There's an interesting point/counterpoint discussion at the Fword about Quentin Tarantino and his views on women. I think they're both right. I think that Tarantino does have issues with women, and that his female characters end up more exploitive than empowering. But I also agree that feminists don't have to view every single film (or piece of art or music) through the narrow lens of being "good for women" only. There are a lot of artists whom I admire in spite of their misogynist tendencies, intended or otherwise.
Tarantino, however, I also object to on cinematic grounds. In fact, he's been one of my favorite film blogging whipping boys. I think his treatment of women in his films springs from the same distance from reality and indulgent immersion in his own fantastical world that drags down the films themselves.
(As a side note, I realize that same type of argument could be used against my other boy, Wes Anderson. Why do I generally let him get away with it and not Quentin? Don't know. If nothing else, I think Anderson's fantasies are much less derivative than Tarantino's. The rest, I suppose, is a mystery.)
Wes Anderson, we love you, but you're bringing us down. The hermetically sealed world of your films — the man-children, the inexplicable melancholy, the flat, wide shots, the fetishized artifacts of adolescence and carefully chosen vintage pop soundtracks — has always resonated so strongly for us. We shrugged off all accusations of tweeness, we defended "The Life Aquatic" against the most virulent of critics, we saw in that AmEx commercial promising signs of self-awareness and gentle self-mockery. But with "The Darjeeling Limited" you may have finally vanished into your own well-contemplated navel and, we're sorry to say, lost us entirely.
Exactly what I dreaded happening. Sigh. Well, I'll probably go see it anyway. And maybe get out my copy of Rushmore again.
I understand why someone would not like the films of Wes Anderson. Sometimes it may seem as if the hip irony is in danger of crashing in on itself. But it never quite does, at least for me. He saves himself with the charm of his quirkiness and his genuine sincerity.
Therefore, I'm very excited about the upcoming The Darjeeling Limited.