Cars clash! Girls strut! Tarantino's at Cannes

22nd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - The king of pop cinema, Quentin Tarantino, paid homage to 1970s car action flicks at the Cannes film festival Tuesday with "Death Proof", in which gears and girls grind for his camera in an exercise heavy on style but light on substance.

CANNES, France, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - The king of pop cinema, Quentin Tarantino, paid homage to 1970s car action flicks at the Cannes film festival Tuesday with "Death Proof", in which gears and girls grind for his camera in an exercise heavy on style but light on substance.

The movie, part of the 22-strong field competing for the festival's Palme d'Or, won over critics for its knowing winks to obscure muscle-car movies such as "Vanishing Point" -- and for its grainy stock, "Starsky and Hutch"-style titles and nostalgia-laden jump cuts.

But many reviewers said it probably wouldn't garner the same big box-office business as Tarantino's seminal past pictures, notably "Pulp Fiction" which won the Palme in 1994.

The Cannes screening was in fact taken from a poorly received US double-feature called "Grindhouse" and extended to two hours for separate re-release.

"Tarantino's road-rage opus so far exceeds almost anything made at the time in terms of dialogue and performance that it seems like a different beast, one half plotless gabfest, the other half insane car chase," Variety's Todd McCarthy wrote.

The 44-year-old US director, speaking as far over the speed limit as his "Death Proof" vehicles, said that "the majority of the stuff I put back in was stuff I took out of 'Grindhouse'," especially a lap-dance scene cut from the US version to taunt viewers.

But, essentially, the movie at Cannes sticks to the same road. "It still follows the basic rules of the genre" of exploitation films, Tarantino said. It has "a girl raising up at the end to beat the bogeyman."

The film is a rollicking feature that follows an ex-stuntman turned serial killer who hunts groups of young sassy women with his modified, strut-reinforced cars.

The first half plays as a horror movie in which Stuntman Mike exults in his bloody sport. The second sees him meeting his match in two stuntwomen who apply their own excessive horse- and chick-power to turn the tables on him.

Kurt Russell, who plays the psychotic stuntman, said he was sceptical about the re-release.

"I like the short version" of "Death Proof" which paired with "Planet Terror" by Robert Rodriguez in "Grindhouse", he told journalists.

But Russell accepted that "these movies are going to be seen by themselves and will have their own life" now.

Tarantino, to the contrary, enthused that his original vision would now stand alone.

"If you count the minutes it hasn't actually changed that much, but it's in fact changed 180 degrees." He added that: "This is part of the revival, religious tent experience I was trying to re-create."

Harvey Weinstein, who produced the movie, agreed, saying the new cut "will dwarf 'Grindhouse', trust me."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Festival de Cannes

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