Reservoir Dogs

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Reservoir Dogs

Postmodernism theory when related to films can be described when the audience’s delay of skepticism is shattered, in order to free the audience’s grasp of the director’s work. Small changes are made to create a significant meaning in the audience’s mind. The director has created a piece of art that removes the audience from the conventional and emotional bond to the subject, creating a new perspective.

Postmodern films apply the usage of four concepts: simulation, reusing styles, typically drawing irony to the new style; pre-fabrication, drawing a closer attention to already existing scenes and using them in the films narrative or dialogue; intertextuality, using text that has already been used and finally bricolage, creating a film based on a collage of various other film styles and genres.

Quentin Tarantino, the famous film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor followed his passion from an early age. He did not watch movies as a child and adolescent, but he made the films a large part of his life. Tarantino, though he may deny his films to fall in the category of postmodernism, portrays various genres and styles from other movies, typically of his childhood very well.

Tarantino draws upon the genres of martial arts, kung fu, grind-house, and spaghetti western films. Typically starting his films, Tarantino opens with “Our Feature Presentation” drawing immediate attention to the audience, transporting them in time to their days of childhood and adolescents.

A director is an artist, Tarantino, though he recreated previous works of other artists, is one too. He adds his own twist to his films, in order to create a new, distinctive and pioneering film. Tarantino uses the concept of bricolage to fuse genres together in an original fantasy-like story with exaggerated confrontation scenes and violence.

Reservoir Dogs, directed and written by Quentin Tarantino first premiered in October 1992. It is about a group of criminals who where hired for a job to retrieve diamonds from a jewelry store. Things do not go as planned during the heist and the gang thinks that there may be a police mole among the group. But who could it be? Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Mr. Brown, Mr. Blue, Mr. Blonde, Nice Guy Eddie, or even head gang leader, Joe Cabot? Strangers to one another, Joe (Lawrence Tierney) assigns each member a color code alias.

The opening scene is in a diner with all gang members sitting around a table, eating breakfast, while Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino) explains his interpretation of Madonna’s song ‘Like a Virgin’. The men continue to discuss the importance and the meanings of popular songs, especially bringing up songs of the 1970s. Though this dialogue is rather unimportant, it shows Tarantino’s intricate eye to detail.

It is ironic to see Tarantino the one explaining Madonna’s song, for it is his intention to set the stage for the audience’s interpretation of the film. Mr. Brown explains Madonna’s sexual encounters, as she continues to remember the first time she lost her virginity and the pain she had to encounter. Tarantino intends for Reservoir Dogs to have many interpretations, and one may consider that the gang members have to be redeemed through pain and suffering.

The styles that we can see throughout the film use exaggerated confrontations and violence. After the diner scene, the film continues with a “Men in Black” take of the gangsters walking towards the camera.

Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) are now on pursuit away from the heist, as things did not go as planned as the cops showed up unexpectedly. Running on foot, they stop a car and the owner and driver shoots Mr. Orange in the abdomen. For the remainder of the film, Mr. Orange laid on the floor of the warehouse bleeding profusely in excruciating pain.

The pain that Mr. Orange faced throughout the film is the interpretation that Tarantino had intended to compare to the...
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