Quentin Tarantino’s iconic approach to film-making has been pleasing viewers since 1992 with the first screening of Reservoir Dogs at the Sundance Film Festival and he has cemented his name in the annals of cinema’s greats with the likes of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Vol.1. His passion for film, including the more obscure exploitation films from the 70s and 80s heavily influence his work and we have come to observe his peculiar tastes and recognise them as recurring trademarks. Including the ‘Red Apple Cigarettes’, ‘Go-Juice’ and his foot fetish. Added to that we have come to expect a diverse range of shots in Tarantino’s films including the Trunk Shot and his ability to navigate and construct perfect Long Tracking shots and 360 shots that give a film an edgyness and a stamp of Tarantino that is hard to match. The tracking shot of Ordell with Beaumont in the trunk from Jackie Brown has to be one of my favourite scenes, brutal and subtly composed.
Many budding film makers have tried and failed to duplicate Tarantino’s impeccable style. They falter in making the film their own. A lot of personality goes in to Tarantino’s film making, life experiences and interests play a heavy role in his storytelling without ever making the story about himself. I mean the famous “Royal with Cheese” car scene was influenced by his three month stay in Amsterdam. A lot of you might be thinking you could make a film that drops hints of your time in tulip country but take a step back and actually think, “could I ever achieve this greatness, just by talking about Dutch culture?” The answer is undoubtedly, no you could not. Where Tarantino differs is that Pulp Fiction is set, just like Reservoir Dogs and Deathproof, in his own universe. Where the ludicrously realistic insanity of mankind is played out in front of our eyes in such a unique way that it feels so surreal and personal that the characters come to life. We get lost in his fantasies and amalgamations of grind house cinema, in his quirky style, in his ability to please the audience and in his ability to shock our notion of what cinema is and should be. Oh, and in his ability to inspire every one of us to learn Ezekiel 25:17.
Each iconic character has their role to play and this once untested lover of films, with a script verging on the illiterate has changed the way we view modern cinema in a big way. As I work my way through Tarantino’s consistently high-rated filmography ‘Big Kahuna on Set’ will bring you reviews and articles that tantalise your passion for Tarantino and compel you to sit down for yet another sitting of Pulp Fiction. I might even do that now.