“Movies are my religion…When I make a movie, I want it to be everything to me…like I would die for it.”
Quentin Tarantino has recently hinted that he is thinking about retiring from making movies once he hits movie number ten. While I don’t truly believe a word of it, the thought of not having another Tarantino movie every couple of years make me want to cut off my own ear and repeatedly scream scripture into it. If it is indeed true (I applaud his noble reasons behind the retirement talk) then nobody has the right to tell him otherwise. However at the risk of sounding extremely selfish and because I thoroughly enjoy every one of his movies, the industry needs Quentin Tarantino and here’s 5 reasons why.
Whether you like or dislike the man or his movies, the one thing you can’t argue with is the respect he has garnered from actors, writers, directors and everybody else involved in the movie industry. One attribute that he always brings to his pictures is to give a second life to either an ageing actor or to take a chance on someone who has for various reasons fell by the wayside. God knows where John Travolta would be now had he not been gifted the role of a lifetime in Pulp Fiction. Don Johnson, Kurt Russell, David Carradine are all examples of older actors not in the limelight who have been given great roles by Tarantino. It may sound a little shallow but if you are involved in a Tarantino picture you are instantly more interesting and marketable for future projects. Samuel L. Jackson would certainly not be the star he is today that’s for sure if he hadn’t played Jules. It’s unbearable to think that Christoph Waltz still might be an unknown too had it not been for his outstanding and creepy performance in Inglourious Basterds. Not only does he attract stellar casts but he also manages to get the best out of every single one of his actors.
In an early interview many moons ago, Quentin Tarantino mentioned that before he has an idea for a movie he tends to sit down in his bedroom, picks out a few random records from his collection and just turns out the lights and listens to them non-stop for hours on end. He said the music often sparked ideas in his head which eventually turned into script treatments. One song from his collection could inspire him to create a character or to visualise a particular scene in his head which often ignited an entire movie plot. Tarantino spends copious amounts of time carefully choosing the songs that accompany his moving images and that seems to be a dying art in today’s industry. Because of this his soundtracks have become synonymous with his movies. You can’t hear ‘Misirlou’ or ‘Little Green Bag’ without picturing Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs in your head.
Most people know that he has written or co-written the majority of all his movies so far – both Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay – but he also wrote a number of screenplays for which he didn’t direct; True Romance, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn and the original draft of Natural Born Killers. His talent for writing obviously started at an early age and his ability to write intriguing and believable dialogue is especially one reason why he is so highly regarded in the movie writing world. Like his soundtracks, his dialogue is truly recognisable. If I say “Royale with cheese” you automatically know I’m talking about Pulp Fiction and you could probably quote much of that scene between Vincent Vega and Jules Winfield. Or how can we ever forget that Michael Fassbender bar scene in Inglourious Basterds. There’s something special about the way he writes, it sounds and feels so simple but you know that only he could do it that way and make it sound, for want of a better word, cool.
He is an inspirational filmmaker:
Tarantino has admitted on many occasions himself “I steal from every single movie ever made” and implements them into his own projects. He is a movie buff who never shies away from nostalgia. Every one of his movies is a direct influence from the movies he watched growing up and as such he has been a huge inspiration to young filmmakers trying to carve out their own path. Yes there will always be imitators – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but if anything he has made younger folks more interested in not only the technicalities of filmmaking but interested in movies in general. He desperately wants going out to the movies to remain an event for people rather than them taking the lazier option of digital downloading. He is the movie version of The Velvet Underground. In a modern-day age of huge summer blockbusters, Tarantino’s pictures tend to hark back to the classic movie-making style of the 60’s and 70’s. One of his famous quotes is “I didn’t go to film school, I went to films.”
He makes the movies HE wants to make:
Most if not all of his movies have similar themes and it’s fair to say that they all share that defining Tarantino quality; violence, cuss words and a fair amount of female bare feet. You definitely know you’re watching a Tarantino movie when you sit down in the cinema and watch that opening shot. What makes Tarantino so special is that he simply doesn’t give a shit about studios or critics or about industry professionals telling him what movie to make next. Ultimately he is still a huge fan of movies and he doesn’t sacrifice any of his ideas solely to please certain audiences. He refuses to follow trends and adhere’s to his own filmmaking beliefs. He does what he wants and he also sticks by his guns when questioned under unnecessary harsh criticism. He should be applauded for that.
And one last bonus reason just incase you disagree with any of the above:
He gives us all something to talk about:
Tarantino is interesting. He intrigues film fans. So many directors jump from project to project, bashing out films in a vain attempt to build a filmography. They bore us to death with monotone mediocracy. Tarantino does the opposite, he takes his time and cares about each and every one of his movies. He has almost become more than just a writer or director, he has become a character in himself. On any other normal occasion I would argue this point to be a negative but because of Quentin’s persona, honesty, charisma and aptitude for communicating with his fans and selling his movies he has become an extremely likeable person.
It’s as simple as this; if you’re a fan of films, you should be a fan of Tarantino still making films.
Original article appeared on Flickering Myth
Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter