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News Link • Entertainment: Movies

What Jordan Peterson and Quentin Tarantino Understand About Chaos and Moral Responsibility

•, Grayson Quay

In the popular imagination, Quentin Tarantino has become something of a poster boy for style over substance. His films appear to be "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," perfectly embodying—with their senseless violence, unrealistic dialogue, postmodern style, and recent turn toward social justice themes—the forces of what Canadian psychologist and conservative public intellectual Jordan Peterson calls "chaos."

After watching Uma Thurman carve up an army of Yakuza or Jamie Foxx massacre every white inhabitant of a Southern plantation, it's tempting to conclude that Tarantino deals purely in spectacles intended to single-handedly keep the fake blood industry afloat on an ocean of their own product. But although he certainly enjoys depicting violence, that's not all there is to him. Even in his most stylized genre films, Tarantino takes stock characters and imbues them with new depth, just as Shakespeare did in his early plays. If we allow ourselves to get lost in the gore and the ludicrously stylized dialogue (what Roger Ebert called "geekspeak"), we risk missing Tarantino's true genius.

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