Film Studies 120 Great Directors
QUENTINTARANTINO Quentin Tarantino “went to film school in his lounge, then unleashed the most intoxicating one-two punch in film history: Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. It made him cult hero, geek genius and superstar. … As a director, he’s monstrously gifted; as a writer, he’s a genius, consuming pop culture to weave his intricate dialogue spell.” Total Film, Aug 20th 2007
QUENTINTARANTINO • A self-described movie geek who spent five years working at a video rental store, Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor. • Starting as an independent filmmaker in the early-1990s, he has become one of the most famous directors in American film history. • “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films.”
QUENTINTARANTINO • Though held responsible for borrowing heavily from the works of other filmmakers, Tarantino is attributed with developing one of the most original styles of filmmaking. • Images of Coolness: the "cool gaze" is his way of undermining social conventions, of making his audiences reassess their personal values.
QUENTINTARANTINO Filmmaking Style • Tarantino’s Filmmaking Style: • nonlinear storylines • aestheticization of violence => he re-imagines stylized moments of violence and exaggerates them until they become surrealistic. • characters’ innocence in depravity • memorable dialogues • pop culture references • profuse profanity • black humor
QUENTINTARANTINO Filmmaking Style • Aestheticization of violence • CLIP: Reservoir Dogs (1992): http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1171607480 • Characters’ innocence in depravity • Profuse profanity • Black humor • Memorable dialogues • CLIP: Pulp Fiction (1994): Chapters 23/24/25
QUENTINTARANTINO By imposing the "cool gaze," Tarantino makes us enjoy what would otherwise be unacceptable. • The infamous "like a virgin" monolog from Reservoir Dogs' opening scene is representative of Tarantino's whole body of work. • The monolog can be seen as a statement of intent — Tarantino tells us that he aims to shock a culture that has seen everything. He is here to make the "fucking machine" once again feel "like a virgin."
QUENTINTARANTINO • Mr. Brown’s like-a-virgin monolog from Reservoir Dogs (1992): • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPZ9kidioi8
QUENTINTARANTINO • Tarantino has made 8 feature films to date: • Reservoir Dogs (1992) • Pulp Fiction (1994) • Four Rooms (The Man from Hollywood, 1995) • Jackie Brown (1997) • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) • Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) • Death Proof (2007) • Inglorious Basterds(2009) • Sin City (2005) Special Guest Director
QUENTINTARANTINO Reservoir Dogs (1992) • Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs is a hard-boiled heist film where everything goes wrong. • Tarantino wrote the script in three and a half weeks. He then gave the script to Harvey Keitel who liked it so much that he became co-executive producer. • The film has a pop, 70's soundtrack. • In January 1992, Reservoir Dogs was screened at the Sundance Film festival where it became an immediate hit.
QUENTINTARANTINO Reservoir Dogs (1992) • Although Reservoir Dogs has been criticized for its high degree of violence and profanity, it has become a cult hit. • on October 13, 1992, the Reservoir Dogs: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released (produced by Tarantino). It has selections of songs from the 70s and includes the use of snippets of dialogue from the film. • A video game based on the film was released in 2006.
QUENTINTARANTINO Pulp Fiction (1994) • Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached by Hollywood and offered numerous projects. • He instead retreated to Amsterdam to work on his script for Pulp Fiction. • Pulp Fiction opened the New York Film Festival in September 1994. • It stars John Travolta, Samuel Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Harvey Keitel.
QUENTINTARANTINO Pulp Fiction (1994) • The film title Pulp Fiction harks back to the 30s and 40s when newsstands featured short story magazines. Among the most popular were those about private investigators => these stories were the forerunners of dark, city crime movies that became film noir. • Pulp Fiction won the top prize at Cannes.
QUENTINTARANTINO • Tarantino directed episode four of Four Rooms, "The Man from Hollywood", a tribute to the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode that starred Steve McQueen. • Four Rooms was a collaborative effort with filmmakers Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, and Robert Rodriguez. The film was very poorly received by critics and audiences.
QUENTINTARANTINO • Jackie Brown (1997), Tarantino's third feature film, is an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. • A homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who starred in many of that genre's films of the 1970s.
QUENTINTARANTINO • In 2002, Tarantino postponed the making of Inglorious Basterds to write and direct Kill Bill , released as Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. • Kill Bill is a highly stylized revenge film in the filmic traditions of: • Wuxia (Chinese martial arts) • Jidaigeki (Japanese period cinema) • Spaghetti Westerns • Italian horror
QUENTINTARANTINO • Tarantino then went on to be credited as "Special Guest Director" for his work directing the car sequence between Clive Owen and Benicio del Toro of Robert Rodriguez's 2005 neo-noir film Sin City.
QUENTINTARANTINO • The next film project was Grindhouse, which he co-directed with Rodriguez. Released in theaters on April 6, 2007, Tarantino's contribution to the Grindhouse project was titled Death Proof. It began as a take on 1970s slasher films,but evolved dramatically as the project unfolded. Ticket sales were low despite mostly positive reviews.
QUENTINTARANTINO • Death Proof was released theatrically in the United States as part of a double feature with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror under the collective title Grindhouse in order to replicate the experience of viewing exploitation film double features in a "grindhouse" theater. • The films were released separately outside the United States and on DVD.
QUENTINTARANTINO • Tarantino's summer 2009 film Inglourious Basterds was the story of a group of guerrilla U.S. soldiers in Nazi occupied France during World War II. • Filming began in October 2008. • The film opened Friday, August 21, 2009 to very positive reviews and the #1 spot at the box office worldwide. • It went on to become Tarantino's highest grossing film, both in the United States and worldwide