Another relatively short blog coming up, but I wanted to get this mild rant down before I stopped talking to myself about it. Quentin Tarantino is one of favorite directors. I love absolutely every movie he’s done and I try to read or see as many of his interviews as I can get my hands and eyes on. Even with all this however, he has brought so many terrible imitators and has likely destroyed at least half a generation of screen writers. I won’t say it was intentional, because it likely wasn’t. And I won’t say it’s his entire fault, I feel the need to lay some blame to those who critic his movies. Tarantino has helped lay waste to a generation of writers and directors through his encyclopedic knowledge of movie history. It’s not like he’s the first director to use frequent reference of older movies or attempt to deconstruct genre films, the Coen Brothers have done this several times in their long career.
The thing that separates Tarantino from the crowd are the movies that he references. Which are B movies, be they film noir or 70s exploitation flicks. The references have usually be panned critically or only enjoyed in a mocking way by the audiences that now continue to watch them. Tarantino on the over hand, honestly loves the movies he references. Nothing is ever mentioned because he wants to wink at the camera showing everyone through dialogue or visual cues that he watched obscure movie X. Granted he does wink and nudge at the camera and audience a lot. The thing a lot his audience and critics (both who love and hate him) don’t seem to realise is that he loves these movies and that’s why he references them. To pay genuine tribute to the things he loves and that have inspired him. I wouldn’t be one to claim that Foxxy Brown was a particularly good movie, but there certainly is enough there that is honestly good and worth loving even through the now archaic 70s roots. That’s what Quentin took and made with Jackie Brown. Staying in the 70s and taking the charismatic driver from when driving movies were actually exciting and transposing them into Stuntman Mike for Death Proof is genuine.
Unfortunately, the continued emphasis on the fact that a lot of Tarantino’s inspirations were “bad” movies has leaked into his fans who think the fact that he references some nifty bad movies and makes them good in his movies makes him a great director/writer. What actually makes Tarantino a great director/writer is the fact that he is able to steal the things in movies that he loves and distill them into something that is so undeniably Tarantino. Hell even if you’re able to pick apart every single thing that has been referenced or alluded to DJ Tarantino, the way the music is cut on the mixtape it is still undeniably Tarantino.