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Two Of Quentin Tarantino’s Best Films Stand The Test of Decades In Cinematic Recall

Archita Kashyap - 65 weeks ago

As Once Upon A Time In Hollywood sets to release this summer, Quentin Tarantino’s best works, Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds complete 25 years and 10 years each. Both films deliver typical Tarantino touches with solid, entertaining stories. We raise a toast.

(Behind the scenes photo of Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta, Harvey Keitel and Quentin Tarantino on the sets of Pulp Fiction (Image Courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

When he makes a film, Tarantino keeps mystery alive, choosing to announce his cast, a mix of recognized actors and global stars, while keeping stories under wraps. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a much awaited summer film this year. In fact, it also serves as timely reminder of Tarantino’s iconic films. 25 years before his direct Hollywood homage, the filmmaker made Pulp Fiction, arguably one of his best films ever. 

(Behind the scenes photo of John Travolta and Bruce Willis on the sets of Pulp Fiction (Image Courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

Pulp Fiction has Tarantino tributes too. From classic jive and swing music, to epic monologues to strange, complex plot twists in a messy crime thriller, Pulp Fiction marks out Tarantino for his unique vision. 

(Behind the scenes photo of Quentin Tarantino on the sets of Pulp Fiction (Image Courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

His films never make for exceptional storytelling or deep insight into human behaviour. Instead, they offer slices of weirdness, classic cut out characters with distinct traits and surprising doses of high voltage drama. 

(Behind the scenes photo of Uma Thurman and John Travolta shooting the famous dance sequence from Pulp Fiction (Image Courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s iconic dance moves are replicated to this day. Samuel L Jackson’s Biblical monologue, which serve as a note of comeuppance for two petty criminals, remains a cult movie moment. Tarantino mixes up clichés and predictable elements to create a volatile, unpredictable and highly entertaining film where nothing is what you expect. As its title suggests, it’s easy pulpy fiction at its best. 25 years on, it doesn’t yet have a parallel. 

(Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Omar Doom, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz and Daniel Bruhl during the promo shoot of Inglorious Basterds (Image Courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

It is also the year when a second Tarantino classic, Inglorious Basterds completes a decade since release. World War 2 movies are a sub-genre by themselves. Yet in this one, Tarantino achieves quite a lot that is unexpected and totally surprising. Here’s a guerrilla crew of jew soldiers sworn to kill 100 Nazis each. Here’s an SS officer, a designated ‘Jew hunter’ of sorts, who is smooth as silk and has a heart cold as stone. He is surprisingly willy and intelligent. 

(Behind the scenes photo of August Diehl and Til Schweiger on the sets of Inglorious Basterds (Image courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

Inglorious Basterds also has confrontations and near misses that keep you hooked till then end, when a surprise again, catches you off guard. This Tarantino film is innovative and a lot subtler, even if gore and bloodshed make their presence felt at important moments. Death and punishment are almost poetic in parts in Tarantino’s War film. 

(Behind the scenes photo of Quentin Tarantino on the sets of Inglorious Basterds (Image courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

In both these films, Quentin Tarantino makes a reverse social commentary of sorts. Criminals aren’t always moved by profit motive, sometimes it’s human feelings that get them to react. Pulp Fiction reflects this. 

(Publicity still of Brad Pitt, Gideon Burkhard and Sonke Mohring from Inglorious Basterds (Image courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

With Inglorious Basterds, the filmmaker subverts assumed fate of Jews as victims alone, and empowers them in his imagination with the capacity to kill and avenge in a formal military capacity. It takes his kind of filmmaking to make both these templates believable. 

(Publicity still of Christoph Waltz from Inglorious Basterds (Image courtesy - MovieStillsDB)

For his ability to shock and surprise over the years, Tarantino has disappointed with banal, run of the mill and purely exploitative cinema in the past too. Death Proof is boring, unoriginal and exploitative of the female form. The Hateful Eight feels forced from start to finish, exhausting with it’s 3 hour run time. From Dusk Till Dawn, for which he wrote the screenplay is bizarre without purpose. So at times, Tarantino has also given evidence of his ability to mis fire and go off rails as creator. But his signature touches mark most of his recent films, as stories and treatment mature. Django Unchained and the Kill Bill films show growth and evolution in his filmmaking. If Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has a good story going for it with trademark Tarantino touches, then we are in for a treat this summer.

Tags

Pulp Fiction / Inglorious Basterds / Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurman / John Travolta / Samuel L Jackson / Brad Pitt / Christoph Waltz / Eli Roth / Michael Fassbender / Melanie Laurent /

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Film Hashery.

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