Quentin takes on Tinseltown

By Grace Jones | posted on July 27, 2019


Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino


WE WILL start this off by saying Quentin Tarantino would have to be one of the more controversial directors of our time.

The aestheticisation of violence, the satirical subject matters, the blaxploitation and the frequent usage of a derogatory word (you know which one) don’t exactly put Tarantino in a favourable light.

That being said though, those characteristics found in Tarantino flicks are just as endearing to cinephile’s such as myself.

Cult classics like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (both volumes), Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight have all produced popular spoofs and tributes in pop culture.

Tarantino fans have been made to wait between each film with the longest stint being a tantalising six years, but each breath held for the film is worth it.

We are only weeks away from the latest in the anthology, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and I have to say that I’m equally as excited as I am bummed out.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, or OUATIH for short, promises fans a comedy-drama set in 1969 Los Angeles following alcoholic actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his best mate
and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and Dalton’s new neighbours Sharon Tate (Margo Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha).

People familiar with Tarantino’s sense of humour and tone in films could probably see where this is going, but for people not familiar, let me explain.

What you’ll watch will be in all likelihood 161 minutes of the grievously gory reimagination of one of the most shocking murders in history, and an extension of that, one of the most feared and famous criminals and cult leaders of history.

Sharon Tate and Charles Manson.

Now believe me I’m plenty excited to see DiCaprio and Robbie on the same screen again after their brilliant performance in 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.

I love a bit of Pitt in Tarantino films and I’m beyond intrigued to see what Al Pacino is doing cast in the film.

I mean he’s 79 years old, and probably having an absolute hoot.

But I can’t help but feel like it’s just a bit of a cop out by Tarantino and with this rumoured to be one of his last films, I’m just really bummed.

We’ve already talked about how every production company under the sun is jumping on the serial killer bandwagon at the moment.

We’ve had retellings, documentaries, mini-series, docu-series, films, podcasts, books … you name it, it has been done.

And don’t forget there’s Charlie Says coming out this year as well, another Manson movie.

So Tarantino straying from his purely fictional repertoire to a story with elements of truth with Manson, Tate and Polanski almost seems lazy, and verging on glorification of actual murder.

I could be entirely wrong, and it could be a complete 180 in terms of story, but I still feel disappointed given the amazing stories created in Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight – and how completely different they were from other Tarantino flicks.

Each film Tarantino does simply cannot be compared to the last, simply on the merit that each story and each tone is so completely different despite familiar casting and the trademark gore.

OUATIH certainly fits that bill, but could the move from The Weinstein Company to Sony Pictures changed something elemental in Tarantino’s gift of the gab?

From day dot, Tarantino always said he would only do 10 movies and if film were phased out before then and transferred to digital he would call it quits.

So could it be that now Tarantino has completed his ninth film and approaching his last film, he’s getting sloppy?

Or, it could just be me suffering from Tarantino withdrawals already.

Who knows? I’m hopeful that I’ll love every millisecond in the cinema like I always have though.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is scheduled for release in Australia on August 15.