Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2019) – Star Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth navigate the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to the golden decade of Hollywood with excessive enthusiasm, spinning a contemplative and poignant fairy tale out of tragic history.
Years following the end of Bounty Law, actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is now struggling with his alcoholism and fading Hollywood career. He spends most days on the road with his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), whose reputation, too, grants him little luck in the business.
This is their story, as much as it is of their neighbours. Living next door to the pair is successful director-actor couple, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). In 1969, how their lives may intertwine invites dread of what is to come, as history pages would show.
Inglourious Basterds (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2009) – Young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus harbours bigger plans for Hitler’s illustrious film première and promises a night to remember in Nazi-occupied France.
A Tarantinophile revisits Inglourious Basterds, a dexterously reimagined history of blood-spattered vengeance that proves just as entertaining as her first twenty viewings.
For every me who admires his works, there will be another one of you who clamours for his films to be dismissed as overrated, even obnoxious. But whether you loved or hated The Hateful Eight, there is little doubt that Quentin Tarantino is one of the most distinctive writer-directors out there today.
So not long after the credits rolled, I turn to revisit Inglourious Basterds. Years have passed, yet the first chapter to his vengeance trilogy remains a tremendous thrill ride, exemplifying how the familiar is made unpredictable by his craft.
From The Dirty Dozen to Rolling Thunder, Tarantino wears his influences on his sleeves, but never lets them overshadow what is definitively his own. The homage he pays is as much enjoyable as the conventions he invents – loquacious characters, self-referential jokes and the difficult precision of darkly funny moments. Set in times of war, few writers can lace a serious subject with humour like he does, without making light of a real brutal past.
The Hateful Eight (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2015) – A blizzard forces bounty hunter John Ruth and his prisoner Daisy Domergue to seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, where its inhabitants harbour unseen intentions.
Verbose, ruthless and amusing, The Hateful Eight is unapologetically Tarantino-esque and charmingly so.
In the harsh winters of Wyoming, John Ruth the Hangman (Kurt Russell) stays committed to his mission: to lead his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the noose at Red Rock for murder.
An unexpected blizzard forces them to reroute as they trudge on towards warm shelter. Under the roof of Minnie’s Haberdashery seats a band of nefarious strangers with a larger ploy at hand, driven by hate as promised by the title in bold.
The Hateful Eight marks Quentin Tarantino’s 8 1/2 (My Best Friend’s Birthday inclusive) and his second western of a planned trilogy. Three years after Django Unchained and thankfully despite the script leak controversy, Tarantino slips back comfortably into familiar territory.
Django Unchained (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2012) – Freed slave Django joins Dr. King Schultz in the bounty hunting business, as he plans to rescue his missing wife from the ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie.
As everyone probably already knows – I like the way you make movies, Quentin.
Three years after drenching Nazi-occupied France in bloodbath, Quentin Tarantino forges ahead with his new chapter of rewritten history in his vengeance trilogy. Following a three-month stall, Django Unchained was finally well, unchained. Not one bit of my excitement was doused in the wait.
This time, Quentin sets his epic in the vast South, where the sullen sounds of Cash’s Ain’t No Grave meet the clangs of iron shackles. The slaves shamble through the darkness, and dentist-turned-bounty-hunter King Schultz enters in a carriage with a pendant tooth.
As Schultz begins negotiating to acquire his protégé, we are immediately reassured that Tarantino is back in full form. There is that brilliant sense of dark humour, his unforgettable characters and their verbose albeit engaging dialogue. Despite familiarity, everything remains just as unpredictable, allowing the entire lead-up to his signature stand-off to teem with tension throughout.
Samuel L Jackson, Pam Grier, Christoph Waltz, David Carradine (rest in peace); the films of Quentin Tarantino has revived the quiet careers of many and garnered long-awaited recognition for others. Of recent, casting news for his latest venture Django Unchained has begun to surface, and keen interest has been placed on whom he will work with next.
Late night thoughts that usually render pointless had me wondering who I would love to see Tarantino work with most. Well, there is certainly one underrated actor in mind whom Tarantino could really shine some deserving light on: Sam Rockwell.
As an aspiring filmmaker and a long-time obsessed Tarantino-phile, I have always respected his long-time collaborator, Sally Menke. Her dedicated work is vital in making Tarantino films into the masterpieces that they are. What she did was nothing short of brilliant, while she has always been a huge inspiration towards many working in the film industry.
Her death is undoubtedly devastating, not just because she was brilliant and passionate in her string of work. Working alongside Quentin Tarantino since the days of Reservoir Dogs, she was not just a collaborator. She was also family. Every member of the cast and crew valued her work, as did the audience. We will always remember the greetings over the b-roll.
The news of death is never that easy to take. Despite being complete strangers, nothing takes away that connection you have with the people you look up to. Menke’s unique and brilliant editing style, has proved to be, and always will be one of the greatest contributions to cinema history.