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"There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
- The Great Gatsby
It’s well known that all of Tarantino’s films take place in the same universe – this is established by the fact that Mr. Blonde and Vince Vega are brothers, everybody smokes Red Apple cigarettes, Mr. White worked with Alabama from True Romance, etc.
As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, ‘The Bear Jew’, is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance – which means that, in Tarantino’s universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker.
Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.
You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino’s movies are technically two universes – he’s gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn take place in a ‘movie movie universe'; that is, they’re movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)
What immediately springs to mind about Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn? That they’re crazy violent, even by Tarantino standards. These are the movies produced in a world where America’s crowning victory was locking a bunch of people in a movie theater and blowing it to bits – and keep in mind, Lee Donowitz, son of one of the people on the suicide mission to kill Hitler, is a very successful movie producer.
Basically, it turns every Tarantino movie into alternate reality sci fi. I love it so hard.
EDIT: Oh hai upvotes. Glad everybody liked this as much as I did! Let me address some things:
1) I don’t think the same actors necessarily correlate to the same characters – the bit about Mia Wallace in Kill Bill seemed like just an interesting detail or maybe an exception rather than the rule. Mr. White and The Wolf are two different people. That said, I remember Tarantino mentioning that Sheriff McGraw and The Wolf are the only characters that can jump between the regular movie and the movie movie universe. Proof.
2) I’m not implying that nuking scores of innocent people is less violent than anything else – I just think it would have a different effect on the American psyche. Growing up knowing our home country vaporized two whole cities has influenced our culture in its own ways; I feel like the movie theater plot would do the same. Also, since this is primarily a fan theory, I don’t think the psychology of it needs to be 100% irrefutable and airtight.
3) Yes, I initially saw this on Cracked and then extrapolated on it. Since it was a fan theory and it blew my mind, I posted it here.
Someone once asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most. This was his response:
“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”