to large parties needs to be reclassified as a wage rather than a tip. All sorts of grief comes from this as payroll tax withholding and sales tax stuff, not to mention tons of added paperwork, which requires day staff an additional expense owners won’t enjoy or probably agree to.

It will be easier just to end the practice at the expense of the help. The server would have to be paid minimum wage instead of the lesser server wage. It’s a can of worms and the industry ain’t fishing. Autograt will be eliminated. Some places are fooling around with a suggested tip but this probably won’t fly with the government, which will see it as a scam to get around their concept. They would be right. The industry has changed over the years. Cash used to be king, but now its all about the plastic. Hiding or underreporting tips has become harder for those trying to make a living a buck or 3 at a time.

We live in a city where tourist dollars pay for the bread and butter and tourists—especially foreign ones who don’t tip as well as locals…if at all. Without forcing the issue and demanding tips, bartenders and wait staff will suffer. Gone will be the $500-a-night tips and a change in lifestyle will ensue. Without wads of cash, bar employees will spend less. There will be fewer meals in late-night diners and less disposable income for shoes and such. There will be peripheral damage to the economy in general. Staff will seek out cheaper rents in less attractive neighborhoods or live with more roommates. The industry will be less attractive to aspiring models, actors and artists who depend on tip money while they try to make it here.

New York City may become a less attractive option for artist types who just can’t pay the bills. Bar staff may become less attractive as other options surely exist for the beautiful. Fewer "B" models and aspiring actors will find financial support in hospitality and find other options or move back to Peoria or go to back to school and abandon their dreams of stardom. Starving artists working as waitrons may actually starve.

The sky may or may not be falling, only time will tell. But change will be felt come January when all need to comply. I think you might see a time where joints just pay a wage and keep all that tip money and pay the taxes on it as required. Instead of server wages, places may opt to pay a bartender $250 a night and let them grab cash tips as they will. Drink prices may go up a buck or 2, but have a "tip included" line added. Naysayers scream doom. But they screamed doom when smoking was banned.

Watch Quentin Tarantino Discuss His Favorite Films From 1992 to 2009

With the release of his latest feature, The Grandmaster, director Wong Kar-wai has critics and audience members scrambling over what to make of his decade-spanning kung fu epic. As a departure from his oeuvre of romantically tangled tales of unattainable yearning and love lost to the past, his new film has been chopped down from its original Chinese version to meet a US set of requirements, which has proved ruinous to some critics, while palatable to others who have only seen the film in its new context.

But before sharing my interview with Kar-wai tomorrow, I was reminded, not only of my own love for his dizzying, melting expressionist painting of a film, Chungking Express, but Quentin Tarantino’s personal gushing over the work, as seen in the movie’s DVD extras. And as a massive fan of both Kar-wai and kung fu films of days past, in looking for what Tarantino had to say about the director’s latest, I stumbled upon a short video of him rattling off his favorite films that were made between 1992 and 2009—he begins with that year specifically because it marks the start of his directorial career with the release of Reservoir Dogs.

In the six-minute video he lists the films alphabetically rather than numerically, save his favorite film that has come out in those seventeen years, Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royal—”If there has been any movies that have been made since I have been making movies, it’s that one.” He goes on to list classics such as Dogville, The Blade, Dazed and Confused, Boogie Nights, Lost in Translation, and of course, many more.

Take a look below to see him go through his list with some amusing anecdotes on his favorites.

 

From Lynch to Tarantino, All of Your Favorite Films are Playing in NYC This Weekend

Toss your beloved DVD collection to the side and head to the theater, because all of your favorite movies are playing this weekend. And no, I doubt I’m being hyperbolic when I say that there is surely a personal classic for everyone screening around the city, and what better way to view your most cherished piece of cinema than in the format it deserves? Whether you’re one for PT Anderson’s evocative ensemble dramas, Terrence Malick’s magic hour murders, David Lynch’s haunting and heartbreaking surrealism, or Quentin Tarantino’s black-humored violence there are plenty of undoubtable masterpieces of film to enjoy, alongside some of the most-acclaimed new movies of the year. I’ve rounded up the best of what’s playing throughout New York City this weekend—so peruse the list, see what you’re in the mood for, go get yourselves some Twizzlers, and head down to the cinema. Enjoy.

Film Forum

Badlands
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Post Tenebras Lux
Voyace to Italy
 
 

Museum of the Moving Image

The Rolling Stones in Gimme Shelter
The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night
The Who in Quadrophenia
 
 

BAM

Wild at Heart
L’Eclisse
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The Mother and the Whore
 
 

Nitehawk

Boogie Nights
Hit So Hard
Deceptive Practice
Serial Mom
 
 

IFC Center

Pulp Fiction
Something in the air
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
The Shining
Room 237
The Source Family
Upstream Color
Java Heat
2001: A Space Odyssey
 
 

Film Linc

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s
To the Wonder
Girls in the Band
 
 

Angelika Film Center

What Maisie Knew
Stories We Tell
No
Trance
Midnight’s Children
 
 

Landmark Sunshine

Sightseers
The Iceman
Love is all You Need
In the House
Alien

From Cronenberg to Tarantino, Here’s What You Should Be Seeing This Weekend in NYC

 

In terms of film, this is a good week to be sick or helplessly in love—which I suppose, are generally the same thing. But between Brandon Cronenberg’s bloody good first feature Antiviral, Todd Hayne’s brilliantly frightening Safe, and Terrence Malick’s latest poem of emotion and grace To the Wonder, there are plenty of painful and gorgeous movies to sink your teeth into. And after the death of beloved film critic and cinematic enthusiast Roger Ebert last week, we should be encouraged more than ever to go to the movies, to enjoy the art of film, and truly have an experience at the cinema. So this weekend, curl up in a darkened theater and see everything from Quentin Tarantino’s first fantastically gory feature to Kubrick’s horrific masterpiece, and a bit of something for everyone in between. I’ve rounded up the best in what’s playing throughout New York so peruse the list and enjoy.

 

 

IFC Center

Antiviral

2001: A Space Odyssey

Beverly Hills Cop

Play Misty For Me

Room 237

Simon Killer

Upstream Color

The Shining

 

 

 

 

 

BAM

 

Spirited Away

Porco Rosso

Howl’s Moving Castle

Kiki Delivery Service

 

 

 

 

 

Museum of the Moving Image

Febre do Rato (Rat Fever)

Y Sin Embargo

Las Cosas Como Son (Things the Way They Are)

 

 

 

 

Nitehawk Cinema

It’s a Disaster

Trance

Spring Breakers

Burnt Offerings

Inner Space

Room 237

A League of Their Own

A Skin Too Few

 

 

 

 

Film Forum

The Gatekeepers

Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

House of Bamboo

The Adventures of Robin Hood

 

 

 

 

 

Landmark Sunshine

Reservoir Dogs

To the Wonder

The Angels’ Share

 

 

 

 

Cinema Village

The Brass Teapot

Lore 

American Meat

Bert Stern: Original Mad Man

Israel Film Center Festival

 

 

 

Film Society Lincoln Center

To the Wonder

Bye Bye Brazil

No Place on Earth

Funny Face

Subway to the Stars

The Big City

 

 

 

MoMA

Safe
Never on a Sunday
The Golem
Chuck and Buck
Fury
The Trouble with Money

Trolling the Oscars: Why None of These Movies Deserve to Win Best Picture

Welcome to the internet, where all of my opinions are right. You know what’s so great about being able to log into a CMS account and self-publish my thoughts and ideas? No matter how I actually feel, everything I write online comes across as completely sincere and competent, even when the things I write are neither of those things! It’s a brave new world we’re living in, when tweets can be art and art can be criticized by any person with an idea for a clever hashtag. Naturally, it’s time to harness this power by showing you exactly why none of the nine nominees for Best Picture deserve to win a goddamn thing. Let’s go!

Amour

Oh, come on. You didn’t see Amour. You know how I know this? Because I didn’t see Amour. I didn’t see this movie because I could just call my grandparents and ask them to speak to me in French for two hours. At least the phone call would be free! And hey, maybe I’d get twenty bucks out of it or somewhere, whereas Amour would cost me at least thirteen dollars and bring with it a lot of emotional anxiety. Anyway, this movie should not win, but I kind of wish it would if only so I can quickly take screenshots of midwestern teenagers tweeting about how they don’t know what Amour is. That’s how blogging works!

Argo

Ugh, Argo. Argofuckyourself, indeed, Argo! The major point about Argo was that Ben Affleck can direct a movie, which comes as a surprise to literally no one because he has already directed two movies that people liked a lot. The other reason Argo was made was so Ben Affleck could take off his shirt in another movie. Oh, and you know another thing that sucked about Argo? The fact that none of the women in Argo were allowed to speak to each other on camera. Sorry, Clea Duvall; you get to be in a Big Motion Picture, but you may only open your mouth when in the presence of Victor Garber. And don’t you dare make eye contact with Ben Affleck! 

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I do love a movie with a precocious child as much as the next guy, but how awkward do you feel about the fact that some white people from New York City went down to New Orleans to make a movie about magical negroes? I’m surprised there weren’t any animated bears and foxes floating along the river, or that those giant titular beasts didn’t burst into "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." 

Django Unchained

This one is simple: Django Unchained should not win Best Picture because it is not Jackie Brown and Jackie Brown is the only Quentin Tarantino movie that deserves to win Best Picture. 

Les Misérables

A friend of mine described this movie with the following: "It was like in acting classes when one person started crying and then everyone else in class cried harder and louder and uglier." This is one of the few movies in which everyone was dead at the end and I thought, "You know what? I’m OK with this." That is until the ghost of Anne Hathaway showed up again with that chopped-off hair and sad dress, which made me depressed. I really hate that it’s a known fact that your apperance when you die is what you’ll look like in Heaven. Really sucks for people who get run over by trucks, huh? 

Life of Pi

Spoiler alert: Pi is the tiger, and the tiger is Pi, and the eggman is Paul, I think, and maybe we ought to remake Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but with 3D CGI, but I’m getting distracted. Life of Pi is a cartoon movie for adults who are still making their way through Oprah’s Book Club.

Lincoln

Oh, I’m sorry, is this category called Best Way to Nap? Lincoln was terrible. Remember how fun TV miniseries used to be? They were long, yes, but they were campy as hell, had a lot of awkward sex not normally seen during primetime, and were stuffed with lots of recognizable people who were not really famous but still possessed a certain level celebrity that you’d still be excited if you saw them on the street. Lincoln was just a really expensive TV-miniseries, but without the sex. Or the fun. And with overwritten dialogue by Tony Kushner. I got a screener of Lincoln, and it’s best uses so far have been as a coaster and as a substitute for Ambien.

Silver Linings Playbook

I can’t for the life of me figure out why people love this movie so much. Is it because we’re so desperate to see Ben Stiller act in a dramatic performance that we could substitute in Bradley Cooper and just go with it? Is it because it’s nice to see Julia Stiles back in action? Is it because of Jacki Weaver saying "crabby snacks and homemades?" Is it because of Dancing With the Stars? Is it because As Good as It Gets was too subtle and we needed a subpar version of that to really hone in the idea of what mental illness is? Or is it because everyone is crazy? If everyone is crazy, no one is crazy. 

Zero Dark Thirty

JUST KIDDING! While you were all being emotionally waterboarded by the rest of what Hollywood had to offer, you guys completely missed the fact that this was the best movie of the year. Jessica Chastain! She could act circles around everyone else on this planet, and she wouldn’t be exhausted because she’s, like, a healthy vegan. And you know she’s on track for world domination. GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE. it doesn’t even matter if this loses to, say, Argo, because Kathryn Bigelow will have her revenge on all of you. Especially you, Ben Affleck. 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Christopher Waltz Spoofs Quentin Tarantino In ‘DJesus Uncrossed’

Well. This isn’t going to go over well with some fundamentalist Christians. Christopher Waltz hosted Saturday Night Live last night—at the begining of Lent, mind you—and appeared in a spoof Quentin Tarantino historical revenge flicks called DJesus Uncrossed.

In the some-might-say-blasphemous skit, which is set up like a movie trailer, Waltz plays Jesus H. Christ ("The H is silent) who rises from the dead, comes down off the cross to blow to pieces the men who have betrayed him. 

Not surprisingly, already some folks are offended by the skit. Something called Red Alert Politics called DJesus Uncrossed  "insensitive" and said SNL "crossed the line." The conservative site NewsBusters also huffed and puffed

You can watch DJesus Uncrossed below:  

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.