Saturday, January 13, 2007
Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs

Redemption in a Postmodern World

Tarantino’s characters find that their redemption depends on whether there is a meaning to the word. An excerpt from The Philosophy of Neo-Noir.

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ::: pheatures ::: ::: Read the whole thing



Firstly, great article (and a great site). I will most certainly get a copy of the book as soon as I find one in the UK! As one often critical of Tarantino, I have gained a little more respect for his work, though by no means do I yet view him as one of the greats (and his influence is yet to be seen on a true scale).

Lyotard’s definition of postmodernism as a rejection of the meta-narrative, can been seen, as has often been noted, as a meta-narrative in itself, and often a lot of postmodern work seems to follow that guideline; existing purely as a response to a lack of adherence to any guideline. That may be a bit on the cynical side, but much of Tarantinos films, though respectable in other ways, are often quite hollow (as mentioned above, there are limited hypertexts and few substantial parallels to contemporary society). Though this may be a lack of conditioning to postmodern film, on my part.

It’s only a matter of time before one of the newer wave of directors creates something with the attraction of postmodern elements and the substance of conventional storytelling, or indeed one of the current masters. Though part of the postmodern trend is a distancing from meta-narrative, it does not mean that’s how it must be. I believe Lyotard was defining the Status Quo, not an ideal to be attained.

It occurred to me therefore that the use of the term redemption in this context is much redefined as it infers a comparison to morality or even religion. The quest for redemption is then simply misguided; there is nothing as openly tangible to be redeemed against, and I think this is maybe the point you being made. Or perhaps more subtly redemption is more clearly internalised as an personal ideal to be attained, as opposed to a societal ideal. Perhaps this is the power of Tarantino, maybe that’s his hypertext (bordering on metanarrative); the lack of direction. Though, that may be unintentional!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03 Jul 07 at 05:18 AM
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