7 Stylistic Trademarks by Quentin Tarantino | Cinephile Night

7 Stylistic Trademarks by Quentin Tarantino | Cinephile Night

Pulp Fiction Mia Wallace WallpaperMr. Quentin Tarantino has risen to director stardom in 1994 after winning the Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the spectacular Pulp Fiction

Reigning as a film rockstar since then, and delivering the most original, brutal and intelligent films of the past 2 decades, Mr. Quentin - despite each of his films being entirely different from the former - does have stylistic trademarks that we've all come to cherish and appreciate

What are they? Why don't we take a ride through his incredible films, and figure out where we can find clues of his unmistakable eye?

Beware: the following post contains profane language, beautifully violent scenes from Mr. Quentin's films, and just about any spoiler you might be thinking about

7. Trunk Shot

Pulp Ficiton John Travolta Samuel L. Jackson Trunk ShotThis has got to be my favourite shot that Mr. Quentin ever puts in display. In Reservoir Dogs Mr. Blonde - an evil Michael Madsen - grins as he unveils to his companions that he's got a little surprise in the trunk of his car - a tied and gagged cop ready for a little torture - more on that later. In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield - aka the gorgeous duo John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson - prepare to enter an apartment block to massacre two unfortunate young cons who tried to fuck with Marsellus Wallace's briefcase. Just before they go upstairs the two goons open the trunk of their car to retrieve two big guns. A similar shot is in Jackie Brown, as Ordell Robbie - again the great Samuel L. Jackson - works his magic on convincing Beaumont Livingstone that he should enter the trunk of his car and pop out with a shotgun when drug dealers arrive. As we all know there really are no drug dealers, and it isn't going to end too well for Beaumont. At the end of Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Bride - a stunning Uma Thurman - sporting a bright yellow motorcycle helmet that in my mind always made her look like a Power Ranger - opens the trunk of her car to torture Sophie Fatale, find the locations of each of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad, and send word to Bill that she's after him for good

Uma Thurman as The Bride tortures Sophie Fatale in Kill Bill Vol. 1


All these shots gaze from the inside of the trunk up to the actors faces, they are quite characteristic and are definitely a defining mark of Mr. Quentin's style. Why does he like to use them in every film? Because they are technically satisfying? Because they remind us of the stylistic and aesthetic canons of Jean-Luc Godard? Or maybe just because they look damn gorgeous??

6. Non-Linear Plot

Kill Bill O-Ren Ishii WallpaperDid you ever watch a film by Mr. Quentin where you knew where the script and the story were going? Let's take Pulp Fiction: it opens in a cafeteria where Pumpkin and Honey Bunny are sweet talking each other, then draw guns and take the place for its money. Then we meet Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, on their murderous assignment for Marsellus Wallace. Then Butch - played by a spectacular Bruce Willis - an ageing boxer that won't give in to Marcellus' proposal to sell his life and his pride. As the film proceeds, and after Vincent Vega is killed by Butch, we flashback to the very beginning, and the film ends in the robbed cafeteria where, we learn, Vincent and Jules were among the customers. And they weren't going to let that robbery go down easy

Pumpkin and Honey Bunny sweet talk each other before a robbery


And what about Kill Bill Vol. 1? We meet The Bride as her groom is murdered by Bill's Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, then we skip 4 years as she awakes from a coma, and we watch as The Bride fights and kills Vernita Green. But then we find out she had already killed O-Ren Ishii - the japanese yakuza leader played by Lucy Liu. We flashback, learn through a spectacular anime sequence about O-Ren's tormented childhood and subsequent rise to power, and then we're taken to the final showdown in a Tokyo restaurant, where The Bride relentlessly massacres the Crazy 88's, and finally kills O-Ren Ishii in a breathtaking and painfully beautiful sequence - culminating in Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood by Santa Esmeralda

Reservoir Dogs is equally filled with a plot which continuously flashbacks from the aftermath of the doomed robbery to make us reacquainted with the personal histories of our favourite robbers: Mr. White - played by Harvey Keitel, Mr. Orange - played by Tim Roth, and Mr. Blonde. The reasons why characters act the weird way they act and what they are concealing from each other are shown to us bit by bit, as violence enrages in the rendez-vous warehouse where drama reigns and our protagonists start murdering each other out of suspicions and treachery

Like the greatest of novelists, Mr. Quentin isn't afraid to play with time sequences and interrupt his narration to show us more about the reasons why characters behave like they do, what they conceal from their past, and what there is to like about them, even when they torture and murder

Watch a little movie from Dendelion Blu


5. Foot Fetish

Death Proof Kurt Russell WallpaperThis is undeniably the most curious detail Mr. Quentin always fills his films with. In Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace dances barefoot to You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry - all hail the Pulp Fiction soundtrack - in a scene that's become a part of my life and fantasies. Who wouldn't wanna be in a dance like that, be it opposite Uma Thurman or John Travolta?? In Kill Bill, there's a pretty long sequence of The Bride's bare feet as she tries to regain control of her limbs by wiggling her big toe. Once again, Uma Thurman's feet seem a fascination for Mr. Quentin

Diane Kurger's Bridget Von Hammersmark gets her foot romanced by Col. Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds


In Death Proof, Stuntman Mike - a deranged Kurt Russell - licks his finger then runs it on Abernathy's foot as she dozes in the back of the car. The foot belongs to the gracious Rosario Dawson. And in Inglorious Basterds, the evil Col. Hans Landa - played by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz - indulges for long while he fits a shoe on the pretty foot of Diane Kruger's Bridget von Hammersmark

Kinky? Sick? Super cute? What do you make of Mr. Quentin's fascination with women's feet?

4. Fun Music During Incredibly Brutal Scenes

Pulp Fiction Bruce Willis Ving Rhames WallpaperMr. Blonde, the meanest robber in Reservoir Dogs, decides that it's the right time to torture a young cop and pass a few minutes doing that. Mr. Blonde turns on the radio and tunes into Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel. Then he produces a sharp razor blade, and starts a funny little dance number in front of the tied, gagged and astonished policeman. After his little dance is concluded, Mr. Blonde leaps towards the face of the young cop and severs his ear

The Bride murders The Crazy 88's with merciless brutality in Kill Bill Vol. 1


In Pulp Fiction, Zed and his accomplice decide it's time to anally rape Marsellus Wallace - played by a gigantic Ving Rhames - and leave The Gimp as a guard to Butch. Butch knocks The Gimp down and manages to escape, but just before he flees the scene, Butch has a moment of compassion. Butch retrieves a samurai sword, goes back to the basement that held him captive, and brutally murders the two depraved rapists as they are working on Marcellus' butt. This all happens while Comanche by The Revels powerfully plays in the background. In Kill Bill Vol. 1, as The Bride dutifully and spectacularly massacres the Crazy 88's one by one, a series of great pieces of music alternates in the background. Among mutilated arms, popped eyes, severed legs and extracted guts, the song that sticks out is Nobody But Me by The Human Beinz. The Bride even finds the time to breakdance on the floor. Magic

3. Mundane Dialogue Before Act Of Violence

Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson John TravoltaThe gonna-be bank robbers from Reservoir Dogs prepare their heist to a jewelry while quietly having breakfast in a cafeteria, chatting and getting to know each other like a bunch of colleagues would on a routine business trip. They muse on how Like a Virgin by Madonna isn't a song about love, but is actually a metaphor for big dicks "It hurts. You see the pain reminds a fuck-machine what it was once to be a virgin. Hence, like a virgin". Shortly after that they discuss why MacDonald's waitresses don't need to be tipped, whereas regular cafeteria waitresses are expected to get tips from every customer, no questions raised. Finally they get up, and walk towards what is going to be an unpredictably bloody and deadly shootout

Quentin Tarantino as Mr. Brown fables on Like A Virgin and big dicks


In Pulp Fiction, reacquainted buddies Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are chatting in their car about Vincent's travels to Europe. Vincent narrates to Jules how in Paris, you can buy a beer in MacDonald's, and how a quarter pounder with cheese is actually called Royal with Cheese. That's because of the metric system. Jules is also genuinely filled with wonder as Vincent recounts of how in Amsterdam smoking pot is absolutely legal. It's legal to buy it, it's legal to sell it, and furthermore, cops don't have a right to search you. The two laugh humorously, then grab guns and prepare to murder a couple of young and dumb cons

In Kill Bill Vol. 2, Bill - played by a David Carradine in top shape - prepares a sandwich for his daughter with heart-filled fatherly care, and in the meantime he explains to Beatrix Kiddo - aka The Bride - why is favourite hero is Superman. Superman, according to Bill, is unique because he doesn't disguise with his costume. Those are his normal clothes. Superman's costume is what he would normally wear. He is Superman. His disguise is Clark Kent, which is Superman's critique at humanity, depicting people as weak and fragile. Following this speech, and after lovingly sending their daughter to bed, Bill shoots Beatrix in her knee and questions her

2. Strong Female Lead

Pulp Fiction Mia Wallace WallpaperIn Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace's sexy shape was all over every poster for the film - not to mention in plenty of guys' houses and kids' bedrooms. Mia is fiery and independent, and fascinates Vincent Vega with her beauty, her sexiness and her indomable attitude. Jackie Brown is the story of an ageing and strong flight attendant - a gorgeous Pam Grier - who decides to check out, and robs Ordell Robbie - a man who's been exploiting her all her life - of $500,000 dollars. Jackie will embark to do so with the help of bondsman Max Cherry - played by Robert Forster. Max secretly loves Jackie, but seeing her play every man she encounters to get her money makes Max doubt if Jackie can actually be loved

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown plays everybody in the game for $500,000


Kill Bill is all about the blood streaked revenge of The Bride against Bill and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. The Bride murders them one by one, displaying a physical strength and an interior will impossible to match. In Death Proof, the girls are the stars of the picture, while Stuntman Mike is a deranged man intent on murdering them for pointless fun. As the tables turn, it's all about the girls' fiery revenge against this ultimately weak and whiny human being

1. Powerful Finale

Jackie Brown Pam Grier WallpaperSeeing John Travolta's Vincent Vega spring back to life in the final sequence of Pulp Fiction is a treat, and the way Vincent and Jules own the weak and fragile robbers of the cafeteria left me thinking about the film for the longest time. Seeing them quietly walk out of those doors while Surf Rider by The Lively Ones plays its notes was priceless. When The Bride finally manages to Kill Bill at the melodramatic end of Kill Bill Vol. 2, feelings of tenderness and revenge intertwine as both former lovers confess their enduring affection for each other, yet they know the situation where they pushed each other to is inevitable, and though tears streak The Bride's cheeks, David Carradine's Bill must take his final walk and gracefully die

The Bride and David Carradine's Bill exchange mutual affection before Bill's death


And as Across 110th Street by Bobby Womack reprises in the finale of Jackie Brown, we learn that Max - despite his strong feelings - is afraid of Jackie, and lets her walk out of his life forever, as Jackie drives by herself, rich, miming the words to the song, and struck by sadness

Mr. Quentin said that he didn't know if he could ever match the great finale of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Sergio Leone, but that he would always keep trying. You're doing a great job Quentin

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Cinephile Night Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction Uma Thurman John Travolta Samuel L. Jackson Bruce Willis Harvey Keitel Tim Roth Ving Rhames Kill Bill Kurt Russell Pam Grier Jean-Luc Godard Diane Kruger Michael Madsen Sergio Leone Christoph Waltz Jackie Brown Reservoir Dogs Lucy Liu Death Proof Rosario Dawson Inglorious Basterds David Carradine Diane Kurger Robert Forster The Good The Bad and The Ugly Mia Wallace Vincent Vega Jules Winnfield Marsellus Wallace Cannes 1994 Chuck Berry Mr. Orange Mr. Brown Mr. White Mr. Blonde

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