FILM / On Cinema

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Quentin Tarantino must feel ambivalent about Britain. On the one hand, Reservoir Dogs, was taken very seriously here, which helped it be taken seriously in the States, where it could have been treated as a straight, if excessively bloody, independent B-movie. Indeed, so enamoured are we of Tarantino that Dogs got re-released last week, giving audiences another chance to sample the writer/director's blase blend of pulp violence and cracked cool.

On the other hand, the re-release was prompted by the fact that Dogs won't be getting a video release in any foreseeable or parallel or alternative future, thanks to the 'child protection' video clause forcibly inserted into the Criminal Justice Bill by MP David Alton and friends.

The excuse that a child might rent a video containing violence or that an adult might leave such a video around the house where a child could have access means we now have a two-tier system that penalises adults - and a certain adult in particular: Tarantino. His sensibility (gore as a black joke) is anathema to the purveyors of the new moral panic; hence True Romance, from a Tarantino script, being added to the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) list of films that won't be hopping from the big screen to VCR. Indeed, the only way we'll probably see Dogs on video is to record it when Channel 4 eventually shows it - if ever.

What does this mean for the ironic excesses of Pulp Fiction? Already rumours are flying that the Cannes award winner will have to be heavily cut to win its cinema certificate - which proves that in some quarters Quentin Tarantino is not only taken seriously, but too seriously.

(Photograph omitted)