Dear Mr Tarantino,
I hear that you are considering retirement once you’ve made ten films? Although I totally respect you for capping yourself and holding back from directing yourself into the ground like many a filmmaker before you, I want to attempt to convince you to reconsider.
For as long as I can remember, ‘Quentin Tarantino’ has been a name which has meant a great deal to me as film fan with an interest for filmmaking. The catchy ring that it possesses seems to roll off the tongue like a line of your dialogue, hitting with the full force of a Samuel L. Jackson speech, reminding a generation that a video store clerk from Knoxville could be a figurehead of cinema.
With Reservoir Dogs you capitalised the indie filmmaking dream, proving that the talent and passion of an individual is as powerful as any studio. Pulp Fiction, perhaps your magnum opus, formed a cultural phenomenon. You gave birth to a new way of making and thinking about films, inspiring millions to do it ‘The Tarantino Way’. Jackie Brown, perhaps your most underrated film and your only book adaptation, showcased your ability to simply tell stories. Lets not forget Kill Bill, (Volumes 1 and 2- Lets say it is one film. I’d like to argue different, but you made them so who am I to judge) pure thrilling, and often beautiful, violence and gore wrapped into a powerful revenge story. Your fifth, Death Proof, may be less respected but another which I feel is massively under appreciated. That brings us to the mature Tarantino stage we find ourselves in currently, starting with Inglourious Basterds, a prime example of your directing ability, followed by Django Unchained another weighty revenge picture set against the backdrop of slavery. And of course, most recently, The Hateful Eight, a call back to the Reservoir Dogs days of your early career: one setting, one mystery, lots of talking, and tons of violence.
It is hard to find another auteur with such a faultless repertoire, which I suppose is the exact reason you are considering heading for the hills to write novels and leave your film career perfectly intact, but here is my counter argument. Film needs you now more than ever. In an era of endless reboots, sequels, extended universes and adaptations, the name ‘Quentin Tarantino’ is a symbol of what filmmaking once was and what it always should remain to be: surprising, original, thought-provoking, and most of all, fun. The release of a Tarantino film isn’t the same as other films; it’s an event, a beacon of cinematic gold shining through a landscape of cloned attempts to reinvigorate sleeping blockbusters.
So although it may seem like a nice idea, shacking up in a cabin somewhere with your dressing gown and opium pipe, sat in front of a type writer dreaming up more witty dialogue, this time in novel form, consider us, your audience. Imagine it, the curtain rises, the titles roll, ‘Little Green Bag’ plays over the slow motion image of five suited men wearing shades, strolling towards the camera and those immortal words appear ‘A Quentin Tarantino Film’. That, among other things which your films offer, can’t be experienced on the pages of a book. Your name belongs on the screen (your name only though, I hate to say it but the acting thing just doesn’t work.) Film is more than just your career and you know that, film is your passion, your reason for living. Film is your home.
It has been a long 25 years since you began your journey to become one of the most acknowledged names in modern cinema, I just hope you don’t forget the reason your journey began in the first place and you always remember the young man in the video store who wanted nothing more than to make films. It may be said that every dog has its day, but I have a suspicion that you, Mr Tarantino, have a lot more bite left in you.