Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Since I have not seen this commented upon, I will just say what strikes me about Once Upon A Time... is how Tarantino depicts cultural diets. The painstaking recreation of Los Angeles in 1969 serves to demonstrate how much culture one could consume at the time. When Dalton first notices the neighbors, the camera leers on Tate, but the character only mentions Polanski—is it clear he knows who she even is?.

More importantly, is the appearance of Bruce Lee—not so much the now-infamous fight with Cliff but when seen in glances with both Sharon and Jay. Cliff only sees something that doesn't fit his idea of roughness, but Sharon's unique and clearly praised by QT performance, is in part suggested as a product of training and teaching of Lee (true, for the record). What most strikes me, however, is The F.B.I.. Rick and Cliff watch it. We know the Manson Girls watch it with George Spahn. Marvin Schwarzs gets Sergio Corbucci to watch it. In an era of demographics, everyone watches it.

But not everyone takes in the same culture anymore. Some read dime-store novels about aging cowboys. Others read about the captains of industry like Walt Disney.

In Tarantino's world, 1969 was the end of the monoculture, in which moments of shared cultural experience broke down. Of course, this is a man who has thrived off the subcultures of video stores and grindhouses, who would rather show off forgotten Bond ripoffs and listen to Paul Revere than the Events and Music That Defined The Times.

The question is whether the director sees the return of monoculture—one run by none other than Walt—as a threat to everything he represents.

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