Matt Zoller Seitz‘s video compilation of luscious, lip-smacking Quentin Tarantino dialogue highlights from the last 17 years is great stuff. It makes me nostalgic for the good old pre-Inglourious Basterds days. And it reminds that there’s nothing in Basterds that compares to these gems. Choice Basterds dialogue in a nutshell: “So it seems, to my great disappointment, zat you are not telling me everyzing dere is to know. Certain hints and indications have aroused my suspicions. And by the way, may I have another glass of your delicious milk?”
Seitz writes: “From Abernathy in Grindhouse describing how having sex with a dude named Cecil would rule out the possibility of being his girlfriend, to the title character of Kill Bill Vol. 2 defining the essence of superheroes as a prelude to revealing why Superman does not fit the paradigm, to Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction debating the implied carnal intent of a foot massage and the relative merits of pigs and dogs, the director’s films prefer verbal spectacle to the physical kind.
“Tarantino doesn’t just explore language’s capacity to reveal and conceal motives and personality, he shows how people pick words and phrases (consciously or subconsciously) in order to define themselves and others, and describe the reality they inhabit (or would like to inhabit). Even low-key and seemingly unimportant exchanges are as carefully choreographed as boxing matches. Clever flurries of interrogatory jabs are often blocked by witty responses; the course of conflict can be shifted by deft rhetorical footwork that re-frames the terms of debate.”