RE: RARA-AVIS: Popcorn (was: Trip to the Smoke)

Mark Sullivan (
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 13:01:27 -0400 (EDT) The other problem with Ben Elton's Popcorn was how overwritten it was.
I don't go to many plays, often finding them stilted in their attempt at
a naturalism they cannot possibly attain against movies. Why do they so
seldom make their artificialness a virtue and go more surreal or minimal
(did see a very good play there, Closer, but it doesn't have anything to
do with this list)? Anyway, Popcorn is a wannabe movie with one
setting. Everybody in it overacted, played to the rafters.

I could look past the stupid little mistakes about the US where it is
set (and they could have been corrected so easily--saying the film might
be boycotted in the South, not banned, for instance); I'm sure the
English have to put up with far more glaring errors when US writers
write about them. The main problem is what Andy pointed out, the
two-dimensional characters, everyone was a parody, set up as an
embodiment of a point of view with no depth. I mean Tarantino himself
would give you a more complex interpretation of the subject than his
cardboard cut-out in this play, that is, just before punching you out
for questioning his vision. (Don't get me wrong, I love QT's films, I
just had to stop reading and/or listening to his interviews.)


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