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SupremO TarantinO

We explore legendary Quentin Tarantino’s greatest cinematic moments

One of the most controversial yet brilliant film directors of our time, Quentin Tarantino recently released his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to critical acclaim. This divisive director has been changing the film landscape for the last 28 years, yet he has only released nine movies, which is incredible to think in the day of 20 Marvel movies with a bucketful of sequels and reboots every year. Yet that is what sets him apart from his peers, as each of his films are unique, perfectly crafted works of cinema that never fail to capture the imagination, upset the masses and light up silver screens around the world. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best moments from his previous eight movies as we celebrate the uniqueness of the mind of Tarantino.

The Wolf Arrives – Pulp Fiction

After Vince and Jules accidentally kill the kidnapped Marvin in their car, by blowing his brains all over the backseat of their car, the two hitmen panic and arrive at Jimmie’s house (a wonderful cameo from Tarantino himself) to seek help in cleaning up their mess. Jimmie is freaking out as his wife Bonnie will be home soon and she will clearly divorce him when she finds a car with a headless body in his garage. In steps the Wolf, masterfully portrayed by Harvey Keitel, to save the day. Not only does he motivate the arguing trio to clean up everything but the delivery of his mission statement is arguably one of the best-written monologues in cinema history.

Candie’s Blood – Django Unchained

In a tense scene at the Candie estate, Schultz and Django have just been found out by the evil plantation owner and he cannot contain his rage as he smashes his hand down on a table, breaking a wine glass. With his hand profusely bleeding Candie goes on a tirade of anger and vengeance against the two that have disrespected him in his own home. DiCaprio’s performance alone makes this sense tense and exciting, but when it came out that the blood was not planned and that Leo accidentally cut himself during filming, yet continued to improvise the scene regardless makes it so much more tense and wonderful.

Trailer Trash Trouble – Kill Bill Vol. 2

With the Bride having already killed off two of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she sets out to get her revenge on Budd, who lives out in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, but unbeknownst to her, the deadly Elle Driver is waiting there for her. The two square off first with a typically Tarantino joust of words before the two clash in a violent explosion inside the trailer, using whatever they can find as weapons or shields. Not only is the scene masterfully shot and incredibly well-choreographed, but seeing the Bride finally getting her revenge on Driver by pulling out her one good remaining eye is as gruesome as it is satisfying.

The Milk Farmer and His Daughters – Inglourious Bastards

Arguably one of the most tense scenes in cinema, sees the Nazi officer, Hans Landa interrogate a French milk farmer about the region’s Jewish families. Over twenty minutes in length, Landa calmly smokes a pipe, drinks fresh milk and speaks in a friendly yet charming English, all the while masking his true intentions. What starts off a simple inspection, quickly turns into a tense standoff between the officer and milk farmer as it becomes painfully clear to the viewer that Landa is fully aware of the Jewish family hiding in the basement. Tarantino is known for his excess violence and over the top characters, but this scene proves he excels at character development and how to build a scene with only a small room and fantastic dialogue.

The Crazy 88 Fight – Kill Bill Vol. 1

As the Bride arrives at the House of Blue Leaves, the base of operations for her former assassin partner O-Ren Ishii and her Crazy 88 gang, the viewer gets treated to a breathtaking feat of fight choreography, warmly wrapped in every great kung-fu homage known to man. A ten-minute sequence of unrelenting and over the top violence, filled with breathtaking cinematography and intense sword-fighting scenes. The eventual stand-off between The Bride and Gogo sees the schoolgirl dressed psycho wielding a meteor hammer and the Bruce Lee inspired outfitted Uma Thurman face off in a tense and brutal battle that culminates in the Bride finishing off the last of the Crazy 88. It’s gory, it’s gratuitous and it’s Tarantino at his absolute best.

Jackie’s Iconic Entrance – Jackie Brown

Not every classic Tarantino scene is filled with witty dialogue or over the top violence and the opening scene from the criminally underrated Jackie Brown proves that Tarantino is a master at conveying emotion, strength and character development through brilliant use of music, shot composition and timing. Jackie Brown opens on a mundane location – an airport escalator. Seconds later the titular air hostess saunters into view, looking straight ahead as she’s carried along the automated belt. It’s a straightforward scene on paper, but it sets up the character brilliantly and of course the soundtrack choice of Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street” just adds to the badass that is Jackie Brown.

The Dogs Breakfast Banter – Reservoir Dogs

The opening scene of Tarantino’s directorial debut introduced the world to the eccentric auteur’s very specific style and snappy dialogue. Having breakfast before their big planned heist, the hardened criminals have a very normal breakfast, covering various mundane topics in what could be seen as just friends having a meal together. Some topics included an in-depth discussion on Madonna’s Like a Virgin through to harassing Mr. Pink’s poor tipping practices. The scene prepared the world for what Tarantino would deliver on a consistent basis through all his future cinematic releases.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

It’s been 28 years since Quentin Tarantino changed the film landscape with his seminal directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs. Since then he has taken on almost every genre, from western to kung fu, from World War 2 epics to noir crime thrillers and now he steps into the golden era of Hollywood cinema, late 60’s California with his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

It’s 1969 Los Angeles, where a golden era of Hollywood is coming to a dramatic and sudden end. TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his lifelong stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The hard-drinking, fading cowboy/action star Rick Dalton struggles with his career, trying to decide whether to continue playing bad guys in TV pilots or go to Italy to make Spaghetti Westerns. Cliff Booth is now largely unemployable and passes the time driving Rick around and taking care of Rick’s home maintenance. Living next door is rising star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), who recently married director Roman Polanski and is enjoying the response to her new movie, The Wrecking Crew. Trouble arises when Cliff picks up a hitchhiker (Margaret Qualley) and takes her to the Spahn Ranch, where the soon-to-be notorious Manson Family lives. And a terrible coincidence brings the cult members back to Hollywood.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a love letter to the golden era of Hollywood, but with the unique humor and history-altering choice Tarantino is so well known for. As always it’s a star-studded affair with multiple storylines that all come together in the violent yet bittersweet ending that truly takes the audience by surprise. It’s Tarantino at his sparkling best, yet there are signs of an older more thoughtful Tarantino scattered throughout this fascinating film. Yet one thing that has not changed is the incredible levels of detail in recreating this well-remembered era, from entire Los Angeles streets closed down to allow the crew to recreate the street signs and storefronts to match the era exactly to using over a 100 era relevant cars in every scene to ensure the look and feel is as accurate as possible. Very few directors would have the patience or the star power to pull this off and that’s what makes Tarantino one of the last great directors.

The dialogue is as snappy and witty as always and the cast shines in every scene, yet it doesn’t feel like Tarantino of old. There is a sense of loss and tragedy in this movie, and it’s not just related to the happenings on screen, but feels like a love letter from Tarantino himself to an era that is lost and will never return. And this adds that extra magic to an already brilliant film.

Of course, if you’ve never been a Tarantino fan, then this movie will not change your mind. Some scenes are excruciatingly slow, yet perfect in context. The history-altering scenes may not sit right with some, as seen with the mini-drama that has come to the fore regarding the Bruce Lee scene. The violence is there as well, with some really disturbing scenes towards the end. Yet Tarantino is a director that does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. And that is truly rare in an era where corporations dictate what the director does. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might be a love letter to the end of the golden era of the fabled Hollywood, yet it feels like an end to the modern era of cinema, an end to truly unique directors with unique visions and stories. If rumors are to be believed and this is Tarantino’s last film then this film is not just a goodbye to the golden era, but a goodbye to a peerless, violent, witty and fantastic filmmaker.