When Brad Pitt picked up his SAG Award for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood he proceeded to thank his co-stars “Leo [DiCaprio], Margot Robbie,” he began, “Margot Robbie’s feet, Margaret Qualley’s feet, Dakota Fanning’s feet, serious Quentin [Tarantino] has separated more women from their shoes than the TSA.”
However, this intuiting exposé is not an oddity that is limited to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino has given more screen time to toes throughout his career than Shih Tzu with a go-pro on its collar.
In every Tarantino movie, it would seem that at least one shot is dedicated to tootsies. Throughout his career, he has become synonymous with a great many auteur stylings, but aside from the violence, quick-fire dialogue and uber-cool aesthetics, he has also forged out a niche as the Dr Scholl of cinema who by rights should be lined up to direct a second Gandhi biopic.
While he was sadly unable to work a shot of a sole into the all-male crime debacle Reservoir Dogs, his follow-up Pulp Fiction saw Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) nude from the ankles down for almost the entire time. The shots in this sophomore epic, however, are subtle and did not necessarily foreshadow the great swathe of sockless females to come.
From Dusk Till Dawn was the movie that took what Pulp Fiction merely hinted at wafted it into the forefront. While he may have only written the script for the movie based on Robert Kurtzman’s storyline before handing the screenplay to his pal Robert Rodriguez, he was crafty enough to write himself a role that entailed Salma Hayek putting her foot into his mouth and pouring champagne down her leg in a gratifying act of self-casting akin to being the guy who courageously agrees to hold the foot of the ladders on a building site.
Next up was Jackie Brown, which springs a foot shot in when you least expect it. In fact, he even introduces Bridget Fonda’s character, Mel Ralston, from the feet up. In Kill Bill, feet are as ubiquitous as swords and even in the war epic Inglorious Basterds he inexplicably managed to get a shot of Diane Kruger’s cast-clad foot to occupy the screen for a few moments.
While the director denies any out and out foot fetish, there’s enough evidence to ask him to prove in court. In short, the reasons behind it are rather unfathomable, but the fact that we’re not only talking about it but have also dedicated a supercut (which will no doubt be bookmarked on Tarantino’s browser immediately should he ever discover it) is the proof of the big foot pudding. They are a calling card, of which his work is packed with a full deck. This propagation of recurring techniques has made him one of the most distinctive auteurs of modern times and beloved among the movie-going masses.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood being the triumph of trotters that it is, it is simply difficult to see how he will ever top it from a Paw D’or point of view, but we’re certainly curious to see it.