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Sight & Sound September 09 Issue


#1

As always there’s a rather excellent interview with our man in the latest issue of Sight & Sound (‘The Mad, The Bad & The Dangerous’). Ryan Gilbey conducts the interview and it’s quite an interesting one mainly with Quentin Tarantino putting his side of the story across that it isn’t pastiche, how it was a bad mistake to split Grindhouse in two in the UK, working with Christoph Waltz and languages amongst other things. I’m looking forward to seeing ‘Inglourious Basterds’. I wish I saw ‘Grindhouse’ as the double bill experience with trailers. I don’t think seeing it at home is the same thing. I didn’t like ‘Death Proof’ but I will agree that it has “something” so one day I might give it chance number two. Albeit Tarantino’s films are for the cinema not for the high definition wide screen digital telly.



To go to the subject of Tarantino’s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema because recently we have been used to him enthuse about the exploitation cinema of the 1960s and 70s that it’s quite funny to hear him talk about ‘Mrs Miniver’, ‘La Grande Illusion’ and ‘The Kid’. We forget about that side of his cinephilia. It isn’t just Sergio Leone with him it’s also Douglas Sirk.



Good issue, worth a read.


#2

[quote=“Clinton Morgan”]
To go to the subject of Tarantino’s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema because recently we have been used to him enthuse about the exploitation cinema of the 1960s and 70s that it’s quite funny to hear him talk about ‘Mrs Miniver’, ‘La Grande Illusion’ and ‘The Kid’. We forget about that side of his cinephilia. It isn’t just Sergio Leone with him it’s also Douglas Sirk.



Good issue, worth a read.
[/quote]

Well put. I’ve always looked for more in depth stuff on his appreciation of Eurocinema but all I ever find is the cult stuff.



Know anywhere?


#3

Ooh Heaven’s to Betsy I cannot think of anything yet. Or rather I cannot think of anything that has a reliable direct source. For films outside of the so-called cult range one might refer to some of his early interviews such as that Charlie Rose one featured on the Pulp Fiction DVD. One might find a few things when typing “Tarantino” on Ain’t It Cool. I think (and remember this is just me thinking here, it may not be fact) there is a section where he reviews some films at a festival and comments how good the Polish are with their “grey on grey” style of filmmaking (he might have described Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours*:Red as being a masterpiece but again I have no reliable source) before going on to give a favourable review of Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People. We now know that he does not like Francois Truffaut’s The Last Metro <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.timeout.com/film/features/sh … t-one.html”>http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/8357/the-50-greatest-world-war-two-movies-part-one.html</LINK_TEXT> .



Quentin Tarantino’s genuine passion for the cult cinema of blaxploitation, spaghetti westerns, macaroni combat, gialli and sexploitation amongst many other subgenres reminds me of the early Cahiers Du Cinema crowd. As far as I recall the likes of Jean Luc-Godard, Francois Truffaut and the still-with-us Claude Chabrol mainly celebrated the populist films of Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Frank Tashlin and Jerry Lewis. They might have been a bit snotty about their country’s cinema of the 1930s but I could be wrong. And going further back the French surrealists never went for art cinema but preferred the populist silent serials such as Fantomas and Les Vampires. They would even go as far as popping in and out of different cinemas to create a jarring cinematic experience. One could try that in a multiplex but now that we’ve all become numb to flicking television channels with the old hoofer doofer it won’t have the same affect as it would have back in the 1910s and 20s. The Movie Brats of the 1970s such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese as well as appreciating the Cahiers Du Cinema lot also had a great appreciation of populist cinema such as the big epics of Ceil B DeMille and the westerns of John Ford. Could it be that cinephiles like the above who make interesting films that comment on the nature of cinema tend to go for the product that attracts as many posteriors on seats as possible? And isn’t exploitation cinema populist/commercial cinema writ large? Cinema history may have the likes of Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman, Kenneth Anger, Michaelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman but it does have it’s routes in popular entertainment. The early film screenings were fairground attractions and cinema itself evolved from zoetropes, magic lanterns and What The Butler Saw machines. That does not mean I support the pro-commercialism defense that the blockbusters keep the intellectual art house films in business. Come off it, how many interesting films have been kept off the Vue because the latest Harry Potter had to be on four fucking screens?



Another interesting aspect of Tarantino’s cinephilia is what he prefers over what. For example out of Tony Scott and the respected Ridley Scott he appears to go for the former. He prefers BMX Bandits over The Goonies. Twisted Nerve was a film made by the respected Boulting Brothers and the film that gets praised by the critics would be I’m All Right Jack. It wouldn’t surprise me if he validates The Three Stooges over The Marx Brothers. I’m a silent comedy fan and one day I expect to hear him praise Larry Semon over the big three of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. I don’t think this is him being awkward or showing off but rather being a simple lover of cinema. You know which films and which directors are the most respected and sometimes you even agree with them but after a while you make up your own mind and even look for hidden gems and neglected possible classics on the way. Les Enfantes Du Paradis might be considered the best French film (just as The Third Man is considered the best British) but good as it is I much prefer the same director’s Le Jour Se Leve.



So all I can say F.W. is to keep searching but don’t do too much searching. You could be watching a film in that time. In the meantime you might like this interview <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/art … le1252003/”>http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/tarantino-a-superstar-cinema-nerd/article1252003/</LINK_TEXT> .



*I reckon that the spelling of ‘inglourious’ is a parody of the way the English put the letter U in words like ‘colour’ and ‘favour’. The spelling of ‘basterd’ was used first in the television spin off publication ‘Bachelor Boys: The Young Ones Book’ written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer. One of the characters was called Vyvyan Basterd. But that’s a coincidence.


#4

For those who don’t live in the UK like me and can’t get a copy of the issue, here’s the link with the complete interview :



http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/feature/49565