The dream factory and reality
MOVIE ABOUT MOVIE: Quentin Tarantino's new movie is a grand and captivating tribute to Hollywood, against a not-so-escapist backdrop of hippie time, the Vietnam War and the Manson family's misdeeds.
Quentin Tarantino (USA 2019)
No single filmmaker was in the nineties as much as Quentin Tarantino. He debuted feature film as screenwriter and director in 1992 with the independently produced Reservoir Dogs, which received a lot of attention at the Sundance Film Festival. Two years later he won the Gold Palm in Cannes for the Miramax-funded Pulp Fiction. It's hard to imagine the nineties classics Boogie Nights, Trainspotting or Fight Club had been made without these two films.
Around the same time came True Romance og Natural Born Killers, directed by Tony Scott and Oliver Stone, respectively, with the script by Tarantino. These two also became immediate cult successes. Although they would have been significantly different if he had directed them themselves, they helped to consolidate Tarantino's position as a refreshing, new narrative voice in American film, with an almost unparalleled "coolness". A film narrator who was neither afraid to shock with violence and language use (especially creating extensive use of n-word reactions) or entertaining - preferably with the same ingredients. And preferably to the tones of understated seventies tunes.
Dialogues and digressions
Where other filmmakers had learned to keep the dialogue to a minimum ("show, don't tell!"), Tarantino let his characters discuss Madonna songs, hamburgers, and foot massages in long, well-written and particularly witty dialogue sequences. And it was not only in the dialogues Tarantino allowed digressions. His films often took various narrative detours, which equally strengthened the narrative as a whole. In addition, he had obviously come up with Jean-Luc Godard's statement that a movie must have a beginning, middle and an end - but not necessarily in that order. For example, Reservoir Dogs a "heist" movie that never shows the robbery it is about (with a narrative structure inspired by Kubrick's The Killing), while Pulp Fiction nonchronologically switches between different stories that influence and complement each other to a unique whole.