Quentin Tarantino is one of the most recognizable filmmakers of this era. Is brand of violence, comedy, and unique story telling structure is very recognizable, even to someone who is only vaguely familiar with his works. For me, I enjoy his films but I’m not crazy about them like other people are. One such Tarantino fanatic is Kira, over at Film and TV 101. After learning about her Tarantino obsession, I decided to pick her brain and find out what makes him such an appealing director and writer. Kira reviews many television and film genres on her site. She also just expanded her social media presence. She has a lot going on. Be sure to go check her site out so you don’t miss any of it! Now, let’s hear what she has to say.
Me: Since you are the bigger Tarantino fan of the two of us, why don’t you start us off?
Kira: Which films by Quentin Tarantino have you seen?
Me: So far I have seen Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill 1 & 2, Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained, and his segments in Four Rooms and Sin City (if those count). How about you? Which ones have you seen?
Kira: They most certainly do count! Myself, I have seen Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1&2, Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. I’ve also seen Natural Born Killers, True Romance, From Dusk Til Dawn and his segment in Sin City.
Which of those films did you prefer and why?
Me: Nice. So pretty much everything except for Deathproof. Have you heard of Four Rooms? Not many people seem to know about it.
My favorites are the Kill Bill films. The Bride is such a great character and Uma Thurman plays her perfectly. And despite the blood and violence on screen, the soundtrack is rock and moving and weirdly upbeat. It shouldn’t work but it does and does beautifully. How about you? What’s your favorite film of Tarantino’s?
Kira: Oh my goodness, how could I forget Deathproof? Yeah, I have seen that one as well. I have indeed heard of Four Rooms, it’s just not one I have managed to find to watch yet.
The Kill Bill films are wonderful examples of how Tarantino is not afraid to make people badass. Where some directors may have shied away from having actresses in such brutal roles, Tarantino relishes it, and it makes a good contrast to his more masculine films such as Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained.
My favourite of all of his films has to be Reservoir Dogs. It is such an achievement in film making in my opinion, and shows that a solid script can work wonders. It has so many iconic scenes, another killer soundtrack and all the trademarks of Tarantino film.
Besides The Bride, what other characters of QT’s stick in you mind?
Me: For sure. He has shown that he can write any kind of character, regardless of gender, and make them awesome.
Jules from Pulp Fiction is another character I like a lot (it probably helps that Pulp Fiction is my second favorite film of his). His arc is one of the most dynamic and interesting of all of Tarantino’s characters. And he is another character perfectly cast, played by Samuel L. Jackson. There is literally no one else who could play the character like Jackson did!
What sold you on Tarantino and his films? Was there a scene, character or moment that really struck you?
Kira: Can’t knock your choice of Jules – him and Jackson are icons of Tarantino film.
I think it was probably Django Unchained that first caught my attention with his films. I already felt pretty special being allowed to watch it as I was nowhere near old enough and my mum used to be pretty strict about these things. But when it came to the scene where the Bagheads set out on a failed lynching… My word, that’s when he had me. That has quite possibly got to be one of the funniest scenes that has ever been caught on camera for me.
It was after watching that film that I secretly watched Reservoir Dogs online and absolutely loved it. I supposed you could say he had my curiosity with Django, but now he had my attention after Reservoir Dogs. Hmmm… I’m pretty sure there was a Tarantino character with a line similar to that.
What scene sticks in your mind?
Me: Haha What a film for your first Tarantino experience. I don’t remember that scene very much so I will have to go back and check it out!
There are so many scenes that come to mind whenever I think of Tarantino: When Vincent and Jules go to the apartment for the hit, Jules’ scene at the diner, the opening scene of Inglorious Bastards when Hans is interviewing the man in his home, “Stuck in the Middle with You” from Reservoir Dogs. But my favorite scenes are when the Bride is fighting O-Ren Ishii and the Crazy 88. That entire portion of the film is absolute madness, fun and utter madness. It completely encapsulates what that film is all about. Not to mention it has some great choreography.
Are there any of his films that you don’t like?
Kira: I can only imagine how much fun it would’ve been to film those scenes in Kill Bill and what the set would have been like on those days.
As for films I don’t like, I wasn’t the greatest fan of Natural Born Killers, the Oliver Stone film that was written by Tarantino. It just didn’t do it for me – I thought it was a strange film from beginning to end if I’m honest. However, the film I was most disappointed by was The Hateful Eight this year. I had such big hopes for that film and it turned into three hours of my life that I will never get back. It was missing all the trademarks of a Tarantino film that I look forward to seeing when I watch his films. After the things I had heard, and the fact that it was going to be another western after the success of Django, I was expecting the world from him. Words don’t even really begin to describe the way I feel about that film.
How about you? Are there any films of his you particularly could live without?
Me: Oh, man, being on the set of Kill Bill would have been so much fun! I wouldn’t have mind hanging around Lucy Liu for a little while. 😉
Three hours is a lot to sit through if you aren’t feeling engaged. Some movies can pull it off and it doesn’t even feel like it is taking that long. But when you start clicking your heels waiting for the film to be over, it really ruins the experience.
You’re going to be upset at me for saying this but my least favorite Tarantino film I have seen so far is Reservoir Dogs. I just couldn’t get into the story. It was fun and entertaining but I didn’t feel like I was given a reason why I should care that someone in this group of thieves betrayed them. I know the script worked for most people, such as yourself, but it didn’t do it for me.
If someone came to you and said they wanted to get into the Tarantino film universe, where would you start them? Where would you have them go from there?
Kira: I know what you mean about the three hour run time. I lost count of how many times I must have looked at my watch in that time.
And I shouldn’t worry about Reservoir Dogs, I showed it to my parents and they were somewhat underwhelmed it.
If I was to introduce someone to the Tarantino film universe, the film I would show them would very much depend on the person, although the film that just about everyone wants to see is Pulp Fiction, so that’d be a good place to start. If they liked it, I’d point them in the direction of Kill Bill or Reservoir Dogs as the snappy dialogue and stylised violence are shared well between the two films.
What film would use to introduce people to Tarantino films? Or what film would you want to watch to reacquaint yourself with his films after not seeing any for a while?
Me: Well, having only seen a handful of them, I would probably say the same thing. Pulp Fiction has everything that Tarantino films are known for, good dialogue, great characters, lots of cursing, violence. And it is the most well known. Then move onto Reservoir Dogs for a better script example and the Kill Bills for a badass female character and violence. Plus, Pulp Fiction has several ties to both of those films in the Tarantino-verse so it would be fun to see if they would pick up on those.
I probably would like to go back and watch either Reservoir Dogs or Django Unchained since I haven’t watched them in a while and I wasn’t as impressed with them as others were. So maybe it is time to give them another chance.
To wrap up, how would you rank his films?
Kira: It would be fun to see if people could spot the nods to the other films in Pulp Fiction!
1. Reservoir Dogs
2. Django Unchained
3. Kill Bill (both)
4. Pulp Fiction
5. Jackie Brown
6. Inglorious Bastards
8. The Hateful Eight
What would your ranking of the films you have watched look like?
Me: My list would be:
1. Kill Bill
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Inglorious Bastards
4. Reservoir Dogs
5. Django Unchained
Thank you so much for having this discussion with me, Kira! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Kira: Thank you very much for having me! It’s been wonderful – hopefully we can do it again sometime in the future 🙂
And there you have it! Those are some of Kira and my thoughts on Tarantino and his films. How about you? Do you like his films? What do you or don’t you like about them? Which are your favorites?
Thanks again to Kira for taking the time to talk with me.
Until next time, cheers!