WEIRDLAND: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (ode to a cultural rebirth), soundtrack and reviews

Monday, July 29, 2019

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (ode to a cultural rebirth), soundtrack and reviews

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is unquestionably the movie in which Tarantino has it all coming together: a passion for forgotten B-movies, for correcting history, for all things pop culture, for a time and place before the disease of chain restaurants and big box stores infected every other time and place, for obscure pop songs the now-corporatized Oldies Stations refuse to play, for cool men who are all men, for women who are all woman, and for a deliberate pace that slowly raises a middle finger to the MTV-afflicted. And this is just the way Tarantino likes it, this is where he would freeze the world forever — a world filled with cool cars, drive-in movies, diners, and blue skies… A world where one amazing radio station is so omni-present that acts as the soundtrack of an entire city.

OUTIH is not just a movie, it’s an experience — a hypnotic, captivating, immersive tour. Over one weekend in early February 1969, Tarantino dedicates himself to taking us back to a Hollywood — a mythical place, where the studios and their clean cut, square-jawed heroes have not yet been replaced by the anti-heroes of Easy Rider and Raging Bull. Cocaine is nowhere to be seen. People trip but they don’t fall. Dalton even calls Tex Watson 'Dennis Hopper' at one point. Tarantino is just taking the mickey out of hippies and leftist counter-culture. Especially he’s having a go at pathetic losers that have been monumentalized by society for grotesque reasons. Tarantino suceeds in depicting the flower childs of California as creepy, unkept, dirty, and barbaric while living on the outskirts of society while the viewers are repulsed by their rat-infested lifestyle. The hippie communes may be romanticized in most of the media, but definitely not by Tarantino.

But in a place called Chatsworth, just outside of Tarantino’s Magic Place, a cancer is growing. In fact, a malevolent force has already blackened a piece of that magic, a Holy Land where Tarantino’s heroes once came to life. Of all things, the Spahn Ranch, a mystical movie lot where TV Westerns and Western heroes like Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds once walked, is now home to the Manson family, of Charlie and his harem of malevolent hippies, those goddamned hippies who ruined everything. Also looming on the horizon are the horrors of the Woke generation, whose strident bossiness will take all the fun out of everything — especially the movies.

It was a half-hour, black and white Western series called Wanted: Dead or Alive that made Steve McQueen a star. And after he had some success in movies, McQueen deliberately sabotaged his own show, and it was canceled after just three seasons. Rick Dalton did the same, only his half-hour Western TV series is called Bounty Law. Rick Dalton is staring dead in the eyes of 40 and obscurity, so he just made a movie where he killed a bunch of Nazis, but the only rope ladder being thrown his way is an Italian Western. Everyone knew Burt Reynolds from his three seasons on Gunsmoke, but all he ever wanted was to be a movie star — and as he watched Eastwood and McQueen succeed where he couldn’t, he grew more insecure and despondent. Same with Rick Dalton. Burt Reynolds also lived at times with his best friend, Hal Needham, a famous stuntman. Rick Dalton’s inseparable sidekick is stuntman Cliff Booth. DiCaprio inhabits Dalton beautifully. His desperation, his insecurity, his determination, and his talent. One of the best moments is when Rick Dalton discovers he truly can act.

And then there’s Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), the Ethereal Beauty, the Innocent in The White Boots, the Unaffected Angel still enthralled by the idea of being a star, the Golden and Radiant Dream Girl who just has to tell the ticket lady she’s in the movie playing there and who practically squeals with delight as she watches a matinee audience enjoy her silly performance as a sexy klutz in The Wrecking Crew. Tarantino wishes the late 60s culture wave hadn't 'rolled back upon itself', to use Hunter Thompson’s words. What would’ve happened if Tate hadn’t died? Where would we be if the positive ethos of the ’60s blended naturally into the socio-political, cultural, and technological changes of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, etc.? The murders of the Manson Family signaled the loss of a communally guiding ethic that triggered the explosion and exploitation of the free love movement. They ushered in the birth of harsh, well-earned cynicism on a national scale. By giving Tate a new life on screen, Tarantino memorializes her while suggesting that we’d be better off in a world in which what she embodied — openness, hopefulness, peacefulness, equality, sober-minded anti-establishment thought — found new life at the turn of the decade. Perhaps, for Tarantino, her survival in the film is not just a celebration of her life, but an ode to a cultural rebirth that never were, a new era that never came. Source:

-How did you cast Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate?

-Tarantino: I’d seen her in a couple of things and thought, she’s really the only person. Everybody else would be a secondary choice. Then I let some of my friends read the script, and they all said,  “So you’re casting Margot Robbie, right?” And out of the blue I got a letter from her, saying, “I really like your work, and I’d love to work with you sometime.” Literally, I had just finished the script a week and a half earlier. I knew I wanted to tell the Rick and Cliff story, and I knew I wanted to tell the Sharon story. In the movie she is a real person, but she is also an idea.  Source:

The soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s new-released film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has been announced. The 31-track release features the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond and Deep Purple. It comes out via Columbia on July 26 to coincide with the film’s US release (the film comes out in the UK on August 15), and will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally. View the tracklisting for the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood soundtrack below.

1.   Treat Her Right – Roy Head & The Traits
2.   Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man – The Bob Seger System
Boss Radio feat. Humble Harve:
3.   Hush – Deep Purple
4.   Mug Root Beer Advertisement
5.   Hector – The Village Callers
6.   Son of a Lovin’ Man – Buchanan Brothers
7.   Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course (from the MGM film Three in the Attic) – Chad & Jeremy
8.   Tanya Tanning Butter Advertisement
9.   Good Thing – Paul Revere & The Raiders
10. Hungry – Paul Revere & the Raiders
11. Choo Choo Train – The Box Tops
12. Jenny Take a Ride – Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
13. Kentucky Woman – Deep Purple
14. The Circle Game – Buffy Sainte-Marie
Boss Radio feat. The Real Don Steele:
15. Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
16. Numero Uno Advertisement
17. Bring a Little Lovin’ – Los Bravos
18. Suddenly / Heaven Sent Advertisement
19. Vagabond High School Reunion
20. KHJ Los Angeles Weather Report
21. The Illustrated Man Advertisement / Ready For Action
22. Hey Little Girl – Dee Clark
23. Summer Blonde Advertisement
24. Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show – Neil Diamond
25. Don’t Chase Me Around (from the MGM film GAS-S-S-S) – Robert Corff
26. Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon – Paul Revere & the Raiders (feat. Mark Lindsay)
27. California Dreamin’ – Jose Feliciano
28. Dinamite Jim (English Version) – I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni
29. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Quentin Tarantino Edit) – Vanilla Fudge
30. Miss Lily Langtry (cue from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean) – Maurice Jarre
31. KHJ Batman Promotion

We hear Sharon Tate say, ‘Don’t tell Jim Morrison you’re dancing to the Raiders!’ They never had the coolness vibe of bands like the Doors, but they were a good pop band.  Paul Revere & the Raiders's Hungry is featured in a scene in which Sharon Tate meets Charles Manson for the first time. The Raiders were chosen for a specific historical reason: Terry Melcher, who was Doris Day’s son, was their producer, and he lived in the Cielo Drive house [where the murders took place] and had a connection to the Manson family. The Buchanan Brothers, “Son of a Lovin’ Man” (1969): Heard in a party scene set at the Playboy Mansion, this adult-bubblegum deep cut wasn’t made by actual brothers but by a trio of singer-songwriter-producers (two of whom went on to form the folk-pop duo Cashman and West). “It’s such a great dancing song, and it’s not that easy to find. That was a record in Quentin’s collection.” Source:

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