Quentin Tarantino: No. 1 With A Bullet
Four reasons why film students love him
Once upon a time, every fledgling director out of film school wanted to be the next Martin Scorsese. But ever since a high school dropout hit the Hollywood jackpot, seems like everyone’s out to be the next Quentin Tarantino.
Since bursting onto the scene in 1992 with the ultraviolent and slyly funny Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino, 31, has scripted the ultraviolent road movie True Romance, written the story for Oliver Stone’s paean to ultraviolence, Natural Born Killers, and won the Cannes Palme d’Or for his second film, Pulp Fiction, a slyly funny, ultraviolent film (due out Oct. 7) about seedy gangsters. So what’s to love about him?
*He’s a film geek. ”How can you not love him? He’s such a fan of movies,” says David Kleiler, a senior at New York University’s film school. True enough. In each of the films he’s written and/or directed, Tarantino has inventively cribbed styles from older directors-Sam Peckinpah’s blood and guts, Hong Kong action king John Woo’s staged operatics, Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematic language.
*He appreciates a nice bloodbath. ”Tarantino’s got this kinetic blood lust. His violence is different-bolder and grittier,” says screenwriter Billy Warden, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s film school.
*He’s the Shakespeare of the four-letter word. At USC’s cinema library, Reservoir Dogs is the most-checked-out script after Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. ”People think, What’s his secret?” says Warden. ”And it’s the way his characters talk-they go on these very funny, liberating philosophical tangents.” Adds David Howard, director of the graduate screenwriting program at USC: ”There’s such an excessive use of four-letter words that it’s almost poetic.”
*He made it without an uncle in the business. ”He’s a guy who worked in a video store and made it,” says Sean Presant, an NYU grad student. ”People always look for a way to make it without connections.”