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In love with Pasternak, Eisenstein, “The Amphibian Man”… Russian trace in Quentin Tarantino’s career – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: June 4, 2023 Time: 00:00:10

episode one. peredelkino reading

The plane with Quentin on board lands in Moscow, barely getting off the stairs, the director says to those gathered: “Take me to Pasternak.” And now the creator of “Pulp Fiction” walks along the path of the Peredelkino cemetery. He approaches a white plate with the inscription “Boris Pasternak”, he turns to the escort: “Please leave me.” And then those shots that will go around the world. The one who is reproached for excessive cruelty in the cinema wipes away a tear, lowers his head on the monument, as on the shoulders of a friend, and thus freezes. For a long time. He then he photographs the grave, asks to be photographed. He plucks the chamomile that grows on the grave. And he leaves quickly, so as not to have time to tell journalists how personal he lived here. But journalists are still catching up. “He’s a person, you know, a person,” Quentin launches as he steps forward. And then he confesses: “I did not know where Pasternak was buried, and I really wanted to be shown this place. For me, this is important, I flew here for him.”

From now on, Russian journalists will always tease Tarantino, and who else have they read and seen? And with each answer the conviction grows more and more that Quentin grew up and became wiser precisely in Russian culture. He reads and appreciates our classics. In the cinema, his idol is Eisenstein, his favorite movie is Alexander Nevsky. “A scene from the Battle of the Ice is worth something.” Quentin also likes to remember how in his youth he enthusiastically watched “The Amphibian Man”, this Soviet film was often shown on American television: with pleasure.

Episode two. Never give up

Perhaps, in the Russian classics, Tarantino spied on the main law of life – never give up. It is today that it is big and in demand, but there was a time when Quentin worked as an usher in a movie theater, was behind the counter in a video rental store and only dreamed of being on the covers of video cassettes.

It was rarely made into a movie. He didn’t even help that Quentin blatantly lied in the questionnaires, attributing his career to shooting in the movies King Lear and Dawn of the Dead.

By the way, Tarantino does not have a special film education yet, he only has acting classes behind him.

Realizing that Hollywood had no intention of giving him a green card as an actor, Tarantino wanted to become a screenwriter. And again – failure. Several years of failed trips to movie studios. Quentin goes bankrupt and makes amateur movies with his friends. But the fate of the villain also laughed at it: during editing, a fire broke out in the studio, for thirty minutes of the film the fire “ate”.

Someone else would have given up hundreds of times, but geniuses don’t give up.

Quentin flew to Hollywood with Reservoir Dogs. Even then, the audience said: he is a pervert, is it possible to show up close how a person’s ear is cut off? But critics and festivals favored the newcomer: the postmodern came true.

Then a star named Tarantino came on.

Episode three. Scandalous “isms” collector

Some critics call him a god, others an impostor. Some praise him for his sense of humor and his penmanship, others accuse him of stealing all his finds from other directors, saying that years of working at the movie distribution point were not in vain. Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also received mixed reviews in the West. “The painting moves forward like a Valium-eating turtle and is filled with period clichés like a popcorn machine is filled with kernels of corn,” wrote The New York Observer.

But much clearer are the columns of political observers. Когда Запад изнемогал от страданий за права темнокожих, Тарантино обвиняли в расизме, мол, и в “Криминальном чтиве” и в “12 лет рабства” звучат слова “ниггер”, “черномазый” и прочие непечатные выражения. When the female agenda became fashionable, Tarantino was accused of being sexist. And of all the “isms” that Quentin had to endure, this one, perhaps, was met with real hysteria in the press. One of the newspapers said bluntly: “Enough: it’s time to finish off Quentin Tarantino.”

Another quote: “Quentin revels in violence against women.” In the piggy bank of evidence – “Kill Bill” and “The Hateful Eight”, where the viewer, supposedly, only sees how the heroines of Uma Thurman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are beaten, respectively.

Tarantino himself says that all the accusations are unfounded. But the critics’ attacks seem to have caught up with him. Recently, the director announced that he had finished working on the script for his tenth film with the working title “Film Critic.” Well-informed people assure that it is not about taking revenge on journalists with the language of cinema, on the contrary: the wisest Quentin will give the press a role model, tell about the deeply respected critic Pauline Cale.

Is it really true that Tarantino will become a spoiled child and not cut off the ears of critics?

Episode four. great provocateur

Don’t think Tarantino doesn’t understand that critics’ accusations against him are often justified. But every movie is his new provocation and through the frenzied attacks the director leaves the talent alone. As if he remembered the words of your favorite poet that “talent is the only news that is always new.”

One of Quentin’s taunts is related to Russia. In the movie “Inglourious Basterds”, which takes place in the camps of World War II, there was no place for the Russians. Although everyone else who fought on those fronts is represented in the film. How so, the journalists were perplexed. In the end, Quentin apologized to the Russians, admitting that “from a story point of view, this is unfair.” But he really wanted to upset the Americans.

“I had an article with the Russians,” Tarantino said in an interview, “initially, the soldiers that Frederick Zoller killed were only Russians. And I even wanted to play the role of a Russian general in the film. But then I thought that, they say, I do movies in such a way that it’s hard for the Americans. Then let Zoller kill the Americans. If the soldiers are Americans, then it will be more painful for the American audience.”

In another interview, Tarantino admitted that he wanted to invite Nikita Mikhalkov to the role of the Russian general, with whom he had been in the “you” for a long time.

Episode five. Quentin writes his “Doctor Zhivago”

And yet, scandals, provocations and even star actors who are always in line for Tarantino are only one side of success. The history of cinema knows many examples when the best performers did not save, and clumsy provocations led to the decline of a career. Tarantino’s genius is still in his inimitable handwriting. Including, in his long dialogues, what critics call “Tarantino”. Do you remember how the heroes of Pulp Fiction talk about the true meaning of Madonna’s song?

But what critics probably don’t realize is that dialogue is the forte of the Russian classics that Tarantino adores. And because – “you can’t be my fucking fan and not love my lines”.

The director once admitted that he writes all his scripts like novels and enjoys it. Not without reason, Tarantino’s eponymous book came out shortly after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was released. Last fall, the director’s bestseller “Reflections on Cinema” hit the shelves.

Tarantino often says that he wants to make only ten movies and retire. Picture “Film Critic” – the tenth. Obviously, if Quentin nevertheless says goodbye to the cinema, he has every chance to write a great novel, as did his beloved Pasternak, whose voice, “untouched by decay,” he once heard in the rustle of the birch trees of Peredelkino.

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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