Quentin Tarantino – Insane or insanely talented?

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Quentin Tarantino is by far my favourite director; every film he makes is surrounded by controversy, hated by many yet loved by more. Only recently has Tarantino found himself mainstream popularity with the massive success of Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds which has led to a massive increase in popularity of his other films. For example in 1994 Pulp Fiction had made an estimated $80,000,000 worldwide, since his rise in popularity that figure has risen to over $210,000,000.

Controversy is something that Tarantino seems to force himself into, whether by his sheer disregard of negative opinions or through his delight of pushing the boundaries of what audiences find acceptable. Back in 1992 there were reports of people leaving the cinema during the famous ear-cutting scene (pictured below) in Reservoir Dogs which was deemed too violent by the sensitive audience.  Now audiences are a lot more accepting of violence due to the desensitisation of the current generations, sights such as a detached ear are considered tame by a modern audience.

“I have no problem with screen violence at all but i have a big problem with real-life violence.” –Quentin Tarantino

Perhaps this quote embodies what makes Tarantino so controversial. Screen violence to him has no correlation with real life violence and as such has no qualms about including extreme violence. Insane is a description that has plagued Tarantino throughout his career and yet he seems to revel in it, perhaps taking it as a compliment as it means his films are being what he wants them to be, an extension of himself.

Tarantino is unique in the way that he makes films for himself. Having had no real experience in film-making at the beginning of his career he chose to make films that would be entertaining. As such it means that he is more connected to his audience, more in-tune to the wants and needs of the fans. Tarantino focuses on cinema as a form of escapism, he understands that the audience want an entertaining movie as that is all he wants to watch. As such it is no wonder that each film is personal to him, it’s not just a film, it is his baby.

“I think it’s one of the strengths of my movies that I work in genre,” he says. “I like making very, very personal movies, buried inside of genre.” – Quentin Tarantino

Leaving messages in his films is a Tarantino trademark, whether through obvious means such as dialogue or through more subtle methods a message is always left for a viewer. His hatred of real life violence leads to Tarantino subtly including the message that being violent does not end well. Cast your mind back to his films. Do any of the violent characters ever gain success, fame or fortune through their violent ways? The answer is no. Happiness is something that violent characters in Tarantino’s films never find, there is no happy ending for characters such as Mr. Blonde, Bill, Aldo Raine, Vince Vega and many others.

It seems that Tarantino does have a heart for characters who have been wronged and need to use violence. Django Unchained springs to mind as Django is allowed to live and live out his days with his wife. Yet still Tarantino leaves a sense that he will never be truly happy after the events that transpired in Django Unchained.

The skill to combine brilliantly written scripts, innovative cinema techniques and hidden messages whilst still delivering films which are for the majority an entertaining experience is on that few directors can manage. Quentin Tarantino excels at this (which is why he is my favourite director) and his success is proof of his insane talent. Below is a list of his films and how successful they were.

NAME

DATE OF RELEASE

BUDGET IN $

(ESTIMATED)

WORLDWIDE

GROSS

IMDB RATING

/10

Django  Unchained

December 25, 2012

$100,000,000.00

$425,368,238.00

8.5

Inglorious Basterds

August 21, 2009

$70,000,000.00

$321,455,689.00

8.3

Death Proof

April 6, 2007

UNKNOWN

$29,830,027.00

7.1

Kill Bill: Vol.2

April 16, 2004

$30,000,000.00

$152,159,461.00

8.0

Kill Bill: Vol.1

October 10, 2003

$30,000,000.00

$180,949,045.00

8.1

Jackie Brown

December 25, 1997

$12,000,000.00

$39,673,162.00

(domestic only)

7.5

Pulp Fiction

October 14, 1992

£8,000,000.00

$213,982,762.00

9.0

Reservoir Dogs

October 23, 1992

$1,200,000.00

$2,832,029.00

(domestic only)

8.4

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