WARNING: This article may contain SPOILERS on the mentioned Quentin Tarantino films
Quentin Tarantino he is perhaps the most pop director of the last 20 years. Ever since his debut with the film Hyenas, was immensely acclaimed by the public – in contrast, often, with the more conflicting opinions of the critics. Famous for its long-winded dialogues and violence, Di Lui is an auteur cinema that has been able to win the hearts of cinephiles from all over the world, giving the genre pulp a new mask, reaching an excellent compromise between the quality of the writing and the action element, elements that he knows how to balance with skill, creating an entertainment of the highest quality. A director who has been able to carefully juggle even very different genres, offering us the opportunity to attend extraordinary actor performances and enjoy splendid soundtracks – among which, for us Italians, those created by the compatriot undoubtedly excel Ennio Morricone.
Quentin Tarantino gave us impactful cinema. Pulp Fiction, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Kill Bill are just some of the most famous examples of his directorial skills. Let’s discover together some curiosities directly from the sets of these great films.
1) The Hateful Eight’s guitar
In 2015 The Hateful Eight was released in cinemas around the world (in some, in limited edition, even in 70 mm film), a western with thriller implications and which from a certain playing time becomes a closed-room crime. In fact, most of the events narrated take place in a single location: an emporium where, due to a series of more or less desired coincidences, the eight protagonists of the title meet. In one scene, criminal Daisy Domergue is playing a guitar and sings a mocking song towards his jailer, John Ruth known as ‘the executioner’ played by Kurt Russell. The latter, in a fit of anger, takes the instrument and then smashes it with fury. Few perhaps know that the bewildered reaction of Jennifer Jason Leigh, interpreter of Daisy, is not fiction: the guitar was an original model Martin from the 70s of a value of approx $40,000! The precious instrument had been loaned to Tarantino by a Pennsylvania museum, and had to be returned after filming as it would have been replaced by a fake in the aforementioned scene. However, Kurt Russell believed that the guitar had been replaced by a banal reproduction and had no problems disintegrating it.
2) The ‘reverse’ scene from Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is the cult par excellence among Quentin Tarantino’s films. The most discussed, the most loved, the most quoted – and, like it or not, the most remembered. There are no other films by the director that equal it in popularity, and the fact that it is still so successful today despite being released in theaters in 1994 is definitely significant. However, despite its popularity, not everyone knows that one of the most iconic scenes, that of Mia Wallace’s overdose, was filmed exactly the opposite of how we see it: the take started when the needle was already in the body of the actress Uma Thurmane John Travolta aka Vincent Vega actually pulled her towards him decisively. During editing, the order of events was reversed so as to give the impression that the syringe was planted directly into the actress’s chest.
3) Once upon a time in…Hollywood playing time
The 2019 movie Once upon a time in… Hollywood it is perhaps the director’s most intimate film. The love for cinema transpires in every shot of the film, together with the skill of the three main actors Margot Robbie, Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt. In the film you meet characters invented by Quentin Tarantino with others that really existed, among which the sweetest one stands out Sharon Tate and Charles Manson; this character was originally supposed to be more present in the film, however he appears for an extremely reduced playing time. In fact, the work during the assembly phase was particularly copious: there was so much material that in the initial phase there were approx 4 hours and 30 minutes of footage. The running time was later decreased to 161 minutes. Many scenes were cut, including those with cameos from other big names in cinema including Tim Roth.
4) Django Unchained cameo
Con Django Unchained Quentin Tarantino explore for the first time the film genre that represents his first, great and true love: the western. Between the desolate lands of Texas and cotton plantations, the film tells the story of the slave Django (here played by Jamie Foxx) and his journey to find his beloved wife Broomhilda, supported by the elegant bounty hunter Dr. Schulz (Christoph Walz) . In the final part of the story we find ourselves in Candyland, the mansion where Broomhilda is part of the servitude of the rich Calvin J. Candi (Leonardo di Caprio) in which the two managed to enter under a false identity. Right here is a nice cameo of the actor Franco Nero, the first interpreter of the character Django in the spaghetti western on the character, released in 1966. The ‘old’ and the ‘new’ Django thus have a very short and amusing exchange of jokes on the correct pronunciation of the name; a gem that anyone who knows the original film will have had the pleasure of grasping.
5) Kill Bill’s blood
Considered by many to be the true masterpiece of Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill it has become extremely iconic. The story of The Bride has captivated the public, who still remember with great affection both films of the ‘saga’ about the anti-heroine played by Uma Thurman who, armed with a katana, undauntedly seeks her revenge. The film, exactly as in the director’s most classic style, often fluctuates between the pulp and comedy. Christopher Nelson, make-up artist of the film and Academy Award winner for Suicide Squad, revealed that Quentin Tarantino he adamantly refused to reproduce the blood in the film in computer graphics: instead, he preferred to replace it with ben 1700 liters of fake blood! We don’t know how expensive the request was, but it is certain that the effect is decidedly successful and impactful.