By Pitu Chakpram
One can only wonder how ideas of Tarantino’s movies came from. He does not run under a particular genre or a theme. Watching his movies are like reading a particular book that makes no sense but still intrigues the mind. In a sense, his movies are the kind that can be watched only for the sake of watching. However, despite it all his movies still draws the attention of the vast majority of its viewers. His movies such as “Pulp Fiction”, “Reservoir Dogs” to name a few have no particular plot or a theme. Here, I have tried to take a peek into Tarantino’s world and his movies.
Born in Tennessee on March 27, 1963, to Tony Tarantino and Connie McHugh, Quentin Jerome Tarantino grew up loving movies more than school. Despite having an IQ of 160, he dropped out of Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, at the age of sixteen to pursue film making. He worked at the Video Archives in his early years, where he wrote the scripts for True Romance and Natural Born Killers. His directorial debut came with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs; however he received wide critical and commercial acclaim with “Pulp Fiction “(1994), which earned more than $108 million at the box office and an Oscar for Best Screenplay. In 1997, he released the movie Jackie Brown as homage to 1970’s blaxploitation movies. Then came the released his Kill Bill series in 2003 and 2004, which led to a Golden Globe nomination for Uma Thurman, who starred in the films. He was later nominated for two Academy Awards (best director and best original screenplay) for the film Inglourious Basterds (2009).
Tarantino went on to meet with both commercial and critical success with his next action movie which is a western-Django Unchained, released in late 2012. At the 85th Academy Awards in 2013, Tarantino won an Academy Award for best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained. The film received several other Oscar nominations, including for best picture, cinematography and sound editing.
Tarantino’s films have garnered both critical and commercial success. He has received many industry awards, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards, the Palme d’Or, has been nominated for an Emmy and a Grammy to mention a few, and has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine in 2005. Filmmaker and historian Peter Bogdanovich has called him “the single most influential director of his generation”.
Aside from being a screen writer, producer and a director, he also acts in movies but more as a cameo. His films have been characterized by nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, and glorification of violence that often results in the exhibition of neo-noir characteristics. Music also plays a very important role in all his movies which is related to the scene. What is mostly unique about his film making style are the uses of aliases in nearly all of his movies “Honey Bunny and Pumpkin”, usually have a shot from inside a car trunk, extreme violence, much of which is suggested off-screen and making references to cult movies and television. His films usually have a shot from inside a car trunk. In all of his original screenplays, the name of a police detective named Scagnetti is referred to at least once.
Tarantino often attempts to meld comic strip formulas and aesthetics within a live action film sequence and in some cases uses the literal use of cartoon or anime images. He has stated that the celebrated animation-action sequence in his film “Kill Bill” (2003) was inspired from the use of 2D animated sequences in actor Kamal Hassan’s Tamil film Aalavandhan and often favours particular brand names of his own creation to make promotional appearances.
The three films that have most influenced him as a director are: “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”, Mario Bavo’s “Black Sabbath” which taught him the importance of having a distinct directorial voice, and “Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein”, because it taught him about mixing genres.
Even though most of his movies are violence related he believes that it does not inspire acts of violence in real life and even further stated that he had the right to write any character in the world when questioned about his used of the word ‘nigger’ in the movie ‘Django Unchained’.
A bi-annual festival name the Quentin Tarantino Film Fest held in Austin, TX (USA) shows his screens selections of favourite films from his own private collection and sometimes shows films that have something to do with upcoming projects of his which may have inspired him.
It has been made official that the script for prequel for the movie ‘Inglorius Basterd’ is already written although there is no information regarding the story with another mystery project in line. Tarantino’s project “The Hateful Eight” has been dropped when the script was leaked out and he became upset and decided that he will not direct that film.
Much talk has been going on about his new project which will also be a western, however due to leakage of the script, he has told the media that he will not continue with the movie.
It is hard to understand and explain but what is intriguing about them is the way the movies play out. It may be the witty remarks or the sarcastic one-liners, or it may be because of the actors in his movies or, it might even be the violence and choice uses of weapons, or it could even be the fusion of music in his movies. Whatever it maybe, it draws the attention of the viewers to the movie entirely of its own. It can also be said that attentions are drawn mainly out of curiosity and later may leave the mind of its viewer in deep sense of confusion.
Just as much as there are a number of fans, there are also a vast amount of haters who believe that his movies are baseless and time-wasting. For those who watch a movie regarding its theme and depth, Tarantino’s are of wits, action with no sense of reason at all. Haters or lovers of his works, it is a well-known fact that his movies are a genre of their own and his movies stand out from others.