Quentin Tarantino: The Great Recycler

For Grand Lyon Fest's Lumiere honoree, classics are for borrowing from

It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists.

Tarantino specializes in recycling. From his days behind the counter of Video Archives (where a mispronounced request for Louis Malle’s “Au Revoir les Enfants” inspired the title of his debut, “Reservoir Dogs”) to his current role as landlord at L.A.’s New Beverly rep house (He bought the building to save the business and even lends prints from his personal collection), the “Pulp Fiction” director possesses an insatiable appetite for red-blooded genre pics matched only by his encyclopedic memory for what makes each one special.

He has an uncanny ability to zero in on the unique merits of a movie that looks to others like pure junk, and incorporate details into his own pics: a look, a shot, a line, or the entire plot (the little-known Ken Norton starrer “Drum” inspired “Django Unchained”).

“I steal from every single movie ever made,” Tarantino once told Empire magazine. “If my work has anything, it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together.”

That attitude explains why his pics play like a greatest hits of B-movies. Bruce Lee’s tracksuit on “Kill Bill’s” Bride, playing chicken with “Vanishing Point’s” white 1970 Dodge Challenger in “Death Proof” and so on. His flair for recycling also shows up in casting. He spotted qualities in Pam Grier, John Travolta and Bruce Willis that launched comebacks.

As he put it: “Great artists steal; they don’t do homages.”

More Film

  • donna langley

    Donna Langley on Universal Success and the 'Fate of the Movie Gods'

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • 'Generation Wealth' Review

    Sundance Film Review: 'Generation Wealth'

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • Sundance Film Festival Placeholder

    5 Burning Questions About Sundance 2018

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • Producers Wade Into Uncharted Territory at

    Producers Wade Into Uncharted Territory at Guild Awards

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • Wonder Movie Makeup

    How 'Wonder's' Makeup Effects Artist Transformed Jacob Tremblay

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • Lori Mccreary and Gary Lucchesi PGA

    Producers Guild of America Sets Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

  • Natalie Portman Praises 'Lady Bird,' Greta

    Natalie Portman on 'Lady Bird': 'I've Wanted to See This Movie for the Past 20 Years'

    It seems fitting Quentin Tarantino should be honored at a festival that celebrates classic film. Though the recipient of the Lumiere-Grand Lyon fest’s Lumiere Award is identified first and foremost as an auteur, Tarantino has done more to keep the tradition of exploitation, grindhouse and B-movie fare alive than the most diligent archivists. Tarantino specializes […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content