This article is a continuation of our previous article. I would be exploring some more factors from Quentin Tarantino’s movies such as violence, music and the non-linear narrative.
4. Recurring Actors
Tarantino often collaborates with the same set of actors. The most popular one being Samuel L. Jackson who has appeared in six (three major and three minor) of his films. Michael Madsen and Tim Roth have appeared in three each. Uma Thurman was the protagonist in Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2. She also had a role in Pulp Fiction.
However, Tarantino is not the only one who collaborates with the same actors. Martin Scorsese-Robert de Niro is a popular duo. Christopher Nolan has collaborated not only with actors ( Michael Caine leading with seven films, Tenet being the eighth) but also with film score composer Hanz Zimmer and editor Lee Smith. A certain theory suggests that these collaborations provide assurance to the audience that the film will be worth their time.
5. Violence and Gore
Quentin Tarantino has never been shy of portraying violence in his movies. All his movies feature blood, gore, and profanity. The violence varies from movie to movie from a graphical scene to a more realistic take. Kill Bill, for example, had an animated scene about revenge. Also, the final fight sequence in a Tokyo restaurant is partly black and white, enhancing the effect of the massacre. A more realistic take include Inglorious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs, and Pulp Fiction.
The violence in QT’s movies varies depending on the scene. For example, Django kills one of the Brittle brothers with a single bullet (after a savage dialogue) and whips the other. The end of the movie is, however, a bloody shootout. Tarantino is the only director who can make a rap work in a shootout scene ( Jamie Foxx’s shootout scene after Calvin Candy is shot). We expected the final battle between The Bride and Bill to be a full-fledged sword fight. Instead, they simply converse and she applies her teacher’s secret technique, killing him in a dramatic style.
In fact, what I really liked about Quentin Tarantino is how he builds up the violence. During his escape, Butch Coolidge decides to help Marcellus Wallace and changes his weapons from a hammer to a baseball bat to a chainsaw and ultimately choosing a katana (possibly a Hatori Hanzo sword). All this time Comanche by The Revels playing in the background. The violence is highly unpredictable. The props used in QT’s movies are also memorable such as Omar’s punch pistol in Inglourious Basterds, the Hatori Hanzo sword, Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase, and King Shultz’s sleeve gun.
6. Non-linear Storytelling
Shosanna plans to burn the theatre down while The Basterds plan to bomb it.
Non-linear storytelling has fascinated the audience right since it’s inception in literature in the nineteenth century. Quentin Tarantino had heavily promoted this style of storytelling in the 1990s with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. He also used it in The Hateful Eight. QT also breaks his movies into chapters. Inglourious Basterds simultaneously focussed on the exploits of Shosanna Dreyfus and of Aldo “The Apache” Raine. Their plans beautifully collide in the end. The movie had a fractured yet effective narrative. I can go deeper into the different narratives but it would be another article for another time.
7. The Pitch-Perfect Music
If you have seen any of the above videos, an important reason that they are so fascinating is the music. Ennio Morricone’s (the genius behind the score of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) music has been borrowed by QT in films such as Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. Western influence is felt in a number of his movies. Every movie fanatic knows Misirlou from Pulp Fiction.
Enjoy this shootout scene from Django Unchained. Christoph Waltz’s sleeve gun is just so badass. The massacre, especially with the rap, is glorious.
Let me know in the comments below if I should dive into the techniques of any other director.