The Final Quentin Tarantino Movie I Hope We See

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Where to next? Miramax

Ever since Quentin Tarantino announced he would retire after his tenth film, friends, fans and colleagues have reveled in speculation regarding the kind of film they would love to witness the icon tackle before he bowed out of the biz for good. Requests range from the comically implausible, like Colbert’s “What if Tarantino took over episode 9” from the recently canned Colin Trevorrow to the objectively brilliant, like my pitch for a Tarantino helmed Lando Calrissian film.   About a month back, friend and frequent collaborator, Tim Roth expressed interest in seeing a Tarantino directed Bond film , giddy at the prospect of a 007 picture that is equal parts gore and wit, going so far as to commit to playing the villain.  

Whatever the genre or franchise, if Tarantino is involved quality isn’t the thing I’m concerned about. While it would certainly be interesting to see Tarantino apply his distinct sensibilities to franchise shlock I’d much prefer to observe the director experiment with tone as opposed to subject matter.

Jackie Brown has been my favorite Tarantino film for a long time.  I don’t mean to imply that he’s peaked since its release back in 1997, but there is something to be said for the films uncharacteristically sober nature. It is, by far, his most grounded work and still manages to be colored by the auteur’s unmistakable inclinations.  

There’s a certain sense of detachment that shadows the bulk of Tarantino's work, a collection of undefinable homages to the genre properties that inspired him to create works of singular beauty. A visual mastermind, a wordsmith, and pop culture aficionado, my yearning for Tarantino to craft a deeper film owes itself much more to curiosity than to criticism.

Whenever I watch Jackie Brown I can’t shake the feeling that, following the critically-acclaimed Pulp Fiction, he was at a crossroads of sorts. Wholly commit to the stylized  genre trademarks that made Pulp Fiction a novel hit? Or allow himself the occasional, quaint, story-driven piece? Jackie Brown is referenced the least when asked which film is Tarantino’s best. One has to wonder if the disparity in box office receipts and recognition played a role in his decisions from then on?

Tarantino has an undeniable knack for utilizing dialogue to brilliantly distinguish his characters that sometimes takes a backseat to tone, and to his equally admirable mastery of visual language. I fear human stories are a lost breed and believe the director could make something truly great with a simple, strong narrative and a couple of relatable low life characters. We know Tarantino can play ball with any genre, I’m curious how his unique predilections can enhance a story sans all his renowned embellishments. Here’s to hoping one of his two remaining films quells my inquisition.

 

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