From Martin Scorsese to Steven Spielberg: Quentin Tarantino’s handwritten list of the 11 greatest films of all time
“When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.'”— Quentin Tarantino.
At a time when lockdown’s across the globe remain in place, we’re delving back into the Far Out Magazine Vault to dig out some film suggestions from the great Quentin Tarantino to get us through the quarantine period.
Having already being given a taste of Tarantino’s favourite Marvel film, spaghetti western movies and, of course, his top 20 favourite exploitation pictures, we’ve turned our attention to what the director believes to be a collection of the greatest pictures ever made.
Coming off the back of yet another critically acclaimed response to his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a project which has been described by many as Tarantino’s great homage to the finest examples of cinema, here we get a glimpse at the movies that shared his vision. The film, which includes references to iconic Italian filmmaking, western pictures, Bruce Lee and the ever-churning clogs of old and contemporary Hollywood, further exhibits Tarantino’s love for cinema.
“In the ’50s, audiences accepted a level of artifice that the audiences in 1966 would chuckle at,” Tarantino once said when discussing the changing landscape of cinema. “And the audiences of 1978 would chuckle at what the audience of 1966 said was okay, too. The trick is to try to be way ahead of that curve, so they’re not chuckling at your movies 20 years down the line.”
“When I make a film, I am hoping to reinvent the genre a little bit,” Tarantino once added. “I just do it my way. I make my own little Quentin versions of them…I consider myself a student of cinema. It’s almost like I am going for my professorship in cinema, and the day I die is the day I graduate. It is a lifelong study.”
It comes as little surprise that Tarantino has studied the significant moments of cinematic history with an unrelenting thirst to quench his artistic desire. So, when the filmmaker was asked to pick 11 films which he considered to be the greatest of all time, he of course struggled to define it with precision.
One unsurprising factor, however, is that Tarantino selected Sergio Leone’s film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly at the top of his list: “When it comes to the filmmakers of the 1960s that mean the most to filmmakers of the 1990s and 2000s, I believe that Leone is pointing the way towards modern filmmaking,” the Pulp Fiction director once said. “You don’t go past Leone, you start with Leone.”
Detailing his admiration for Leone further, Tarantino added: “I would go even as far as to say that [Leone] is the greatest combination of a complete film stylist, where he creates his own world, and storyteller.
“Those two are almost never married. To be as great a stylist as he is and create this operatic world, and to do this inside a genre, and to pay attention to the rules of the genre, while breaking the rules all the time — he is delivering you a wonderful western.”
Elsewhere Tarantino includes classics such as Taxi Driver, Jaws and Pandora’s Box while, on the flip side, included some surprise entries like Jeong Chang-Hwa film Five Fingers of Death.
See the list, below.
Quentin Tarantino’s 11 greatest films of all time:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Sergio Leone, 1966.