In His New Book, Tarantino Talks Psycho and Hitchcock
Quentin Tarantino(QT) says he is only going to make(write and direct) one more movie before calling it quits and retiring. He wants a total of 10, he says he's made 9 (not REALLY true -- what about Four Rooms?) and it has been three years plus since he made his last one -- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with two of our biggest stars(Leo and Brad) one of our greatest legends (Pacino) the hot new female(Margot Robbie) and others. As QT says, that's enough to end on right there.
But...one more. He says he's in no hurry, particularly given how COVID crippled movie theaters and everybody's going to streaming. "I won't make my final movie until things settle down." Indeed , by sheer luck, QT released OATIH in 2019, right before the COVID hit the fan ("We flew in through the window right before it closed.")
I'm figuring QT might just maybe pull a Kubrick. It was TWELVE YEARS from Full Metal Jacket in 1987 to his final film Eyes Wide Shut in 1999(Kubrick conveniently died before that film was released.)
In the meantime...QT has found his calling: he's movie history buff and critic. He "snuck" some critical essays into the mind of Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth and other characters in his 2021 novelization of OATIH...and here just over a year later, he's released his "first" nonfiction book of film buffery: "Cinema Speculation."
The title of the book is actually also the title of one of its chapters, so to dispense with that: Cinema Speculation is basically "what if?" QT notes that Taxi Driver was originally to star -- young Jeff Bridges(!) -- under the direction of Hitchcock copycat Brian DePalma. So...speculate on THAT.
I was thinking if the issue is casting, there are a lot of "What ifs?" in Hitchcock -- casting choices he didn't get and who replaced them.
What if Grace Kelly starred in Marnie?(Not Tippi Hedren.)
What if Michael Caine starred in Frenzy(not Barry Foster.)
What if William Holden starred in Strangers on a Train(not Farley Granger)
What if William Holden starred in The Trouble With Harry (not John Forsythe)
What if Barbara Stanwyk starred in Saboteur(not Priscilla Lane)
What if Claudette Colbert starred in Foreign Correspondent(not Laraine Day.)
QT interviews and clickbait are all over the internet right now. He has no movie to promote, but he has a BOOK, so interviewers are clamouring for him (why, Howard Stern even got him.)
Biggest clickbait headline(of course): "Tarantino says Marvel stars aren't movie stars." He says a few more things about Marvel and joins Scorsese and Coppola in astutely calling a spade a spade and looking like old men. QT adds that he might have loved the Marvel movies as late as his 30's, but he's too old now. He says he will never direct one because "that's hired hand work for hire."
QT has put out some other nifty items for argument. I'll paraphrase right here:
"The 50s and the 80's were the worst decades for movies, except for right now."(The 20's? Trouble numbering decades ahead.)
And I mean in this book, he HATES the 80's ("that f'ing decade.") I can only paraphrase what he says, but he makes this point: "At least in the 50's there was the Hays Code, censorship and repression. Supposedly the 70's opened the door for the 80's to be free, too."
I've read THIS before. The culprits are "Spielberg/Lucas" and their ilk, and what one critic called "the infantilization of the movies." Now QT finds Jaws to be one of the most perfect movies ever made, but I get what he's thinking. Jaws REMAINS Spielberg's best work -- he was under the gun, not spoiled, doing a thriller, etc. He got a top grossing movie of all time out of that, and won that mantle again later with ET(great but perhaps too Disney) and Jurassic Park(good, but no Jaws.)
QT is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and world famous. I'm not. But his book shows we know some of the same things(we probably read the same books , like Biskind's seminal "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.")How Old Hollywood died out (QT cites Topaz as part of that) and New Hollywood came in and the 70's was just the Greatest Decade ever for movies. (But what about Airport 75? Or The Klansman?)
This QT book is an odd mix of the familiar and the "QT unique."
Bullitt(my favorite movie of 1968) gets a chapter. Dirty Harry(my favorite movie of 1971) gets a chapter. Several movies don't get a chapter, but dominate them -- Deliverance(hoo boy.) Taxi Driver(which QT calls "the most prestigious of the Revenge-o-matic movies" -- a great term that covers Dirty Harry, Death Wish, Rolling Thunder and a whole lotta Blaxploitation.