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
This 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
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
Did 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
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
5. Foot Fetish
This 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
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?
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