With Inglourious Basterds opening in theaters everywhere this Friday, August 21st, it will mark Quentin Tarantino's sixth movie (if you count the Kill Bills as one movie). Compared to some other directors that's not that many movies - particularly considering the talent Tarantino has for both writing and directing.
Anyone who knows anything about Tarantino will know that he's not only a filmmaker but a truly avid and well-versed film fan. He's revealed his almost encyclopedic knowledge of movies on several occasions, including during TV, print and online interviews, to commentary tracks and film discussion documentaries (a notable example of the latter is the recent Not Quite Hollywood - wow, does he know his stuff). Many of Tarantino's favorite films are obscure and older movies (Rio Bravo I believe is his favorite of all time) that many of us may not have seen or even heard of.
So, bringing things a bit more up-to-date, what are Tarantino's favorite movies of the last couple of decades or so? Well, the man himself has recorded a little video where he reveals his favorite movies of the last 17 years. Why that specific number, you ask? Well, that's how long he's been making movies, with his first directorial effort, Reservoir Dogs, being made in 1992. The list is very interesting: for example, there isn't a Best Picture winner anywhere on it, which just furthers Tarantino's reputation as a lover of cinema and not just what's universally popular. Take a look:
Wow, what an eclectic list of movies Tarantino's chosen as his top 20. I'm happy to say I've seen 14 out of the 20, and the ones I haven't seen are as a result of me just not having had the opportunity to watch them. I fully do plan to catch up with them though - now that one of my favorite directors rates them so highly.
There's a few choices on there that are really popular with a lot of movie goers (Fight Club, The Matrix, Shaun of the Dead), but for the most part his choices aren't predictable. It's interesting that he notes that The Matrix has dropped on his list because the second and third movies ruined the mythology for him - I share in that frustration, QT, I really do. I'm also glad to see Unbreakable (my favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie), Joint Security Area and Friday get a mention - three movies that often go overlooked or underrated.
I, for one, really enjoyed this video. Him referring to Shyamalan as "Shamalamadingdong" cracked me up :P It's great to see what a filmmaker thinks of his peers' work, and which movies he ranks above others. There are plenty of other movies that could have been on that list (Oldboy, Donnie Darko and Mulholland Drive would be on mine for sure), with Oldboy being a particularly strange omission, since Tarantino himself pushed for it to win the Palm d'Or at Cannes when he served as President of the Jury back in 2003. But as I'm sure Tarantino will agree with, it's hard to put these lists together fairly - whenever I do, I always feel bad for leaving certain movies out.
This was fun: let's hop more of our favorite directors put together these lists.
Do you agree or disagree with any of the choices out of Tarantino's top 20? Which movies would you put on your list?
Inglourious Basterds opens in theaters this Friday, August 21st, 2009.
Source: Sky Movies (via InContention) and YouTube