Despite it being 29 years since his sparkling commercial feature film debut Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino remains one of cinema’s most predominant voices. Still armed with the same provocative venom that spiked his early, violent feature films, 2019’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood showed that he was a director still at the very peak of his career. Though speaking to film podcast Pure Cinema, it appears as though Tarantino may be contemplating retirement.
“Most directors’ last films are fucking lousy,” Tarantino stated in the podcast’s discussion of ‘five great final movies from his favourite directors’. “Usually their worst movies are their last movies. That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the late ’60s and the ’70s,” the director added. Inevitably, the conversation drifted away from other directors’ final films, and toward Tarantino’s own potential plans to retire, with a strong desire to end on a high rather than a damp squib.
Quentin Tarantino went on to question his future career, saying: “Maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic…That’s the frustrating part… a lot of the really terrific directors, it’s like their third-to-the-last movie would have been an amazing, amazing one to end on.”
Though this may sound like the curtain call for Tarantino’s future, the director has also previously broken his self-made restriction of 10 feature film releases, so his words should be taken with a little grain of salt. A total cinephile and creative dynamo, it does appear that whilst Tarantino will always have one leg in the film industry, his interests are beginning to expand. Speaking in January 2020, the director said: “I kind of feel this is the time for the third act [of my life] to just lean a little bit more into the literary, which would be good as a new father, as a new husband.”
With a literary novelisation of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood due to be published on June 29th 2021, it certainly appears as though Tarantino is exploring other creative avenues. This should come as little surprise, however, for a director who has always dabbled in the different, from his directorial hand in Sin City to his exhilarating release of the double-feature Grindhouse in 2007. It’s unlikely that Once Upon a Time In Hollywood will become the iconic director’s final film, but if it is, it’s not a bad way to go out…