All posts tagged: Quentin Tarantino

Brown, Kiddo, & Tarantino

OR: Tarantino’s Leading Ladies: Jackie Brown, Beatrix Kiddo, & Women’s Empowerment On-screen Quentin Tarantino’s body of work – from his feature film debut Reservoir Dogs (1992), to his most recent epic The Hateful Eight (2015) – consists of films that are violent, highly stylized, dialogue-driven, oftentimes problematic, and always provocative. Though each film in Tarantino’s oeuvre is quite different from the one that came before it or followed, numerous qualities of his work remain consistent. In each of his films Tarantino celebrates popular culture by commemorating genres that were once relegated to the margins by Hollywood, such as martial arts cinema, Blaxploitation, and spaghetti westerns. While appropriating genres, Tarantino provides his own authorial stamp by writing dialogue-driven scripts which are benefited by episodic structures. A “Tarantino film,” one can almost always be assured, features revenge at the heart of the narrative and creates pleasure through the irreverent combination of humor and violence. And, with each of Tarantino’s films, the appropriateness of his representations of violence, race, gender, and revisionist history, come into question time and …

The Decay of Cinema or a New Cine-love?

I recently read Susan Sontag’s “The Decay of Cinema,” published in the New York Times in 1996, for the undergraduate class at USC that I’m a teaching assistant for. In the essay she laments the commercialization of the Hollywood studio system, and how spectatorship evolved from an intimate and exciting experience in a darkened theater, to the less immersive comfort of a living room. At the crux of her essay is a memoriam to cinephilia, which she argues was once celebrated, but eroded by the turn of cinema’s 100th anniversary. Sontag’s argument essentially equates cinephilia with a certain type of movie-lover; for a true cinephile, cinema is their everything, and they elect to watch films in the most enveloping of spaces – the movie theater. “Cinephilia itself has come under attack, as something quaint, outmoded, snobbish. For cinephilia implies that films are unique, unrepeatable, magic experiences. Cinephilia tells us that the Hollywood remake of Godard’s “Breathless” cannot be as good as the original. Cinephilia has no role in the era of hyperindustrial films. For cinephilia cannot help, by the very range and eclecticism of …

Reflections – Politics, Award Shows, & the Words We Choose

Oh life, isn’t it complicated? My spring semester started this week, so I’ve had less time to dedicate to this blog. In getting back to posting, I wanted to write about film and television, media representation, or something similar, but I kept being drawn in a different direction. I have so much I’d like to write about in the coming weeks, but for now I just want to ramble about what’s currently on my mind, with no necessary destination mapped out. So back to that whole ‘life is complicated’ statement. This week my head has been flooded with so many thoughts and questions. I’m still flabbergasted that Donald Trump is relevant – let alone the GOP frontrunner – but I’m more upset by the fact that his popularity is not as surprising as it should be. I’m starting to recognize what an open and progressive upbringing I had, and that most of the country doesn’t necessarily think like me or my peers. Yesterday I overheard a white woman asking a black woman where she came from. Her answer? America. The white woman then went on to clarify: “Oh …

Brief Thoughts on Netflix & Other Streaming Services

In a recent interview with Vulture, Quentin Tarantino voiced his opposition to streaming on a small screen: “It’s just a generational thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not depressed by it. The idea that somebody’s watching my movie on a phone, that’s very depressing to me.” Though I believe that nothing trumps absorbing a film in a dark theater with your loved ones sharing the experience with you, or even just alone, it seems that having the chance to watch at home has fortified our ever-evolving relationship with media. We can now watch movies or shows in bed, on a plane, or in a car. One could argue that this new way of watching has destroyed the experience a little (and the intentions of the medium itself), and maybe that’s true, but one could also assert that it has strengthened the relationship between the viewer and what they’re viewing. Accessibility and intimacy has revolutionized media. Our role as audience members is less formal, and in many ways more powerful. We consume in a manner that has muscled its way into our day-to-day life. Watching something …

Quentin Tarantino on Good Ideas, Hollywood & Filmmaking

Some love his work, others hate his work, but all know his work. I happen to belong to the first group, so today, in honor of Quentin Tarantino’s birthday, I’d like to share a few of my favorite Tarantino quotes. “If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.” “The good ideas will survive.” “To me, movies and music go hand in hand. When I’m writing a script, one of the first things I do is find the music I’m going to play for the opening sequence.” “I steal from every movie ever made.” “I’m not a Hollywood basher because enough good movies come out of the Hollywood system every year to justify its existence, without any apologies.” “I couldn’t spell anything. I couldn’t remember anything, but I could go to a movie and I knew who starred in it, who directed it, everything.” “All of my movies are achingly personal.” “If I wasn’t a film-maker, I’d be a film critic. It’s the only thing I’d be qualified to do.” “Movies are not …

‘Pulp Fiction’: 20 Facts on the Film’s 20th Anniversary

This is the week of anniversaries! Twenty years ago today, Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic and well-known film was released in theaters. To this day, Pulp Fiction continues to captivate audience members, both young and old. To celebrate, here are twenty facts on the film’s twentieth anniversary: 1. The shot of Vincent shoving the syringe into Mia’s chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then reversing the footage. 2. Whenever Vincent goes to the bathroom, something terrible happens. 3. Quentin Tarantino wrote the part of Jules specifically for Samuel L. Jackson. 4. The passage from the Bible that Jules has memorized was mainly made up by Tarantino and Jackson. 5. The film cost $8.5 million to make – $5 million of which went to the actors’ salaries. 6. Originally, Uma Thurman turned down the role of Mia Wallace, but Tarantino desperately wanted to cast her so he ended up reading her the script over the phone, eventually convincing her to accept the role. 7. “Fuck” is said 265 times. 8. Jules’ car, a 1974 Chevy Nova, is never fully seen, only the interior or parts of …

Film School or No School?

What do Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, and David Fincher have in common? Aside from their magnificently acclaimed careers, all four directors opted out of school and decided instead to jump head first into the film industry. On the other-hand, greats like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Darren Aronofsky attended film school before developing their careers. So, what’s the better option? Film school, or no school? A lot of young aspiring filmmakers ask: “Is film school worth it?” Simply put, the answer depends on the type of person you are and what you’re interested in taking away from the experience of receiving an arts degree. First, you must know that film school is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not necessary to begin a career in the film industry. But even if the program you’re pursuing isn’t prominent, you’ll still get something out of it. What’s important is if what you get out of your experience is worth it to you. In my case, I believe it was. Sure, you can learn how to be a filmmaker …