Quentin Tarantino’s “Cinema Speculation” Is an Obsessive Insider’s View of Hollywood

When young Quentin watched the Oscars broadcast in 1971, he saw all five nominees for Best Picture (“Patton,” “M*A*S*H,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “Airport,” and “A Love Story”) and was well aware that his film portrayals—and his tendency to describe to his classmates in detail what he saw—made him famous. She also became famous because her mother was dating a black man named Reggie, who took her to see Blaxploitation films in predominantly Black neighborhoods. He mentions his film habits as the basis of his future in cinema: “To a certain extent, I have spent my whole life since playing movies and making them, trying to recreate what I am watching the new film of Jim Brown. , Saturday night, in black cinema in 1972.” This book focuses on violent films, violent films, horror films, the types of films that pleased the child Quentin and the young Tarantino and that, to all appearances, are still – for better or worse – at the center of his cinema universe.

“Cinema Speculation” is the work of a filmmaker whose knowledge of films is extraordinary, and who, thanks to his skills, can add to the information he has obtained from inside the industry, along with the opportunity to ask questions to many people whose work. he is writing about. It’s that idea that informs the book and elevates it above what would otherwise be a fascinating memoir. For example, Tarantino’s ideas for “Bullitt” were based on his interviews with the actor and director Walter Hill, who was the assistant director of the film, and with Neile McQueen (known professionally, as an actor, as Neile Adams), Steve McQueen’s. woman at the time it was made. Tarantino credits her “taste and understanding of her husband’s art and style,” which he attributes to McQueen’s choice of projects. These interviews talk about how McQueen, unlike other actors, would limit his dialogue, giving his lines to other actors, knowing that his reputation was silenced.

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Tarantino carefully and lovingly observes the work of actors, and often makes them a central part of his analysis. He sees “Dirty Harry” as a mass murder film and highlights Andy Robinson’s performance, as the Scorpion killer, as the reason for the film’s history. He takes a close look at John Flynn’s “Rolling Thunder” (which he calls “the best combination of character research and action film ever made”) and tells the story of how, at the age of nineteen, he met and interviewed Flynn. He provides a clear historical perspective on the changes that took place in Hollywood in the late sixties and early seventies, as well as the many generations of new directors working there (as well as the cultural differences that marked their films). Discussing the work of Sylvester Stallone, he gives great attention to both “The Lords of Flatbush” and “Paradise Alley,” and remembers the popularity of the culture, in the middle of the seventies, of the banks of the fifties and appreciation (enhanced by the details of history old movie) about the all-time influence of “Rocky.” And he looks appreciatively at the work of critic Kevin Thomas, who films LA-style films. Time Tarantino considers it essential to the films of the seventies and beyond.

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The title of this book is more than words. The best parts deal with Tarantino’s fiction, based on his extensive reading of Hollywood books and articles, his familiarity with historical documents, his acquaintance with Hollywood celebrities, and his deep insight into the careers and passions and interests of these celebrities. In the long chapter of “The Getaway,” there is a great deal about Peter Bogdanovich who was attached to the project before Sam Peckinpah was signed to direct, a long discussion about how Ali MacGraw traveled with McQueen and the results. that his form and appearance were at his reception; looking closely at how the supporting cast reflects the tone of the film as well as how the film affects the audience; and study in detail the differences between the film and the book by Jim Thompson, from which it is based. The intellectual engine of the novel is its auteurist perspective. As a director and critic, Tarantino explores the kinds of decisions that directors make, both on the large scale of large-scale work and on the small scale of actions and camera angles, with incredible sensitivity.

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