Quentin Tarantino's 9th film is about to hit theatres. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a nostalgic look back to Tinsel Town back at the tail end of the '60s.
Here are Odyssey Cinemas we decided to do a bit of a look back ourselves to more recent times. The nineties to be precise. The golden age of the independent film. An era that gave us directors like Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez and Paul Thomas Anderson.
When you think of nineties independent films, there is only one name that springs to mind, isn't there?
You guessed it, Quentin Tarantino.
Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are coming to Odyssey Cinemas
To celebrate Odyssey Cinemas will be showing Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in the lead up to the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
First, you're probably wondering who am I to be writing about the filmmaker. Let me tell you. No one has been a more significant influence on me than Tarantino.
To tell the story, I need to go back and just like the man himself, I need to tell it out of order.
I was born in '86 and was very much a child of the eighties. All my favourite films were big American blockbusters. Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Terminator and Robocop (the edited TV version "Your a mean mother crusher!"). I considered myself a film lover, even though my taste was narrow.
That was until one night in October 2001.
Say what again
Pulp Fiction will always be in my top 5 films of all time, you want to know how I know?
I remember every detail of my first viewing.
I was fifteen, babysitting for the kids up to the street and waiting for their parents to come home. I was watching an I Love 1994 a nostalgia clip show where they get comedians you've never heard of to talk about Poggs. You know the deal. As a companion to the show, they would show an iconic film from the year, and that film was Pulp Fiction.
It blew my mind.
How was this film so entertaining? There was no action, no car chases and no special effects. It was people talking to each other. I was riveted, it had me hooked. That weekend I rented it from the local Xtra Vision watched it again. Invited my best friend around. Watched again. I couldn't get my head around what made it so enjoyable. How did this film have me hooked and wanting more?
Now that I’m much much older it’s all about how Tarantino uses his dialogue to build the suspense. On some level you understand that when the talking stops the shooting starts.
In wanting to know more I started watching interviews with the man himself noting the films he would mention and then track them down.
Pulp Fiction made me realise that there was more to film than punches, kicks and explosions. I became engaged in older cinema and movies from all over the world. From the French New Wave to Italian neo-realism to the Jidaigeki films of Japan.
I loved the cinema and Tarantino is responsible for broadening my palette.
Now you have the chance to see the film that will open the door to a secret world of cinema.
Looking for some happiness
I saw Reservoir Dogs late night on Channel 4 as part of their "I fought the law" crime season. They followed it up with Ringo Lam's City on Fire which Tarantino borrows heavily from for plot. It had all the great dialogue, tough guys unsure of each other but it did something else for me too. It showed me that anyone could make a film. It's the use of a single location, small cast and script that crackles told me that filmmaking was doable. Especially for those of us who didn't go to film school.
I would go on to make my own feature-length film for £800. (It's called Deadville, you can watch it on Youtube for free. It's...something alright.)
So you have a choice do you want to be like a school friend who never got the appeal "It's just some guy who won't tip". Do you want to come to Odyseey Cinemas and revel in the blood-soaked glory of Quentin's first two films?
Zed's Dead baby, Zed's dead
My love for Tarantino has changed over the years. He had a real opportunity to mature and develop after Jackie Brown. Something happened after Brown. When he came back after a long break, the films were a bit more juvenile and focused on revenge. My gratitude for him is still strong. I hope Once Upon A Time will be a glimpse at the Tarantino that could have been
Since Kill Bill, I've been there opening weekend every time. I'll be there opening weekend for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood too and hope you will be as well.
I also hope you'll join us at Odyssey Cinemas for Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
If you do, then maybe you' l be able to answer the two big questions:
What's in the case?
Who shot "Nice Guy" Eddie?