|10050 Cielo Drive - Manson Murders|
Just go see it. Anything by Tarantino is worth more than you can imagine.
This film by the great MASTER is not great for what it says BUT FOR WHAT IT DOESN'T SAY. Tarantino has given us the INVISIBLE in this film.
So why do I say that? Let's take the ending first. Since this is not a review do I need to remind you of spoilers. I hope not.
The Manson Murders are not in it. The murders are in the house next door as the murderers are so hyped up on WEED they dont even know which house is the one Manson wanted.
BUT. IF the murders had not been committed against the BRAND names of Hollywood and their BRAND name friends, would Manson have ever been implicated in his cult? It would have been just a two bit cowboy star on his way down down down and his stunt double. Not a big deal. Or someone just like him next door?
But the MANSON MURDERS performed by CULT members was fleshed out by the media, Polanski, his pregnant wife the beautiful new starlet Sharon Tate, and the Folger coffee heiress certainly got their attention. So Tarantino has given us a murder attempt that failed, but did not really fail as the murderers were brutally murdered. AND I MEAN BRUTALLY.
I read this as an escalation fantasy. IF the Manson Murders were committed today, the horror would be far greater in brutality and visual imagery than the original I am thinking. Our idea of horror has escalated, so Hollywood has ordained, and we have obediently identified with the new.
The Manson Murders were a Debordian SPECTACLE concealing the REAL. That it is not the murders the STATE is concerned with, BUT WHO IS MURDERED! This is what Tarantino is telling you INVISIBLY.
Tarantino is also telling you that the ante on HOW a murder may be staged has been upped. We see a performance by Brad Pitt of great violence. He will be criticized by every PC Feminist in the country and the world. In personal life he has had a reputation of well...... not being quite non-violent. As we have learned in reading murder mysteries, murders are often PERFORMED to deliver a MESSAGE as well as delivering the CONTENT, which is the murder itself. But it is the MESSAGE that is the most relevant, not the murder. The HOW. NOT THE WHY.
There are so many very observant and subtle images of telling that can be easily overlooked.
How about the beautiful boy at the Spahn Ranch who rides the horse so perfectly. A cowboy within the Hollywood Cowboy genre at the Spahn Ranch, a set for early cowboy movies. He is lovely to look at. Take him off the horse, put him behind the wheel of a car and his aggressiveness to the women partners in crime announces his insecurity. As soon as he is walking on Ceilo Drive he is so insecure we would not notice him much, the way we did the beautiful boy with the beautiful body riding the horse. What is invisible is the real cowboy, who is being portrayed in the movies, and what life he is living. It will be Cormac McCarthy who will give us that story in his Border Trilogy. Three book that are McCarthy's way of giving us the history of the southwest from the 1930's to the present. And it is a loss we can never recover from. A history not in our school history books.
Tarantino layers and unlayers Hollywood for us. We have his dead eye on Beefcake with Brad Pitt, so often filmed that way in his earlier movies after Thelma and Louis with his shattering James Dean spectacle of a performance. Pitt is on the roof doing repairs and takes off his shirt as it is hot. We see this older Brad Pitt with a different body build from Achilles in Troy, a more adolescent slim sinewy look to him rather than middle aged beefy. And Pitt's performance is incredibly nuanced. Sometimes glimmers of the young Brad emerge and still the older man is there with this truly great performance of his age. He is one of the finest actors of his generation. DiCaprio is stunning in his insecurity. And the two play off each other in a way not seen so often. Especially in Hollywood. Tarantino's film is also a becoming extinct kind of movie in tinsel town. One without CGI, a throwback to what we loved in movies. The past is a memorial in this movie. Something unlikely to be seen much again. Hollywood has departed from this kind of quality.
There is not even a mediocre performance anywhere in this fine film. All are trustingly directed by Tarantino.
Brad Pitt's Beefcake is filmed with such irony of the cliched way Hollywood does Beefcake. Tarantino includes it and makes fun of it simultaneously. That is what a great filmmaker doess.
Skipping ahead to the young women at the Spahn Ranch under the influence of Manson and their WEED addiction the car ride to the murder is punctuated by a typical high conversation by young women with meaningless words in their heads. Fast forward to our recent de-criminalizing of this substance will mean you will hear much more of this kind of stupid talk from stupid people. It merges into the word salad of the insane. Get ready for it.
What is still invisible is that these young women under Manson's influence, are going to grow up, get older, and BREED. Tarantino places the pre-feminist in front of our eyes and ears and if you are perceiving them from the future they will be in you will shudder because you know them now in their old age. It is not pretty.