American auteur Quentin Tarantino redefined filmmaking in the 1990s with delightfully subversive cult classics such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. After proving to everyone that he still has what it takes to make films at the highest level with his critically acclaimed 2019 project Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino has declared that he is going to quit while he is at the top of his field.
Throughout his career, Tarantino has always maintained that he was going to make ten films in total because the filmographies of other filmmakers only get worse after that point. “I know film history and from here on [out], directors do not get better,” Tarantino explained. Although there are no details about what his final project is going to be, fans have already started speculating about the possibilities.
While some have referred to his recent high-profile interview with Joe Rogan where he stated that this is the time to make an adaptation of a great novel, others have discovered an old interview with Charlie Rose where he declared: “There is one story that I could be interested in, but it would probably be one of the last movies I [ever make] … My favourite hero in American history is John Brown.”
When Tarantino is asked about the filmmakers he looks up to, he always cites Sergio Leone as a major influence. That’s certainly not a significant shock since there are multiple parallels between his own works and Leone’s masterpieces, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Tarantino has also acknowledged the impact of Mario Bava’s works on his cinematic journey, claiming that Bava was the director that taught him to recognise unique styles.
One of his contemporaries has also ended up on that list, with Tarantino claiming that the director is “perfect”. That filmmaker is none other than Steven Spielberg, one of the biggest names in the film industry who is known for elevating the spectacle of cinema to the most grandiose version possible in works like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List.
In an interview with Charlie Rose before the release of Saving Private Ryan, Tarantino said: “He’s just such a perfect filmmaker. When he comes up with the ‘Taking of Shanghai’ sequence, for instance in Empire of the Sun. I talked to him about Saving Private Ryan and he goes, ‘Oh, we’re going to create the greatest ‘Taking of Omaha Beach’ ever!’ I have no doubt he will.”
Adding, “He’s just a master. I’m sure he’s going to do the greatest ‘Taking of Omaha Beach ever capture on film. That king of filmmaking language, I think I’ve got it too but in a different way. I could learn something from him.”
Tarantino also included Spielberg’s 1975 summer blockbuster Jaws on his list of 11 favourite films of all time, alongside seminal masterpieces by pioneers like Martin Scorsese and Billy Wilder.