×
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

  • 'Changing the Game' Documentary

    Watch the First Trailer for Trans Documentary 'Changing the Game' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Another hurdle for trans rights could quite literally be the track and field hurdle. Transgender student athletes are put in the spotlight in the forthcoming documentary “Changing the Game,” set to premiere at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Variety has the world premiere of the doc’s first teaser trailer, which gives an in-depth look into the [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Box Office

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Conjures $2.8 Million on Thursday Night

    “The Curse of La Llorona,” the latest entry in Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Conjuring” universe, conjured $2.75 million from Thursday preview showings, while “Breakthrough,” a faith-based offering from Fox-Disney, brought in $1.5 million from its second day of screenings. “La Llorona’s” haul tops recent horror counterparts “Pet Sematary” and “Escape Room,” which each took [...]

  • Chinese Films Make the Cannes Lineup,

    Cannes: Chinese Films Make the Lineup, but Will They Make It to France?

    Cannes has chosen two mainland Chinese titles for its official selection: Diao Yinan’s “Wild Goose Lake,” in competition, and Zu Feng’s “Summer of Changsha,” for Un Certain Regard. Both films appear to have received the necessary official approvals from Chinese authorities to premiere overseas. But their journey to the Cote d’Azur is by no means [...]

  • Festival director Thierry Fremaux speaks to

    Cannes: Thierry Fremaux on the Lineup's Record Number of Female Directors, American Cinema and Political Films

    The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup for its 72nd edition that includes some high-profile Hollywood titles, genre movies and films from 13 female directors. The official selection has been applauded by many for mixing established auteurs like Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory”), Terrence Malick (“A Hidden Life”) and Xavier Dolan (“Matthias and Maxime”) [...]

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content