In January of 1992, Reservoir Dogs (1992) appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, by first-time writer-director Quentin Tarantino. The film garnered critical acclaim and the director became a legend immediately. Two years later, he followed up Dogs success with Pulp Fiction (1994) which premiered at the Cannes film festival, winning the coveted Palme D'Or Award. At the 1995 Academy Awards, it was nominated for the best picture, best director and best original screenplay. Tarantino and writing partner Roger Avary came away with the award only for best original screenplay. In 1995, Tarantino directed one fourth of the anthology Four Rooms (1995) with friends and fellow auteurs Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Allison Anders. The film opened on December 25th in the United States to very weak reviews. Tarantino's next film was From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), a vampire/crime story which he wrote and co-starred with George Clooney. The film did fairly well theatrically.IMDb Mini Biography By: Kale Whorton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lead characters usually drive General Motors vehicles, particularly Chevrolet and Cadillac, such as Jules' 1974 Nova and Vincent's 1960s Malibu.
Makes references to cult movies and television
His films usually have a shot from inside a car trunk
He always has a Dutch element in his films: The opening tune, Little Green Bag, in Reservoir Dogs (1992) was performed by George Baker and written by Jan Gerbrand Visser and Benjamino Bouwens who are all Dutch. The character Freddy Newandyke, played by Tim Roth is a direct translation to a typical Dutch last name, Nieuwendijk. The code name of Tim Roth is Mr. Orange, the royal color of Holland, and the last name of the royal family. The Amsterdam conversation in PulpFiction, Vincent Vega smokes from a Dutch tobacco shag (Drum), the mentioning of Rutger Hauer in Jackie Brown (1997), the bride's name is Beatrix, the name of the Royal Dutch Queen.
[The Mexican Standoff] All his movies (including True Romance (1993), which he only wrote and did not direct) feature a scene in which three or more characters are pointing guns at each other at the same time.
His films will often include one long, unbroken take where a character is followed around somewhere.
Often casts comedians in small roles: 'Stephen Wright' as the DJ in Reservoir Dogs (1992), Kathy Griffin as an accident witness and Julia Sweeney as the junkyard guy's daughter in Pulp Fiction (1994), 'Chris Tucker' as Beaumont in Jackie Brown (1997), 'Mike Myers' as 'General Ed Fenech' in _Inglorious Basterds (2009)_, and Jonah Hill in Django Unchained (2012).
Widely imitated quick cuts of character's hands performing actions in extreme closeup, a technique reminiscent of Brian De Palma.
Long closeup of a person's face while someone else speaks off-screen (closeup of The Bride while Bill talks, of Butch while Marsellus talks).
[Aliases] He uses aliases in nearly all of his movies: Honey Bunny and Pumpkin from Pulp Fiction (1994), Mr White, Blonde, Orange etc. from Reservoir Dogs (1992). Bill's team in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (Black Mamba, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and California Mountain Snake), The Basterds and other major characters in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
[Director's Cameo] Often plays a small role in his films (Jimmie Dimmick in Pulp Fiction (1994), Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs (1992), the answering machine voice in Jackie Brown (1997), The Rapist in Grindhouse (2007) and Warren in Death Proof (2007)).
Frequently uses Mêlée weapons, such as the samuri sword that Butch uses in Pulp Fiction (1994) and the bride uses in the Kill Bill movies, also the stake attached to a jackhammer used by George Clooney in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996).
Extreme violence, much of which is suggested off-screen
Often creates fictional brands of objects due to his dislike of product placement. The Red Apple cigarettes and Big Kahuna burger established in Pulp Fiction (1994) are often referenced in his other films.
Frequently sets his films in Los Angeles
Often frames characters with doorways and shows them opening and closing doors.
Minor character dialogue is off-screen in his films
A character cooly talks through an intense situation, either delaying the occurrence of violence or avoiding it through resolution.
Interjects scenes with introduction of a character's background (Hugo Stieglitz is introduced in the middle of the Nazi torture scene in _Inglorious Basterds (2009)_, O-Ren is introduced with a interuption in the main story in _Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003)_).
Frequently uses Spanish classical guitar for the soundtracks
Known for giving comebacks to "forgotten" actors and/or cult actors by giving them important roles in his movies: John Travolta(Pulp Fiction (1994)), David Carradine(Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)), Lawrence Tierney(Reservoir Dogs (1992)), Pam Grier(Jackie Brown (1997)), Robert Forster(Jackie Brown (1997)), Sonny Chiba(Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003))... even in smaller/cameo roles:Sid Haig (Jackie Brown (1997),Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)), Edward Bunker(Reservoir Dogs (1992)), Rod Taylor in _Inglorious Basterds (2009)_) and Michael Parks(Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), and_From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)_, which QT wrote and co-starred in).
Frequently references his home state of Tennessee in his films: In Pulp Fiction (1994), Butch plans to meet his connection in Knoxville, which is also where his grandfather bought the gold watch; the song "Tennessee Stud" by 'Johnny Cash' appears in Jackie Brown (1997); Death Proof (2007) is set in Lebanon, Tennessee; "Lt.. Aldo Raine" in Inglourious Basterds (2009) hails from Maynardville, Tennessee.
Often interjects titles to tell the audience of a new portion of the story (Character names in Reservoir Dogs (1992), Chapter form in Inglourious Basterds (2009), Explanations of what audience will see such as in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Characters frequently use the phrase bingo
Shots with only a woman's bare feet (Uma Thurman is barefoot in the introduction of Mia in Pulp Fiction (1994) and while the Bride is sitting in the back of Buck's truck trying to move her big toe in _Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2004)_, In Death Proof (2007) 'Sydney Tamiia Poiter' (Jungle Julia) is barefoot almost constantly and Rosario Dawson (Abernathy) has her feet hanging out the window of a car while she is asleep) or characters who discuss bare feet (Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) discusses the ethics of foot massages with Vincent (John Travolta) in Pulp Fiction (1994), In Death Proof (2007) Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) talks about Stuntman Mike ('Kurt Russell') bumping into her feet when he walks by.
Prefers to start most of his films with a scene before the main titles are shown
All of his films feature one or more scenes in a restaurant
Characters often utilize sharp, bladed weapons. (Mr. Blonde uses a straight razor to cut off Marvin Nash's ear in _Reservoir Dogs (1993)_, Butch uses a samurai sword to kill Maynard in Pulp Fiction (1994), The Bride uses a samurai sword to kill several characters in _Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)_ and _Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)_, Lt. Aldo Raine uses a Bowie knife to cut a swastika in Col. Hans Landa's forehead in _Inglorious Basterds (2009)_, Vernita Greene fights The Bride with a butcher knife in _Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)_)
Often shows a relationship between an older experienced character and a younger character in a manner similar to a parent or teacher
His characters often discuss Their favorite films or shows while carrying out Their activities
His films often feature at least one character who is deeply Religious or spiritual and tries to reconcile that faith with Their actions (Jules in ''Pulp Fiction'', Jacob in ''From Dusk Till Dawn'')
Revenge is a common theme in his films
Often frames dialogue scenes around a character preparing food, usually intercut with close-ups of their hands and food items: Vernita Green making her daughter cereal in _Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)_, Bill making B.B. a sandwich in _Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)_, Hans Landa offering Shosanna Dreyfus a strudel in Inglourious Basterds (2009), King Schultz pouring beers in Django Unchained (2012).
Usually when giving an interview, he will greet the audience with a peace sign
Many of his protagonists are morally suspect, violent-tempered individuals who ultimately best their antagonists by outmatching them in sheer brutality
Colorful main antagonists with an elaborately thought-out, vivid but extremely twisted (and often bigoted) world view and philosophy
Lingering shots of women's feet
Scenes are more often than not loaded with homages or visual references to other director's works
Often times the violence in his films is over exagerrated and rooted in a darkly comic context.
Never includes his name in a director's credit in the opening titles of his films. The credits always end with the name of his producer(s).
Soundtracks often feature dialogue from their respective films.
Was sued by Don Murphy for $5,000,000, accused of assault. Tarantino attacked Murphy in restaurant, slammed him against the wall and punched him. [14 November 1997]
Together with Lawrence Bender founded record company called A Band Apart Records. It will focus on film soundtracks and its releases will be distributed through Maverick Records, owned by Madonna. [30 July 1997]
Was planning to direct an episode of "The X-Files" (1993) but refused to join the Director's Guild of America. The Guild refused his request for a waiver so that he could direct the show. [November 1996]
Claims that Tarantino acted in the film Dawn of the Dead (1978) or the film King Lear (1987) are incorrect. Quentin falsely listed these credits years ago on his acting resume to compensate for his lack of experience and these incorrect credits have subsequently been attributed to him in such places as Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide and the Cinemania CD ROM.
First noted screenplay was titled "Captain Peachfuzz and the Anchovy Bandit," which was written in 1985.
Tarantino claims that James Best taught him how to act.
In all of his original screenplays, the name of a police detective named Scagnetti is referred to at least once. Most of the times the particular scene was cut out of the final versions.
Is a big fan of The Three Stooges.
His father, actor/musician Tony Tarantino is of Italian descent, and his mother, Connie McHugh, is half-Irish and half-Cherokee.
Although he uses both elements in his films, he strongly detests violence and drugs.
Is listed in the acknowledgments of actor Ethan Hawke's novel, Ash Wednesday.
Was the head judge at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, where Pulp Fiction (1994) won the Palme D'or, the top honor, only ten years earlier.
Considers Ride in the Whirlwind (1966) one of the finest Westerns ever made, even writing an extensive article about it for Sight And Sound magazine titled A Rare Sorrow. The article was featured in the Pulp Fiction (1994) Special Edition DVD as an extra and also appears in Paul A. Woods' Film Geek Files (pgs. 129-132). Interestingly, the director of Ride in the Whirlwind, Monte Hellman, was the executive producer of Reservoir Dogs (1992).
He is a good friend of Robert Rodriguez.
He has called Uma Thurman his muse.
Was at one point in his life considering to become a novelist. He said that he tried writing two chapters of a novel about his experiences working at the Video Archives in Manhattan Beach. As can be immediately seen, novelistic narrative techniques bear a strong influence on his distinct filmmaking style.
In 1994, before Pulp Fiction (1994), in an interview with Charlie Rose, he cited his three favorite films as Blow Out (1981) (directed by Brian De Palma), Rio Bravo (1959) (directed by Howard Hawks) and Taxi Driver (1976) (directed by Martin Scorsese).
In the last Sight & Sound Greatest Films Poll (2002), he listed his Top Ten films as: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (aka "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Leone), Rio Bravo (1959) (Hawks), Taxi Driver (1976) (Scorsese), His Girl Friday (1940) (Hawks), Rolling Thunder (1977) (Flynn), They All Laughed (1981) (Bogdanovich), The Great Escape (1963) (J. Sturges), Carrie (1976) (De Palma), Coffy (1973) (Hill), Dazed and Confused (1993) (Linklater), _Tian xia di yi quan (1973)_ (aka "Five Fingers of Death," Chang) and Hi Diddle Diddle (1943) (Stone).
His mother was only 16 when she gave birth to him.
Once a vocal proponent of celluloid-over-digital film-making, Tarantino got his first experience with the latter technology by directing a segment of the film Sin City (2005) with his friend 'Robert Rodriguez' (I) . Rodriguez, who lauds the technology at every opportunity, made it his mission to convert Tarantino as well. At the end of shooting, Tarantino is reported to have said simply, "Mission accomplished."
Hates product placement hence, the use of the fictional cigarette Red Apple and now-defunct cereal Fruit Brute in his films.
Dropped out of Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, at the age of sixteen to pursue film making.
Six of his movies are mentioned in FHM's (DK) 100 Best Male Movies Ever (7 October 2004 issue): True Romance (1993) at #75, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) at #73, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) at #26, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) at #25, Reservoir Dogs (1992) at #11, and Pulp Fiction (1994) at #1.
Was offered the role of the President of the United States of America in Battle Royale II (2003) but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.
Has stated that he would like to direct a James Bond movie at some point in his career.
Often references numerous attributes of the works of Jean-Luc Godard, particularly in Pulp Fiction (1994). The disjointed structure of Pulp Fiction (1994) may itself be an homage to Godard's use of jump cuts in Breathless (1960) (Breathless), the film that launched the French New Wave of cinema.
Is a huge fan of the Half-Life computer game series, and has considered possibilities of directing a movie adaptation.
Ranked #81 on Premiere's 2004 annual Power 100 List. He was unranked in 2003.
Ranked #8 in Empire (UK) magazine's greatest directors ever 2005 poll.
Was the spokesman for SkyperfecTV, a Japanese based satellite TV network, a competitor to the now locally defunct DirecTV endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Eli Roth wanted to have the world premiere of Hostel (2005) at the 2005 Iceland Film Festival. During the festival, Roth and Quentin Tarantino were made honorary vikings at Viking Village, in a ceremony arranged by Eythor Gudjonsson. Roth's Icelandic name is Eli Sheldonsson, and Tarantino's Icelandic name is Quentin Conniesson.
His all-time favorite director is Howard Hawks.
Each of his movies, with the exception of Death Proof (2007), features someone from the cast of Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973). Harvey Keitel from Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), Robert De Niro from Jackie Brown (1997), David Carradine from Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), and David Proval is in Four Rooms (1995).
Was originally offered the chance to direct Men in Black (1997), but turned it down.
Was originally offered the chance to direct Speed (1994), but turned it down.
Is godfather to two of Michael Madsen's sons Hudson and Calvin Michael. Michael and his wife DeAnna joked in OK! magazine about naming Quentin godfather to their newest son Luke Ray as well.
Has stated that he would like to make and star in a film telling the story of John Brown, the abolitionist.
Has named My Bloody Valentine (1981) his all-time favorite slasher film.
During his stay in the Philippines, Tarantino got trapped in traffic due to flooding as he was traveling to Malacanang Palace to meet President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and receive a lifetime achievement award. Refusing to give up, he and his partner Tikoy Aguiluz got off their limousine and took a pedicab each to reach the palace. After arriving, Tarantino stated "It was a lot of fun. It just took a long time but it was not bad at all".
Has two sisters and one brother: Tanya Marie Tarantino (b. Pasadena, California, 4 Oct 1964), Ronnajean Tarantino (b. Phoenix, Arizona, 22 June 1969) and Edward James Tarantino (b. Simi Valley, California, 3 Oct 1974).
His father was born in Queens, New York, and has a sister named Diane. Their parents are Dominic Tarantino and wife Elizabeth.
His mother was born in Tennessee on September 3, 1946. She is the adopted daughter of Ellis and Elizabeth (Betty) Shaffer.
After his parents divorced, his mother married Curtis Zastoupil.
As a child, one of his favorite movies was Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). He credits the film with helping him learn genre distinctions.
Wrote the forward for the book Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi".
Was offered a chance to direct Westworld (????), but turned it down.
Was ex-girlfriend Mira Sorvino's date the night she won her best supporting actress Oscar.
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was raised in Los Angeles.
Close friends with Jennifer Beals.
Is of Italian, Irish and Cherokee descent.
In the 2008 Empire Magazine poll of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time, Tarantino listed his favorite films as: 1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), (Sergio Leone), 2. Rio Bravo (1959), (Howard Hawks), 3. Blow Out (1981), (Brian De Palma), 4. Taxi Driver (1976), (Martin Scorsese), 5. His Girl Friday (1940), Howard Hawks), 6. 5 Fingers of Death / King Boxer (1972), (Chang-hwa Jeong), 7. Pandora's Box (1929), ('Georg Wilhelm Pabst'), 8. Carrie (1976), (Brian De Palma), 9. Unfaithfully Yours (1948), (Preston Sturges), 10. Five Graves to Cairo (1943), (Billy Wilder), 11. Jaws (1975), (Steven Spielberg). Choices #2, 3 and 4 are marked as "interchangeable".
Lived with Jennifer Beals while getting his first films produced.
Directed 5 actors in Oscar nominated performances: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Robert Forster, and Christoph Waltz (twice). Waltz won for his performances in both Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).
He is mentioned in the cartoon "Courage The Cowardly Dog" as the zombie director Quintin Tarantella in several episodes, the first being "Everyone Wants To Direct".
He screens Rio Bravo (1959) for potential girlfriends as a test of their compatibility.
Thanked by Nirvana in the liner notes of their album "In Utero".
His films mainly feature criminals and characters committing horrible crimes involving murder and drugs. The only crime Tarantino has committed was shoplifting from a bookstore when he was a teenager.
Good friends with Kristin Chenoweth.
(At MTV Movie Awards 1994) As he won Best Picture for Pulp Fiction (1994) "Pop quiz, hotshot: you go to the awards ceremonies all year long; you keep losing to Forrest Gump (1994)! It's really annoying the hell out of you - what do you do? You go to the MTV Awards!"
If I've made it a little easier for artists to work in violence, great! I've accomplished something.
When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'
On using surfing music, when hating the surfing culture: "It's like surf music, I've always like loved that but, for me, I don't know what surf music has to do with surf boards. To me, it just sounds like rock and roll, even Morricone music. It sounds like rock and roll Spaghetti Western music, so that's how I kind of laid it in."
Movies are my religion and God is my patron. I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I don't make movies to pay for my pool. When I make a movie, I want it to be everything to me; like I would die for it.
On the comparison between Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)'s group fight and Neo vs. 100 Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded (2003): "First off, I've always thought of the black suits as mine, so I don't think of them as Agent Smiths, I think of them as Reservoir Dogs with less cool sunglasses. The similarities between the fight sequences never occurred to me until I had a director's screening and Luc Besson turned up with Keanu Reeves as his guest. I watched Keanu watching and suddenly I felt it."
On media criticisms of violence in his movies: "Sure, Kill Bill's a violent movie. But it's a Tarantino movie. You don't go to see Metallica and ask the fuckers to turn the music down."
On media criticisms of violence in his movies: "What if a kid goes to school after seeing Kill Bill and starts slicing up other kids? You know, I'll take that chance! Violent films don't turn children into violent people. They may turn them into violent filmmakers but that's another matter altogether."
On collecting movies: "If you're a film fan, collecting video is sort of like marijuana. Laser discs, they're definitely cocaine. Film prints are heroin, all right? You're shooting smack when you start collecting film prints. So, I kinda got into it in a big way, and I've got a pretty nice collection I'm real proud of."
On how to take the violence in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (re: The final duel with Lucy Liu): "It's supposed to be kind of amusing and poetic at the same time. And also just a teeny-tiny bit solemn. When you see her head, it's funny. And then her line, 'that really was a Hattori Hanzo sword,' that's funny. But then, the next shot is not funny, when she tips over and Meiko Kaji is singing about revenge on the soundtrack. So, it's all together. Funny. Solemn. Beautiful. Gross. All at the same time."
On becoming famous: "Going into a videostore and going through the videos, looking at every title they have, trying to find some old spaghetti western, that's gone."
I have an idea for a Godzilla movie that I've always wanted to do. The whole idea of Godzilla's role in Tokyo, where he's always battling these other monsters, saving humanity time and again- wouldn't Godzilla become God? It would be called Living Under the Rule of Godzilla. This is what society is like when a big fucking green lizard rules your world.
On violence in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003): "When I was on "The View" (1997), Barbara Walters was asking me about the blood and stuff, and I said, 'Well, you know, that's a staple of Japanese cinema.' And then she came back,'But this is America.' And I go, 'I don't make movies for America. I make movies for planet Earth.'"
On directing the "ER" (1994) episode "Motherhood": "When I was directing ER, I didn't want to stand out. Everyone else is wearing all that crap. I wanted to fit in. I didn't want to be the odd man out. I wanted to be inside, not on the outside. When I was directing the ER thing, the emergency room guys wore the green scrubs. I wore those for a few days. Then, I wore the blue scrubs, which were the surgeons,' for a few days. When I wore the nurse's pink scrubs, though, that's when I became a hero on the set. The nurses didn't think I was going to throw in with them. I ended the episode, the last two days, wearing the nurses' scrubs. When I walked on the set all the nurses applauded me. They were like, 'Oh my God, he's so cool!'"
On Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973) and its influences on Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003): "And that is, of all the revenge movies I've ever seen, that is definitely the roughest. The roughest revenge movie ever made! There's never been anything as tough as that movie."
If you want to make a movie, make it. Don't wait for a grant, don't wait for the perfect circumstances, just make it. - Giving advice to young aspiring filmmakers at the 1994 Independent Spirit Awards.
I hope to give you at least 15 more years of movies. I'm not going to be this old guy that keeps cranking them out. My plan is to have a theater by that time in some small town and I will be the manager - this crazy old movie guy. (March 2005)
I will never do 'Pulp Fiction 2', but having said that, I could very well do other movies with these characters.
I've come to a point where I like Pauline Kael's reviews of Godard more than Godard's films.
(On making another "Kill Bill" movie) "Oh yeah, initially I was thinking this would be my "Dollars Trilogy". I was going to do a new one every ten years. But I need at least fifteen years before I do this again. I've already got the whole mythology: Sofie Fatale will get all of Bill's money. She'll raise Nikki, who'll take on The Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as The Bride deserved hers. I might even shoot a couple of scenes for it now so I can get the actresses while they're this age."
I'm never going to be shy about anything, what I write about is what I know; it's more about my version of the truth as I know it. That's part of my talent, really - putting the way people really speak into the things I write. My only obligation is to my characters. And they came from where I have been.
The exploitation films were made in such an artless way with these big wide shots of Sunset Boulevard or of Arcadia or downtown L.A. or wherever. In mainstream films, especially in the 1980s, the Los Angeles you saw wasn't the real one; it was a character with this back-lot sort of atmosphere. They tried to luxuriate it. In exploitation films, you see what the place really looked like, you see the bars and mom-and-pop restaurants.
There's only one list that's more illustrious than the list of directors who won the Palme d'Or. It's the list of directors who didn't.
I don't believe in putting in music as a band aid to get you over some rough parts or bad film making. If it's there it's got to add to it or take it to another level.
When I give props to these movies, you have to understand - it's not like they were all good. There's an expression: You have to drink a lot of milk before you can appreciate cream. Well, with exploitation movies, you have to drink a lot of milk-gone-bad before you can even appreciate milk! That's what part of the love of these movies is - going through the rummage bin and finding the jewels.
[on the death of David Carradine] He was a dream to direct, a fantastic actor, a great character actor and really one of Hollywood's great mad geniuses.
[on how The Dirty Dozen (1967) could never be made today] Ernest Borgnine. Charles Bronson. Those guys were real men. They were a different breed. Many of them had been to war. Today's young actors are soft.
[on the Cannes Film Festival] I just like Cannes. It's like the whole planet is checking your movie out - boom! - at one time, and - bam! - it either works or it doesn't. And especially when I'm there - it's the closest thing to Muhammad Ali having a championship fight. It's just - bam! You're throwing it down.
I've had people write that I've seen too many movies. In what other art form would being an expert be considered a negative? If I were a poet, would I be criticized for knowing too much about Sappho? Or Aristotle?
Some people will like Inglourious Basterds (2009). Some people won't. But it was made with all the passion I've made everything with - except maybe my first film, which was probably made with more passion than I'll ever have again.
When you gotta go out and make a movie to pay for the kid's private school and for the three ex-wives, don't talk to me about your artistry. It's their job. It's not my job. It's my calling.
[on why his characters in Inglourious Basterds (2009) use Native American fighting tactics] I'm actually equating the Jews in this situation, in World War II, with the Indians. It's not nothing that they're doing Apache resistance. It's not about dying. It's about killing. They ambush their guys. They trick the enemy. It's not a straight-up fight. And then they go and they just completely desecrate the bodies to win a psychological war.
[on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, when asked how he comes up with such good dialog] Well, not to be facetious or anything, but....I'm a good writer!
I think the opening chapter of Inglourious Basterds (2009) is one of the best things I've ever written - before that sequence my best piece of writing would be the Sicilian sequence in the True Romance (1993) script; that was the best thing I'd ever done in a beginning to end piece. And I think I finally matched it, or topped it with that sequence so I knew I couldn't just let it go. I would have been haunted by it and I wouldn't be able to move on to anything else until I had it out of the way.
CGI has fully ruined car crashes. Because how can you be impressed with them now? When you watch them in the '70s, it was real cars, real metal, real blasts. They're really doing it and risking their lives. But I knew CGI was gonna start taking over.
There's my realer-than-real movies like Reservoir Dogs (1992). And then there's my movie-movies. And Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) is definitely one of those. It's the movies that Jules and Vince (from Pulp Fiction (1994)) would go and see...I always thought of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) as my Apocalypse Now (1979) and that House Of Blue Leaves is my 'Ride Of The Valkyries' helicopter sequences.
When I first discovered Howard Hawks, I spent a year and a half reading the TV guide and they played about 80 percent of his entire oeuvre on Los Angeles TV. Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, Sergio Leone and Hawks were a huge influence on me.
[on Avatar (2009)] I'm not James Cameron and I could never think like that - I don't think he could think like me either - but if I could go into a time machine and think like that and be able to do what he could do, that would be great.
[on Inglourious Basterds (2009) being a catharsis and multi-layered] - I mean, it would be easy to just set up a situation where we just go oh, kill the Nazis, rah, rah. But I don't play it that easy. Like for instance, on the interrogation scene that you just saw, under any criteria of bravery in warfare, that German passes the test under any criteria. And, yes it would have been easy to make him a cringing coward and it would have been more rah, rah, rah in the audience. It would be like watching "Rocky." But you know, that's too easy for what I'm trying to do.
[on "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) being the modern strategic history of al-Qaeda] - Yes. ... Now, I've seen people who have seen the movie like three or four times and it never quite sinks into them. But that was never something that I necessarily set out to do. I wasn't trying to make a terrorist Iraq commentary with the film. It was just what made sense for the characters to do at that time. Yes they're strapping bombs on themselves. ... And they're walking into a theater crowded with evil civilians and they are prepared to blow it up. ... Even the character, Landa, the Jew hunter, the Nazi character in the film - he even makes a reference to it. He goes your mission - some would call it a terrorist plot - is kaput. ... It was funny. Again, I wasn't trying to necessarily make a political point in there. It literally was just the next step in the story as far as I was concerned. However, once I did it, the irony was not lost on me at all. But you know, that was one of the things that I actually thought that - it was one of the things that when I was all done. Because I think there are a lot of things like that - not about that issue, but there's a lot of things in this movie that are not used to seeing in other World War II movies. I thought that was one of the aspects that would actually make the movie not just seem like a World War II movie that it's like here and you're looking at it in the eyes of the past. I wanted the film sort of the way "Bonnie and Clyde" worked when it came out. It was an old genre took place in the '30s, but it was actually telling you something about the time today. And that was what I was trying to do with this in this genre.
[on "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) being not just a revenge fantasy about World War II, but a torture and terrorism fantasy] - Definitely. You took it right out of my mouth. Yes. I mean, basically what they're doing - you described it really, really well. To put in even shorter nutshell, they're actually doing literally the Apache resistance, but against the Nazis, against the Germans. And that was one of the things - one of the reasons I wanted to do something like that, other than for all the other reasons you said before about - it's a revenge fantasy and this and that. We've never seen it before. I was trying to do like a spaghetti western but using World War II iconography. So in my re-imagining of this whole thing, I kind of placed the Jews as the Indians in this scenario. And that is part of the whole thing. You know, when they say they ambush a German patrol of six guys and then they scalp them, maybe even take their shoes off, so when they are found there is even less dignity in the death - all these little things that they do.
[on the time spent watching old World War II movies that gave him the confidence to embark on "Inglourious Basterds"] - It wasn't that I needed permission. But what really struck me was that these were films made by directors who'd had to flee their country because of Hitler, and yet the movies they made weren't all terror or horror. In fact, while they definitely showed the Nazis and their cruelty, they were adventure films, whether you're talking about 'Hangmen Also Die' or 'Reunion in France' or 'To Be or Not to Be' or 'O.S.S.,' an Alan Ladd film that's like a prequel to 'The Good Shepherd.' They were fun and thrilling and exciting and, most amazingly, they had a lot of comedy in them, which really made an impact on me. I mean, for every movie with a sadistic Nazi, there's one with a Nazi who's more of a buffoon or a figure of ridicule.
Here's my problem with this whole influence thing. Instead of critics reviewing my movies, now what they're really doing is trying to match wits with me. Every time they review my movies, it's like they want to play chess with the mastermind and show off every reference they can find, even when half of it is all of their own making. It feels like the critics are IMDB-ing everything I do. It just rubs me the wrong way because they end up using it as a stick to beat me down with.
If there is something magic about the collaborations I have with actors it's because I put the character first.
[on the British film industry] When I first came here in 1992 with Reservoir Dogs (1992) the film industry was very dire. The movies were Enchanted April (1991) and crap like that. But that has changed, and this year has highlighted how it's changed. You guys actually have a genuine, honest-to-goodness, bona fide film industry again, and that is fantastic.
If I was doing Kill Bill all over again - I'd be tempted to do it in 3D, at least Volume I.
If I wasn't a film-maker, I'd be a film critic. It's the only thing I'd be qualified to do.
[on the inspiration for 'Pulp Fiction'] And so I thought the idea that would, in the case of Pulp Fiction, would be kind of cool, was to take three separate stories, and make them the oldest stories in the book, whether it be, um...Vincent's character, the hoodlum, has to go out with the boss's lady, but don't touch her! And there's the whole history of people who *have* touched her, and what happens. Well we've seen that before, a zillion times...and the case of the Bruce Willis story, that the boxer's supposed to throw the fight, and he doesn't, and now the mob's after him...we've seen that story a million times as well. And one of the things I thought about, like, the third story, was basically kind of the beginning of, at that time, almost every Joel Silver movie, which would start off with like a couple hit men showing up, boom boom, alright, 'you wanna witness something witness this!' (makes gun shooting noise, laughs). And then they shoot the guy and it cuts to Arnold Schwarzenegger walking through the forest and eventually he's gonna meet those guys. And so I thought, what happens if we hung out with them? All night long? Or...all day long? After they've killed the guy, what happens with the rest of their day? And so it was like taking these, these chestnuts and putting them together and then, actually having the characters kind of intertwine and it all kind of takes place in one...city, and it's an environment that they all live in, and characters kind of know each other, but you don't know that for a while. And we're just kind of hanging out with them for those two days.
(On once working at an adult movie theater) To me, the greatest job a person could ever have is being an usher at a movie theater. You get to go to a movie theater all day long, and then you get to see all the movies for free. Irony of ironies, I end up getting a job at a movie theater where I could care less about the movies and was totally bored by them.
If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.
[on Reservoir Dogs (1992)] This movie was never meant to be everything for everybody. And I don't mean that as a slam. I'm just saying I made this movie for myself and everybody else is invited.
[on Pulp Fiction (1994)] Three stories about one story.
[acceptance speech winning the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Pulp Fiction (1994)] Uh thanks! Uh, this has been a very strange year. I can definitely say that. Uh, you know what? I was trying to think...I think this is the only award I'm going to win here tonight, so I was trying to think, maybe I should say a whole lot of stuff, right here right now, just get it out of my system, you know, all year long, everything roiling up, and everything, just blow it all, just tonight, just say everything! But I'm not. Thanks.
[on what his most personal film is] Probably "Kill Bill".
I'm very happy with the way I write. I think I do it good. But I've never really considered myself a writer.
I've always considered myself a filmmaker who writes stuff for himself to do.
If I'm on an airplane, a Kate Hudson movie is what I'm looking for. I'll sit there and I'll cry... I think it's the altitude or something like that.
I've always actually thought of Pulp Fiction (1994) as a Rock'n'Roll Spaghetti Western.
(September 2006) Currently at the shooting of Hostel: Part II (2007).
(August 2007) Planning to write a book about the Philipinne B-movie industry.
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