BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

The Boorman/Tarantino Nexus

Post categories:

Mark Kermode | 14:00 UK time, Friday, 14 August 2009

Left to its own devices the Kermode Uncut blog recombined the Boorman and Tarantino items to generate an explosion of energetic, elevated and enterprising discussion to which I am here delighted to alert you.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions


  • Comment number 1.

    What is this pay-pher you speak off? See how it bends in his hands.
    Quentin Tarantino once said he would never make a "limp d**k movie". Is he succeeding?

  • Comment number 2.

    I agree with all your point on QT, but I very much doubt he had anything to do with inglorious basterds being changed for TV advertising, thats something the marketing people probably did without him, so you can't really blame him for that.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Mark

    Great blog as always and a terrific summary of the Boorman/Tarantino debate.
    It got me to thinking however on the career of Friedkin, one of if not your favourite directors. Having binged recently on The French Connection, The Exorcist, Cruising and To Live And Die In LA, it seems that his creative bubble then burst somewhat.
    Don't get me wrong, Bug was fun (but rubbish) and The Hunted had a certain kinetic quality to it (but still rubbish), but the rest is just a bit, well...rubbish. Jade, Rampage, Rules Of Engagement and who could forget The Guardian. Well...I have thank God.

    Do you have an explanation for this? Have you dared to ask him the reasons for making those films? Was it also because he was also told he was a brilliant film maker or did he simply just burn out somewhat?

    By the way, do you know if the new cut of Cruising will be available in the UK?

    Keep up the grand work and the quiff.

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't understand why people have problems with Tarrintino's films. He doesn’t release a film every year like Ridley Scott and his films like Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction are fantastic. Like the Superman speech in Kill Bill and the Royal with cheese in Pulp Fiction.

    I think the music he chooses in his films are genius as well, especially in Pulp Fiction, which he doesn’t have to place there, unlike Guy Ritchie who relies heavily on the soundtrack on his films.

    I think the dialogue in other films is even more unnatural, most of the times just used to move the plot along or remind the audience what is going on.

    The only film that he’s made that is awful is Death Proof, but I think there are much worse things in cinema than the dialogue in Tarrintino’s films.

  • Comment number 5.

    As much as I hate Michael Bay, I have no problem acknowledging the fact that his 1996 film "The Rock" is quite a fun, entertaining escapism thriller. Even though it was slightly too long and had a couple of unnecessary action sequences it was fairly exciting and had Sean Connery and Nic Cage bringing a lot of charm to the picture. It also had fine actors such as Ed Harris, Philip Baker Hall and Michael Biehn in supporting roles.

  • Comment number 6.

    Sorry my appalling lack of proof reading in the above post. Lol.

  • Comment number 7.

    CHEERS Dr.K for failing to mention who posted their thoughts on the renaming of Inglorious!! Jeeeze, what does it take to get some recognition round here?!

    I jest. Just don't let it happen again...

  • Comment number 8.

    Michael Bay films are the cinematic equivalent of fireworks displays. I can enjoy fireworks displays for their kinetic and aesthetic qualities, but I certainly wouldn't go looking for narrative, character development and plot, let alone depth or meaning in them...

  • Comment number 9.

    The Good Doctor , strikes again. Having the autear label placed on a talented filmaker can be leathal in its effect, it does create a egotistical method to filmaking and causes mental stress on the poor director and audience, to a certain extent it had a marked effect on Hitchcock, his later films were not as interesting as his earlier films, with perhaps the exception of Marnie which was distrubing for a lot of other reasons. So the lesson is ,when a talented director comes along please dont put the autear theory in his head, it will all end in tears. Maybe some sort of autear rehab hospital could be built and we can send Boorman, Tarantino and Friedkin there, to get well.

  • Comment number 10.

    The Austin Powers franchise stuck to its guns when The Spy Who Shagged Me was released, it was the TV companies that censored the S word (and no it wasn't spy).

  • Comment number 11.

    As much as I love QT, he is too in love with himself. Nearly every line of dialouge he writes is coming straight from his mouth, and he is unable to extend his imagination to put his characters into someone elses shoes - they're all different versions of himself!

    But of course sometimes this works, in the case of Pulp Fiction, Resevoir Dogs, Jackie Brown (and I admit to quite liking Kill Bill as well).

  • Comment number 12.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Why do I do it. Each and every time I go to QT film I hope for a return to form. After about 30 minutes, I then start to think, 'god I am bored, but it might get better' by an 50 minutes I am thinking 'I paid money to see this film, if I walk out now I would be giving the cinema money for nothing'. 1hr 10 minute 'QT directs like a student fanboy' 1hr 30 minutes 'omg I have found 4 jokes funny' Film ends 'Oh dear, another shitty QT film that chrishes a little bit more of my soul'.

    Inglorious Basterds: 1/2 boring, 1/4 predictable, 1/4 of merchantable quality.

  • Comment number 13.

    Firstly, I didn’t like Death Proof. I think Tarantino’s project with Larry Bishop – Hell Ride - was ‘better’ than Death Proof, in that it had the pretence to be as bad and hammy as the Grindhouse films actually were, rather than Tarantino’s half-arsed compromises and suffering script that demean the whole Rodriguez-Grindhouse project. I did however like both ‘episodes’ of Kill Bill, though they were overly self-indulgent as well.
    In regards to Inglourious Basterds, I can see how Tarantino has tried to return to ‘safer ground’ e.g. the film has a novelistic-interwoven, Pulp Fiction-esque plot (from what I’ve heard). However, I hate the way Tarantino seems to be in denial – in Sight & Sound for instance he rejects the magazines previous ascribed elements of pastiche in Tarantino’s work (paradoxically often referenced by Tarantino himself1). Tarantino then claims critics are playing safe and are being revisionist when they say Jackie Brown is his best film, though conversely it’s Tarantino who is being revisionist as Reservoir Dogs was a ‘men on a mission’ film (so Basterds isn’t really his first just as Reservoir Dogs wasn’t really his ‘1st film’). Tarantino has even taken to renouncing his video-shop, fan-boy past and apparent filmic emulation of Brian de Palma.
    Tarantino is even trying to stamp out speculation over pastiche in his films in various ways e.g. claiming he would have come up with shots even if he hadn’t seen them in films by de Palma, Scorsese, hawks or ford first, as well as distancing Basterds from the original Bastards through the guise of ingratiated typos.
    I think we should hope Tarantino is more like Scorcese rather than falling into the ‘nexus’ that de Palma and Boorman fell into. I feel anxious about seeing le basterds on film!

  • Comment number 14.

    Interesting points as always, Mark...

    Except I REALLY think that it's the marketing people, not Tarantino himself who shortened the movie title into "Inglourious". Tarantino has always preferred two-word titles. So let's not accuse the man falsely here.

  • Comment number 15.

    As i watch this blog theres an interview with Tarntino on the TV and they're blurring the movie title. Now its called Inglourious! I never quite understand the trouble with bad language. Just walk down the street and you hear much worse.

    Anyway to the film. Which i saw last night. Very 00's Tarantino but has a lot more interesting characters than Kill Bill or Death Proof. The movie has some fantastic performances from the cast especially Christoph Waltz and Mélanie Laurent. Even Brad Pitt gets some great lines!!! Add to that the excellent direction by QT. I saw some flashes of Hitchcock and Sergio Leone. The man knows how to move the camera! No hand held rubbish!!!! Not his best but really interesting to watch. Gotta be seen on the big screen!

    Did i hear Mr Kermode say something good about Michael Bay???? There may be chance to convert him! When Transformers 3 comes out i'm sure he'll give it 5 stars and recommend every one to see it.....

    Mark Kermode is a Michael Bay fan.

  • Comment number 16.

    Already previously mentioned above about Tarantino's quality being the soundtracks, i must agree as i find his biggest quality is his use of music. Although not a fan of Kill Bill or Death Proof the music used in RD, PF and QB twisted itself into the plot and the dialogue and comes out much different rather than if you just played the pop songs regarded on your stereo.

    Plus looking forward to seeing inglorious ****erds because as you said even if i think it's alwful it's still going to be much more interesting than most current releases.

  • Comment number 17.

    Yesterday, I went to see Ingloriuos Basterds. This feelings I got from the movie were conflicted. Compared to what else I had seen this year, it was at least interesting. I found myself in some strange way enjoying it, and at the same time, thnking this is a mess. It didnt know what it wanted to be, a melodrama, a exploitation movie, or a war film. Confused and Conflicted. I dont think this is a return to form for Q.T, but its not the misguided mes that was Death Proof. I write this as I have just watched The Excorsist on dvd, good film, the greatest film ever made....not for me.

  • Comment number 18.

    As someone who only came of age in the 2000's I never experienced Tarantinomania the first time round. I did however, swiftly devour Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs as soon as I was old enough to blag buying them on DVD. What I cannot understand is everyone's aversion to Kill Bill V1/V2. I for one just find them fantastically entertaining, gloriously trashy and stylish films. I'm not really interested if QT 'could' make a more character driven film, because I enjoy KBV1/V2 for what they are - great fun.

    Let's give him a bit more credit - maybe I was QT's target audience, as the majority of people on here seem to be of the original Tarantino generation?

    (But Death Proof IS rubbish)

  • Comment number 19.

    QT has to big a head for my liking, that what ruined his film. It seem that he thought just beacaue Plup Fiction was iconic we would accept any s**t he shoveled out to us because it had the QT stamp of approvel. I mean the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique!?! What??
    Plus did you see him on jonathan ross?!?

  • Comment number 20.

    I found out the rather disturbing news the other day that Quentin is very good friends with Paul Thomas Anderson lets pray that Quentin's big chinned fan boy rubbish doesn't affect PT and causes him to instead of making films revolving around 1970s pornography that he will instead try to literally make a 1970s porno

  • Comment number 21.

    OCDmaniac, "I mean the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique!?! What??"
    I take it you've never seen a kung fu film, 'Five Fingers of Death' anyone? I loved Kill Bill, probably because I am a huge fan of the kung fu films from the 70s and 80s.

    bgh1968redux, "It didnt know what it wanted to be, a melodrama, a exploitation movie, or a war film"
    Why can't it be a exploitation war movie, like the very movie he took the title from?

  • Comment number 22.

    I saw Inglorious Bar Stewards the other day and to my surprise i actually thought it was his best film since Jackie Brown. Admiteddly that is up against Kill Bill (1&2) both of which are iredeemably awful and feature Uma (the female Keanu Reeves) Thurman at her worst. And of course Death Proof which managed the uniqe achievement of being a multi million dollar exploitation film that was duller than your average Brett Ratner film. However for all my trepidation i was pleasently surprised by IB. The first scene is one of the best (literally) cat and mouse scenes in recent movie history, the script is always interesting and performances are uniformally good if not great. The highlight is obviously Cristoph Waltz as Landa as a genial sociopath, Brad Pitt who appeared to be channeling John Wayne and is very funny and Melanine Laurent as the vengeful cinema owner. Honourable mentions also to Diane Kruger who showed that she can do good work when not doing crap like the National Treasure movies, Michael Fassbender who pulled off the whole stiff upper lip act with such aplomb he must be a dead cert for the next Bond when Craig hangs up he shoulder holster and Daniel Bruhl who successfully combined goofy charm and hideous threat to great effect. The film is also very funny (especially Waltz and Pitt)with the audience i was in laughing at least eight times.

    That being said, i have to agree with Dr K's criticism of Tarantinos fan boy style directing particularly with regard to his soundtrack picking and also the fact that he could easily have lost about half an hour. And Eli Roths presence was totally unnecessary.

    But credit where dredit is due. Who else could make an epic film in mostly in German and French that seems to have been inspired mostly by John Ford and Howard Hawks and fill up the big screen of the local odeon on saturday night. If even a fraction of those present go on to disover the original Ford, Hawks and Robert Aldrich films that inspired this then it will be worth it for that alone.

  • Comment number 23.

    The Eli Roth character could have been so much more with Adam Sandler playing it, as originally intended.

  • Comment number 24.

    Inglourious Basterds is glorious

  • Comment number 25.

    Has the film had it's title changed to 'Inglourious' in all countries, or is this just in the UK? Bastard (erd), for historical reasons, is regarded as being a more offensive word in the UK than it is in America. I've often seen the word 'bastard' used on early-evening American television, whereas here it is generally not used before 9pm, even though Americans are much more uptight about language.

    PS: I hope QT calls his next film 'Kiss My Fanny', just to see if the title would be changed to 'Kiss My...' in the UK.

  • Comment number 26.

    I was in Sheffield before and saw loads of posters for "Inglorious Basterds". Has the name been changed back, or are they old posters?

  • Comment number 27.

    I like cheese and I like cake, but I don't like cheese cake. I like Grindhouse and I like Tarantino movies, but I don't like Death Proof.

  • Comment number 28.

    What happened to the laptop? Did you break it with all that slapping it around? I tried to warn you about that.

    I can't comment yet on IB as it is one of those cases where the film opens in the UK before it opens in the US (comes out here on August 21) but as far as I know they are still using the full title.

  • Comment number 29.

    Would changing the title from "Inglourious Basterds" to "Inglourious" really be up to Tarantino? Surely this was a departmental decision by someone at Weinstein...maybe Harvey himself.

    On that note, I saw the film yesterday. I thought it was fantastic, and his best since Pulp Fiction. OK I am glad not every director is knocking out films with cheesey references to old grindhouse cinema and spaghetti westerns but with just Quentin doing it, it is refreshing to go and watch something like Inglourious Basterds and simply indulge.

  • Comment number 30.

    My advice would be to thoroughly enjoy IB for the romp that it is; compared to next week's trash (and there is a lot of it!), this is a relative masterpiece.

  • Comment number 31.

    Dr. K
    Surely the running trend of directors turning a once promising career into a laughable pastiche must come to a head with M. Night Shyamalan, i've recently been watching through all of his films and i still can't grasp the fact that the same person who wrote/directed 'Unbreakable' and 'The sixth sense' also wrote/directed 'Lady in the Water'. It once again proves your theory Mark, that when a director begins to beleive their own hype, beleive people who call them an auteur that is when they start getting sloppy with their work. However despite the decline of his most recent work i still have to admire him as a film maker for at least trying something different which is the same reason i admire most of QT's work however good/bad it can be.

  • Comment number 32.

    Re: Friedkin

    I think Dr. K. has one rule for certain directors and another rule for other directors.

    Friedkin hasn't made a really good film since 1985, a quarter of a century ago.

    Dr. K's devotion to "the film that shall not be named", means he's willing to absolve Friedkin of the same cinematic sins commited by both Boorman and Tarantino. Which doesn't exactly smack of integrity now does it?

    I'd argue that no other director has fallen from grace as much as Friedkin. Not Boorman, not Lumet, not Coppola, not Scorsese, not De Palma, not Spielberg, not Scott, not even Tarantino.

  • Comment number 33.

    I seriously doubt QT had any say over how British TV producers decided to air the advert his latest film. As I understand it, in Finland at least it is advertised in it's full Inglorious Basterds title.

    Which btw, which is it spelt wrong?

    As to QT. Reservoir Dogs excellent (his best), Pulp Fiction excellent, Jackie Brown excellent, Kill Bill Vol. 1 good fun, Kill Bill Vol. 2 drivel, Death Proof good fun.

    That said I won't be seeing Inglorious Basterds because I completely agree QT started to believe his hype and stopped making proper films. Like I said I enjoyed Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Death Proof but please start making real and interesting films again!

  • Comment number 34.

    Mark; can you do a blog on the topic of spaghetti westerns in the near future? it ties in with the tarantino topic i,e, tarantino and pal rodriguez pastiche, and Tarantino has starred in the mainrole for a spaghetti western recently as 'Django'!

  • Comment number 35.

    Also a crossover between the Cropredy and Vincent Cassel as you featured Ade Edmonson and his band in the background.
    Cassel was in Rick and Ade’s Guest House Paradiso.

    This painful film also featured Fenella Fielding’s film role since Dougal and the Blue Cat.

  • Comment number 36.

    Mark, which would be worse - watching Exorcist II: A Heretic once a week for a whole year, or watching all three Pirates movies on a 24-hour loop for a month?

  • Comment number 37.

    Im sure there are many nightmares for Mark such as Gore Verbinski or Micheal Bay remaking The Excorcist with Shia Lebeouf as the priest and Megan Fox as Regan.

  • Comment number 38.

    Vive le Kermode!


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.