Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Short P.S. To My Immediately Below Note On The Meaning Of The Ending Of Once Upon A Time In...Hollywood

P.S.  I can’t believe Tarantino, as I see it, didn’t know what he was about, didn’t intend for us to see his ending shot through with foreboding and wanting to make a point about that in a general theme of fantasy interwoven with reality. He does change history in Inglorious Basterds. But there is something so outsized and universally iconic about Hitler that the fantasy is, as I would put it, “permissible,” that the iconicity of Hitler can accommodate our fantasizing his alternative fate. In contrast, the Tate murders were so local and specific, so intimately shocking, so, so to say, individual and personal that inverting their reality seems to me another order of alteration, one that doesn’t stand up to the reality, can’t accommodate it and isn’t meant to. Booth’s turning down the blow job, if it’s meant to intimate, in a sly, implied way, and underscore Polanski’s later statutory rape, seems to me consistent with the movie’s ending being more obviously, even explicitly, inseparable from our knowing the fact of the Tate murders. It may be, however, that different arguable inferences arise from that inseparability.

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