Well, despite the premise of this thread, I still kind of knew that it would still become a lovefest to the film, but I’ll try to adhere to it none the less. In Death Proof, when we meet the 2nd group of girls at the round table via ResDogs shot, although I really liked the way Quentin drops exposition nuggets in and out, some character/plot points that might be just random character stuff and/or very crucial to the subsequent plot, for instance Kim’s concealed weapon and Zoe’s tendency to always land on her feet. Most films drop nuggets of exposition and you know, “oh, they’re going to have a pay off to this” but here, you don’t know that, it could be character stuff that is never ever mentioned again or end up being very crucial to the subsequent plot. Quentin masterfully handles exposition as opposed to most filmmakers who handle exposition very transparently. Well, that’s the good. Here’s the bad.
In that same scene, the coffee shop round table ResDogs shot, although the conversation is very entertaining and well written, the subject changes were kind of obvious. I felt this way in the film but am referring to the script for this post. It starts on page 98. That’s where the scene starts and I like how we just jump into the dialogue. We have the “INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY” slugline followed by no description, we just jump right into the dialogue with Abernathy’s line: So Zoe, Kim, and I are in the Phillippines at an outdoor rave." That I liked, we just jump in. But a few pages later, on page 100, notice how abruptly and awkwardly Zoe changes the subject by delivering the closing line to that subject by saying “I resemble that remark.” Which is like the closing line/punch line to that whole subject, and in the next beat all of a sudden saying “So Kim, still pack a Roscoe?” Roscoe being the gun.
It just felt kind of abrupt and unnatural. I’m sure there’s a proper defense for it but Quentin so cleverly manages exposition in that scene that you would think he would deal with the subject changes just as cleverly, like dropping the gun line earlier into the last subject and then having Zoe ask her about as opposed to just changing the subject to the gun with no notice.
Then the next awkward subject change happens. In the film and in the script, in the script on page 105 where they finish talking about the gun where Kim’s last line on the subject is “But until that day, it’s Wild West motherfucker.” Then without missing a beat, she awkwardly changes the subject by saying “So Zoe, you thought about whatcha’ wanna do first?”
With that said, I still liked the scene, lots of good character stuff, cleverly disguised exposition, love the one take circling ResDogs camera, loved seeing Stuntman Mike in the background, just thought the subject changes were kind of forced. You might feel the same way the next time you watch it.
Again, I thought Quentin’s subject change stood out more and he could’ve done it more seamlessly. So now they’re talking about Zoe’s plan and I could see why the subjects in the whole scene are broken up so carefully for audiences to follow but they’re broken up too carefully. Again, it just seems like an easy transition and it seems like Quentin could’ve disguised it a little bit, like perhaps transition to that subject more seamlessly than just have every new subject start out like this:
“So Zoe, Kim, and I are in the Phillippines at an outdoor rave.”
“So Kim, still pack a Roscoe?”
"So Zoe, you thought about whatcha’ wanna do first?"
Subject changes seems to come much more naturally than someone completely stopping talking about something and then saying “So, blah blah blah.”