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Quentin Tarantino names his favourite Stephen King film

Stephen King has always expressed his admiration for the films of Quentin Tarantino, having recently praised his latest project Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He also took to Twitter to reveal that he finally got around to watching Reservoir Dogs and absolutely loved it, labelling it an “excellent film”. The author’s fans have always wondered whether Tarantino would finally step up to handle a Stephen King adaptation, claiming that the combined artistic sensibilities of the two pioneers would be a massive hit.

Tarantino has borrowed elements from the film adaptations of Stephen King on multiple occasions, but there is one particularly brilliant cinematic interpretation that Tarantino loves with all his heart. It was made by his idol, a filmmaker who is known for subverting the visual medium with masterfully designed outbursts of violence.

Brian De Palma’s 1976 masterpiece Carrie has been cited by a major influence by modern directors like Ari Aster but it is especially close to Quentin Tarantino’s heart. In a hand-written list of his favourite films of all time that Tarantino submitted to Empire, Tarantino included Carrie in the number eight spot alongside masterpieces such as Taxi Driver.

While making films like Kill Bill, Tarantino constantly referred to the adaptation of King’s terrifying tale about a teenager who finds a way out of the vicious cycle of bullying when she discovers that she has supernatural powers. It is regularly named by fans as well as critics as one of the finest Stephen King film adaptations ever made.

“I read the book. It was suggested to me by a writer friend of mine. A writer friend of his, Stephen King, had written it,” De Palma recalled. “I guess this was almost two years ago [circa 1975]. I liked it a lot and proceeded to call my agent to find out who owned it. I found out that nobody had bought it yet. A lot of studios were considering it, so I called around to some of the people I knew and said it was a terrific book and I’m very interested in doing it.”

Back when Reservoir Dogs came out, Tarantino was criticised by many for his excessive use of violence but his artistic vision was defended by De Palma in an iconic meeting between the two. “I was going through my scrapbook,” Tarantino said. “Brian’s been dealing with violence for the last 15 years… As a filmmaker, when you deal in violence, you’re actually penalised for doing a good job.”

De Palma backed Tarantino up by saying: “Absolutely… Cinema is, as we’ve said a thousand times, is a visual medium and we’re interested in terrific visual sequences and many of them happen to be violent.” This is something Tarantino has followed for the rest of his career, staying true to his love for arthouse films and exploitation flicks.

“I know people who could’ve seen Reservoir Dogs and could’ve been fine with it,” Tarantino maintained. “But when they hear ‘violence, violence, violence’… they talked about Reservoir Dogs as the most violent movie ever made. Now, someday, I may make the most violent movie ever made and I wouldn’t mind people saying it. But I didn’t.”

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