Dudder: At the Movies

Hollywood, California—Noted writer/director/actor Quentin Tarantino will write, produce, and direct a movie about the inner workings of the automobile industry.

Hollywood, California—Noted writer/director/actor Quentin Tarantino will write, produce, and direct a movie about the inner workings of the automobile industry. Set in the year 2010, Tarantino's fictional account focuses on executives, union workers, and engineers as they struggle to revamp a company and its products amid a rising tide of foreign competition. "The more I study the industry," says Tarantino, "the more I realize it's like the world I created in Pulp Fiction. You have powerful leaders who demand unswerving loyalty from their troops, 'enforcers' who get the job done, and characters at all levels who seem tangential to the plot, but can have an astounding effect on the outcome." Tarantino also promises to "make the abstract real" by replacing internal intrigue with actual violence. "Why just suggest that a character has stabbed his colleague in the back? Show him doing it, man. Is the guy he stabbed any less 'dead' when it's his career and not his life that's been forfeited?" Despite rumors to the contrary, Tarantino assures fans the film won't be called Kill Bill, Vol. 3. "That'd be stupid, though I like the idea of a chief executive with enviro leanings who has blood on his hands. Maybe I could get Peter Weller—Robocop—to give up his gig as a professor of Renaissance and Roman Art at Syracuse University long enough to play the part."

You can almost see the over-saturated colors of this epic, especially when the blood of unsuspecting characters runs down dark paneled wood walls. The body count would almost be as high as in real life, though the consequences would be a bit more permanent. And the irony of Tarantino—known for his use of GM vehicles in his movies, especially Chevrolets and Cadillacs—and Weller—the half-man, half-machine cop in a post-apocalyptic Detroit choked with "6000 SUX" sport sedans and Taurus police cars—working together on this project is almost too much to endure. Tarantino's penchant for framing characters in doorways, having minor characters deliver their dialog off-camera, and having at least one scene shot from inside a car trunk are tailor-made for an auto industry feature film. This unconventional story telling format is well suited to an industry that thinks of itself as linear and logical, but often is anything but coherent. In fact, Tarantino could use the retrospective tone found in Reservoir Dogs, the non-linear approach of Pulp Fiction, and the chapter-by-chapter format of the Kill Bill series in one movie. It would take a deft hand to keep the story flowing and the audience from becoming totally confused, but there can be no doubt the effect would be as close to real life as you could get without actually sitting through a series of mind-numbing meetings that reduce relatively simple concepts to nearly impenetrable complexity. However, the effect would keep fans coming back to determine the importance of each plot twist, and trying to ascertain just what each character actually contributes to the proceedings. And industry employees might find that their spouses and children are much more sympathetic toward—and scared of—them than ever before as they watch mindless arguments about product cadence and market psychographics morph into cartoon violence. Though it's doubtful they'll ever understand why their relatives in the industry chuckle and laugh out loud as another character is caught in his own web of intrigue and dispatched with cruel efficiency. Now, that's a movie I'd pay to watch.