How Could You Forget “Bye Miss Laura?”

Roy Chacko’s Guardian article “End of the affair: why it’s time to cancel Quentin Tarantino” fails for several reasons. It’s horribly written. The writing’s a jumble of clumsy syntax and poor argumentation. It uses the word “cancel” in the sense of “cancel culture” without any hint of irony, which seems just incredibly flatfooted in the back half of 2019.

But the biggest problem is that it’s a story decrying Tarantino’s violence against women that somehow overlooks Tarantino’s most shocking moments of violence against women. The first occurs towards the end of Django Unchained and you can watch below.

Messed up, right? It’s like dandelion fluff in a gust of wind. Tarantino deliberately slows the pace down to make sure the audience sees this unarmed woman get murdered in cold blood. Seeing that scene for the first time a crowded theater, I was struck by how gratuitous and jarring it felt. Yes, the woman’s a slave owner who put a syrupy smile over an unspeakably cruel system of human bondage and Django kills dozens of men alongside Miss Laura but boy does Miss Laura ever get singled out.

And then there’s the hanging scene in The Hateful Eight.

Sure, the woman’s a cold blooded killer. We know from watching the movie that she deserves this grisly fate. But does it have to go on so long? Do we need to watch her die as much as we’re invited to? Doesn’t it feel like there’s more going on there than what the story’s telling is happening?

It’s bizarre that instead of discussing Tarantino’s truly questionable moments of violence against women, Chacko focuses on ephemera like character names in Reservoir Dogs and Uma Thurman’s adrenaline shot in Pulp Fiction, which isn’t a particularly violent scene, truthfully.

Perhaps Chacko’s so committed to canceling Tarantino that he’s neglected to see his later work? I suppose that’s admirable in a way but there’s nothing stopping you from glancing at a Wikipedia page or two.

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