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Tarantino’s Influence on Modern Film

Small town critic
July 24, 2019

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes out on July 25th.

The controversial director of such hits as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and II and The Hateful Eight has hinted that this title may be one of the last movies he will make. 

It got me wondering about Quentin Tarantino’s legacy in the film industry--has he been a positive influence or a bad influence for modern film?

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'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' - starring Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio - is in theaters July 25

Looking at his career rather broadly, there are several things he has done to elevate the craft of movie making. He has an innate ability to create tension in scenes through the use of complex dialogue. Inglorious Basterds contains several great examples of this type of writing. In the first scene of the movie, our antagonist SS Colonel Hans Landa has a conversation with a French dairy farmer about a missing Jewish family.

The conversation starts benign at first, as the duration of their exchange grows, the tension escalates. The audience knows what is going to happen at the end of the scene, but Quentin does such a great job of stringing us along until the last possible moment.  

Quentin also elevates his craft by drawing inspiration from past films. The Hateful Eight takes a lot of its influences from spaghetti westerns (Westerns produced and directed by Italians) of the 60s and 70s. By drawing on other films, it highlights these genres, as well as gives the audience a gateway into older styles of film.

Despite the positive contributions that Quentin Tarantino has brought to modern film, his critics point to several detractions. The first is the violence. Every film that Tarantino has made has a lot of hyper violence. Some critics would say that Tarantino use the violence to punctuate the comedy in his movies. An easy example to point to comes from Pulp Fiction where Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) accidentally shoots a man in the head while they were talking.

Another point that Tarantino regularly gets called out for is his use of offensive language. He has been very unapologetic for his use of such slurs, arguing they fit in with the time periods and his characters that his films take place in. 

So what about you? What do you think about Quentin Tarantino’s contribution to modern filmmaking? Do you have a favorite Tarantino film and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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