We all have fond memories of the films that left an indelible impact on us during our formative years. For acclaimed auteur Quentin Tarantino, the list of such films is an unending one as he has repeatedly stated that the movies he was exposed to as a child were more effective lessons for him than any film school could have been.
On multiple occasions, Tarantino has cited westerns and horror films as chief sources of inspiration for his own artistic journey towards becoming one of the world’s most prominent filmmakers. By borrowing from the likes of Sergio Leone and Mario Bava, Tarantino fashioned his own artistic vision that has been described as a pastiche by many.
One of those formative experiences happened when he went to catch one of the first screenings of a James Cameron film with his friends. In an interview – which can be seen below – Tarantino was asked to name a cinematic experience that ignited the spark within him to be a director and he immediately responded with the first such project that popped into his head.
The film in question was Cameron’s Aliens, the 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott’s iconic horror classic Alien. At the time, Tarantino was in his 20s and he went to watch the film in Westwood on the Friday that it opened. He recalled that the film was so popular that there were “long lines around the block for every single screen”.
Tarantino had to wait in line for around two hours before he was let into the theatre and while he waited there with his colleagues from the video store he worked at, they saw James Cameron in there. “On the day it opened, he was orchestrating everything, he was making sure that the audience got in, got them out, making sure that the project was good,” Tarantino said and claimed that very few people even recognised him.
“Then we saw the movie and it was one of those things where… you have a situation where a lot of movies are built up and everything,” Tarantino explained. “This couldn’t be built up more and it couldn’t have delivered more. I just remember having this thought process while watching the movie: ‘Oh my god! We were expecting so much and it’s giving us more! This is as good an experience for an action movie as you can ever have in a theatre.”
See the interview in full, below.