Whatever you think of his films, you have to admit that Quentin Tarantino is a unique voice that makes movies in a way that is always true to his style. The man genuinely lives up to the idea of a true auteur. Many have accused him of being egotistical, but everyone who has worked with him has said he is great because he knows what he wants and how to explain that to you when working on set.
So, what is it that makes him so good?
A Clear Vision
Tarantino never goes into pre-production without knowing exactly what the film is going to look like when it’s finished. He has control over every element and molds it into the shape that he needs it to be in order to work. This starts from the script through to the details of the set and costumes. He also has a hand in editing and sound mixing.
A key element with this is that Tarantino also knows how to translate his vision into words so that everyone else on the job knows what they are working towards. It’s one thing to be an auteur, but it’s another to think that you can make a film entirely on your own without the complete buy in from your team.
His films live or die by the written and then spoken word. In general, his films are incredibly wordy – which is somewhat unusual for a visual medium. However, he makes it work because of how brilliantly planned out his scripts are. The actors say a lot verbally, but there is so much more going on in timing of the words and the order of the scenes.
Tarantino regularly uses a script device called “the pledge” to create suspense in scenes. This is the use of a line that gives very little away but promises the audience members something big is coming. Of course, in a Tarantino film, this something big is usually some form of fight scene that turns into a blood bath – but that’s part of why people love these films.
Recurring Faces, Names And Motifs
There are only nine Tarantino films out there, but they cover a wide range of topics, cinematic genres and time periods. However, they all feel familiar. This is due to several things, including the use of many of the same actors through his films. Samuel L Jackson has appeared in six of the movies and Uma Thurman has been in four. Then there’s the use of character names. The Vega brothers crop up in a number of the films, for example.
The style of filming is also familiar. A Tarantino film is made up of fast-moving tracking shots, unexpected close ups, and bursts of gruesome violence. You can also expect a lot of references to pop culture, even in his films set in different eras, as well as the director himself always popping in for a fun cameo. Finally, there’s the non-linear plot that’s full of twists and turns as characters intersect.