Auteur Essay: Tarantino and Lee Moulding Emotions

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A common goal for most modern directors is to engage the audience emotionally. It's a seemingly simple task that is often left by the wayside, half finished and ineffective. Those directors that do achieve this task, tend to make better movies. Two such directors are Ang Lee and Quentin Tarantino. The ways that they manipulate their audience's emotions are completely different yet they are both effective. Where Tarantino's manipulation of tension is unmatched in the modern world, Lee's grace and subtlety often leaves audience's with a sense of awe and wonder. The manipulation of an audience's emotions is often a difficult task but Lee and Tarantino achieve it in their own unique ways.

Suspense, defined by the Oxford dictionary, is a state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen. Quentin Tarantino's manipulation of suspense and tension in a scene is unmatched in today's world. Like the former "Master of Suspense" himself, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino leads the audience to a the point of near exhaustion, through the pent up pressure in his trademark lengthy scenes. These scenes serve to focus every ounce of mental and emotional energy on the situation, instead of cutting away to an inter-related subplot elsewhere and releasing the pressure, as is conventional. In the film "Inglourious Basterds" (2009), Tarantino leaves the audience gasping for breath right from the opening scene. The scene, in which a German "Jew Hunter" is questioning a farmer about the Jews hiding on his farm, is built up over nearly twenty minutes of pure dialogue between the two, as the German manipulates the farmer into telling him where the fugitives are. As the scene progresses, it grows increasingly obvious that the German is playing a horrible game with the farmer and the audience. As the farmer is slowly reduced to tears, the music escalates, the ticking of the clock grows louder and the camera circles the pair, making the audience feel trapped and...
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