Aug 21, 2019
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews
Quentin Tarantino did not go to a prestigious film school like Scorsese (NYU) or Lucas (USC) or De Palma (Sarah Lawrence) in fact he dropped out of high school at 15. His mother told him that if he chose not to go to school he needed to get a job. He dabbled in various lines of work including ushering in a pornographic theater, but his most fortuitous employment was a five year stint at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach. When asked if he attended film school his reply was, "No, I went to films!" He refers to his present occupation as a calling not a job. When he became famous he purchased Video Archives total inventory of 8,000 titles.
Best known as a director, he is also a writer, producer and actor. He has made numerous contributions, credited and uncredited, to many other film projects. He is know as an auteur director, one who always incorporates certain artistic characteristics to his work. His plots are non-linear. He has a penchant for pop culture references. His scenes are often dialogue driven and the conversations tend to be quirky and satirical. Although he detests actual violence, his work is permeated with violent situations that are stylistic and bizarre. He says he will make ten movies and then retire to write novels and screenplays. His latest Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is his 9th. Let's check out the other eight that are all available on DVD.
In 1992, Tarantino gave the industry a jolt with the critically acclaimed Reservoir Dogs. In it, 7 strangers team up for a diamond heist. When the police arrive precipitously it becomes evident that there is an informant in their ranks. Mr. Brown is played by the director himself. Mr. Pink quibbles because he doesn't like his pseudonym. Who can ever forget the image of Mr. Orange lying in an ever widening pool of his blood as his life ebbs away.
Two years later Pulp Fiction won the prestigious Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and revived the career of John Travolta who received an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Then he adapted Elmore Leonard's Novel, Rum Punch, and re-christened it Jackie Brown. The story of The Bride seeking vengeance after her wedding party was slaughtered was too big to fit into one film so we were givenKill Bill which unfolds in Volume I and II.
Death Proof features two sets of voluptuous women who are stalked by a perverted stuntman and his "deathproof" stunt car. In Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino revises history and gives us an alternate reality with two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's leadership.Django Unchained opens in the deep South as a German bounty hunter buys a slave because he needs him in his revenge plan. Most of The Hateful 8 transpires in a remote cabin as 8 strangers seek shelter from a blizzard sometime during the civil war. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, recently gracing local screens, features the adventures of Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio in the 60's set against the background of the Tate/La Bianca murders. The ending scenes are particularly grotesque.
There are some tantalizing rumors that the director will be involved in a future Star Trek movie. Tarantino in space! He, himself, has said, "....it is going to be wild."
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