Director Spotlight: Quentin Tarantino

(Originally published in buzz magazine on 1/31/2008)

Upon entering an apartment of unsuspecting chumps, should a couple of gangsters (A) Lodge a bullet in everyone’s brain and scat without further ado, or (B) Make small-talk about cheeseburgers and quote Bible verses? Innovative writer and director Quentin Tarantino chooses the latter, developing complex characters with telling everyday chitchat. The following four films demonstrate Tarantino’s ability to craft masterpieces by experimenting with dialogue, time sequencing and cinematic allusions.

Death Proof (2007)Kurt Russell stars as a degenerate action movie stuntman who gets his jollies stalking attractive women. He learns the hard way that femininity does not equal weakness.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Six seasoned thugs rob a jewelry store after a major diamond shipment. The cops arrive only one minute after a customer activates the alarm, and a bloodbath ensues. One of the robbers must have police connections, but who?

Kill Bill (2003)

Tarantino pays tribute to Spaghetti Westerns and Samurai films in a two-part revenge story of epic proportions. Its stylish sword fights and vibrant characters render the simplicity of Kill Bill’s plot irrelevant.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Arguably QT’s masterwork, Pulp Fiction revived John Travolta’s career and proved once and for all that Samuel L. Jackson reigns supreme as king of badasses. The film juggles three separate but connected storylines of a boxer too proud to lay down, a date with the mob boss’ wife, and two gangsters who witness divine intervention.