I’ve been tough on Quentin Tarantino in the past. As a UK script consultant I’m trying to revisit his work especially after recently working on a trilogy of scripts set during the 90s – to which Pulp Fiction, became something of a touchstone, style wise.
Yes, QT is incredibly talented, and yes, Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2 add up to great cinema – but as much as I enjoy these films, I also have my reservations.
The films are adolescent, and there’s nothing wrong with that – indeed for some people this is part of the charm, the films also have a questionable attitude to women – very questionable. That attitude is made all the more uncomfortable by the #MeToo revelations and the sponsorship of Tarantino by Harvey Weinstein.
Indeed, as an aside, it’s worth pointing out that QT had a long relationship with Mira Sorvino and admitted that she told him about what Weinstein did to her, and that QT pretty much did nothing about it. But, it’s not fair to pick on Quentin about Weinstein – lots of people knew about Harvey – and did nothing, in fact some even enabled his behaviour to further their careers.
Then, of course, there’s Uma Thurman’s own revelations about Tarantino, the injuries she incurred on the film and the fact that Tarantino himself spat in her face (off camera) and personally throttled her during the filming of one scene (I mean, what the actual fuck?)
Then there’s the foot fetish stuff, which is just a little bit creepy to me and sits in nearly all of QT films…
Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2 were made nearly 20 years ago now. I recently enjoyed The Hateful Eight – has QT moved on? I think Jenifer Jason Leigh’s character gets spat on, abused and brutalised in that film too. It’s a brilliant film (I think The Hateful Eight is miles better than Kill Bill) but is Tarantino still spitting on actresses 20 years later and even throttling them?
Tarantino has something great and he is a major filmmaker. He may also be a sick puppy (don’t think that the two can’t sit together quite easily – lots of brilliant artists are complete cunts too). If I saw him spit in a woman’s face on set (or off) he’d suffer a fate similar to the half-black, half-Samoan Antwan Rockamora – in his own Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino often acts, badly… In Planet Terror, he was cast as a rapist, who attacks the actress Rose McGowan (who had been raped by Weinstein), It’s no co-incidence, as McGowan had confided in Planet Terror’s director Robert Rodriguez about what Weinstein did to her. Weinstein later bought and distributed the film. Did QT know that he was playing Weinstein? Did he know what McGowan had told Rodriguez? Watch the scene (I can’t)…
So, yeah, Kill Bill like QT’s other films is entertaining and at times brilliant, and to his credit he’s given some great parts to actresses over the years often putting them centre stage, but something, somewhere still doesn’t sit right with me… I think he may be a monster, living out his fantasies on screen, with us paying for it. Hitchcock liked blondes with big boobs and catholic guilt – but he didn’t spit in anyone’s face, or taunt women who had, in real life been raped by his boss…
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on email@example.com or hire him on Peopleperhour