Monday, 10 August 2015

The Unique Directorisms of Quentin Tarantino

Just what is an “ism”, anyway? An “ism” is a distinctive style, system, or characteristic of something.

So with that in mind I made up a new word!  Directorism.  This is a distinctive style or characteristic of a director.  Have you ever walked into the middle of a movie and been able to tell who the director was simply by the look and feel of the movie itself? One of the directors that stands out the most with a distinct style is our favorite weirdo, Quentin Tarantino.  He’s thrown us some greats like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards, and Reservoir DogsBut what is it that MAKES these movies so characteristic of QT?  Let’s take a look at some of the things that stand out the most.


His characters are long-winded and if you’ve ever seen an interview with QT you understand almost immediately why.  He’s full of life and vigor and, as a result, so are his characters.  Though there are many, here are just two examples of some of his great, chilling monologues. (NSFW based on language.)

First, Pulp Fiction:

Chills.  I have some chills right now.  Is it chilly in here?  No.  That’s just the effect Samuel L. Jackson has on you.

Now, Inglorious Bastards: 

This gives me even more chills.  Landa is downright scary.

Trunk Shots

It’s an interesting POV shot, as if you are the one in the trunk looking out.  It gives off a feeling of intimidation as you’re watching and QT uses this liberally.

Point proven. Oh wait! Is that… is that QT himself in that From Dusk Till Dawn scene? Yes, it is. Which brings us to our next point...

QT loves to play minor roles in his own films.  On one level you might think this is an ego thing, directing AND getting a part in the film.  However, most of the parts (though he plays a little bit of a larger part in From Dusk Till Dawn) are self deprecating, or incredibly minor. In the first example, QT is the answering machine in Reservoir Dogs. But in the following examples, QT does make a personal appearance in the film.

Reservoir Dogs

Pulp Fiction

Death Proof


It’s no secret that QT has a thing for putting feet into a film.  The following YouTube video is NSFW because of language and violence. The video showcases that QT uses feet in his movies many times to push the story forward, or to make a statement; so much so that someone was able to create an 8 minute compilation video. 

Are there any other QT trademarks you think are worth mentioning?  Or some favorite Directorisms of other directors?  Talk it out in the comments!

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