×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content