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(Credit: Miramax Films)

Film

Quentin Tarantino names "the best decade for music"

@Russellisation

Instilling a love of music into each and every one of his iconic movies, the cinematic worlds that Quentin Tarantino constructs are inextricably linked to the soundtracks that fuel the film, pumping through a distinct atmosphere. Showing off a varied musical taste, the influential American filmmaker has shown considerable love for the sounds of such artists as Bobby Womack, Chuck Berry and David Bowie throughout his 30 year filmography. 

Off-screen, however, the filmmaker is a particular fan of the works of Bob Dylan, even if he has never been able to find a way to squeeze the music of the American folk singer into any of his films, aside from an obscure reference in Death Proof where he appears on the side of a jukebox. 

Describing the Dylan track ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ as his “all-time favourite song,” Tarantino told Uncut, “I know this is off Blood On The Tracks, but it’s my all-time favourite song. It’s one of those songs where the lyrics are ambiguous you can actually write the song yourself. That’s a lot of fun – it’s like Dylan fooling around with the listener, playing on the way he or she interprets the lyrics”. 

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Becoming a worldwide renowned singer in 1965 with the iconic summer tune, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, Tarantino looks back on Dylan’s indelible effect on the music industry in the 1960s with much adoration. This was illustrated in a Q&A Tarantino conducted with Empire Magazine, where fans of the filmmaker asked varying questions about his career, including one which stated, “What’s the best decade for music?”. 

Toying the question over in his head, Tarantino replied, “Well, that’s kind of not fair, because everybody will pick their pre-teen years. Why wouldn’t you? But I guess we’re talking about the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s”. 

Clarifying his position, the director finally settled on the decade when Dylan made it big, noting, “I would have to say the ’60s now, not because I’m promoting my movie, but because I’ve been in such a deep dive on it for the last two to three years”. Making reference to the ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ singer as well as the likes of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, Tarantino adds, “I think that’s actually legit, because you’ve got the great pop bubblegum hits on one side, you’ve got Bob Dylan on another side… and on and on”. 

Though he has a distinct love for mid-20th century rock and roll, the filmmaker likes to mix this with defined original soundtracks, often working with the revolutionary composer Ennio Morricone, who collaborated with Sergio Leone on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, to bring his films to life. 

Enamoured by the career of the influential composer, Tarantino spoke to The Spectator about Morricone’s impact on the industry, stating, “The way we cut to music now: you pick some rock song and you cut your scene to that song. That all started with Leone and Morricone, and particularly with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

Released in 1966, maybe Tarantino’s opinion on the best decade for music is swayed by this classic of the western genre that would go on to mould the impressionable filmmaker and change the face of cinema forever.