I can’t bring myself to fully hate Four Rooms, the collaboration between Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and two ‘up-and-coming’ 90’s auteurs who did not survive this movie unscathed. I disagree with others about this movie, that Tim Roth and the setting unites the sketches although yes, Roth’s character the bell boy doesn’t seem to have his own backbone. The directors embody crazy, a quality that unites anything. Everyone’s favourite is the Rodriguez sketch with Antonio Banderas and his John Waters-like pencil moustache and his two rowdy children giving the bell boy hell, but my favourite sketch is Madonna’s because I adored everything she touched because I’m a gay stereotype. Ooh, a humourous, irreverent take on oral sex, semen and phallus, how can that not be edgy, right? The film’s vulgarity appeals to the young who’s discovering indie films, Four Rooms serving as a capable gateway drug to this part of American cinema.
I caught the Tarantino sketch late at night, my second or fourth favourite (does the phone conversation with Kathy Griffin count as a separate sketch?). I always dislike movies that had convoluted dialogue only to summarize it with one line or action. Tarantino also thinks of himself as someone who can seduce better than the devil, starring in his own segment as a Hollywood party junkie who convinces the bell boy (Tim Roth) to harm the former’s friend. But his rapid fire delivery sells this premise. It’s also always nice to see Bruce Willis‘ shadow-like presence and performance.
- Quentin Tarantino’s Cinematic Reality (Column) (popmatters.com)