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Tarantino & 'legacies' 
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Post Tarantino & 'legacies'
Tarantino recently was part of roundtable discussion for the Hollywood Reporter, where talked about his reasons for retiring from directing(forgot the exact number of films left he says he has planned)
One of the reasons he gave was that he didn't want to hurt his 'legacy' by staying around too long and producing lesser works. He reiterated these comments on Howard Stern last week. The example he gave of a director 'staying around too long' was Billy Wilder. He said Wilder made a really fine film in 1972 called Avanti & that would have been a great way for him to end his career. He then said Wilder made 3 more films after that, all of which are awful.

Does anyone agree with this? or think lesser of some great directors because they made some crappy films? I think he's a bit harsh on Wilder, who I don't think has dropped in the estimation of film fans at all due to his later work.
I think its a bit unfair for Tarantino to compare himself to Wilder in the first place(or any of the directors in the old studio system) since Tarantino's only made 8 films(7 if you count Kill Bill as 1 movie) in 20 years. while after his first movie Wilder made 17 films in 20 years. directors in those days didn't have the luxury of taking so long in between films, if they wanted to keep directing.

btw Avanti is a pretty good film


Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
calvero wrote:
Tarantino recently was part of roundtable discussion for the Hollywood Reporter, where talked about his reasons for retiring from directing(forgot the exact number of films left he says he has planned)
One of the reasons he gave was that he didn't want to hurt his 'legacy' by staying around too long and producing lesser works. He reiterated these comments on Howard Stern last week. The example he gave of a director 'staying around too long' was Billy Wilder. He said Wilder made a really fine film in 1972 called Avanti & that would have been a great way for him to end his career. He then said Wilder made 3 more films after that, all of which are awful.

Does anyone agree with this? or think lesser of some great directors because they made some crappy films? I think he's a bit harsh on Wilder, who I don't think has dropped in the estimation of film fans at all due to his later work.
I think its a bit unfair for Tarantino to compare himself to Wilder in the first place(or any of the directors in the old studio system) since Tarantino's only made 8 films(7 if you count Kill Bill as 1 movie) in 20 years. while after his first movie Wilder made 17 films in 20 years. directors in those days didn't have the luxury of taking so long in between films, if they wanted to keep directing.

btw Avanti is a pretty good film

Tarantino's reason is one that could be applied to any career/endeavor, not just filmmaking. There's that part from the poem "To An Athlete Dying Young" by A.E. Housman:

"Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man."


This sums up perfectly what Quentin was talking about- it's better to leave a good legacy than to spoil it with inferior efforts. Just look at George Lucas for an example of someone who didn't follow this advice. As for Wilder: Tarantino can compare fairly favorably to him or any of the directors of the old system, just because he's had a lasting influence on filmmaking like they did, regardless of how many films he's made so far.

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Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Another example of "staying around for too long" (IMHO) was Alfred Hitchcock. I think he did just great up to and including "Psycho". "The Birds" was O.K. but not quite up there. "Marnie", "Torn Curtain" and "Topaz" somehow were all over the place, non of them as brilliant as Hitchcock's work from 1940 through 1960. He managed to make one more great movie (Frenzy) and a last one which is not brilliant Hitchcock but fun (Family Plot) - with a music score of Mr. John Williams himself. He kind of managed to redeem himself with those last two movies, but he definitely stayed around for too long. IMHO "Psycho" would have been a fantastic example how to call it a day with style and a "take that, suckers!" attitude. I sincerely hope Tarantino can go out like that.


Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:49 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
I don't feel that I look down on directors who fizzled out in retrospect, but when you're alive during their filmography it's a problem. When Woody Allen throws up To Rome, With Love, I feel embarrassed for him.


...but then, if he Allen had quit before the 2000s I never would have gotten Match Point. And as Perf mentioned, Frenzy is pretty excellent. One Frenzy is worth Marnie/The Birds/Torn Curtain. So I say, keep directing, sirs and madams. Because we can ignore the stinkers and hope you get lucky with something great.

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Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
JamesKunz wrote:
...but then, if he Allen had quit before the 2000s I never would have gotten Match Point. And as Perf mentioned, Frenzy is pretty excellent. One Frenzy is worth Marnie/The Birds/Torn Curtain. So I say, keep directing, sirs and madams. Because we can ignore the stinkers and hope you get lucky with something great.


Amen to that.


Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
calvero wrote:
Tarantino recently was part of roundtable discussion for the Hollywood Reporter, where talked about his reasons for retiring from directing(forgot the exact number of films left he says he has planned)
One of the reasons he gave was that he didn't want to hurt his 'legacy' by staying around too long and producing lesser works. He reiterated these comments on Howard Stern last week. The example he gave of a director 'staying around too long' was Billy Wilder. He said Wilder made a really fine film in 1972 called Avanti & that would have been a great way for him to end his career. He then said Wilder made 3 more films after that, all of which are awful.


I know this isn't the point of the thread, but since when is The Front Page considered awful?


Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:09 am
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Quote:
I know this isn't the point of the thread, but since when is The Front Page considered awful?


I don't think it is, but Tarantino does. He also thinks Owen Wilson sucks(per the Stern interview)
The guy likes to talk a bit too much imo (he says he'll retire after 3 more films, let's see if he keeps his word - I doubt it)


Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:23 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Tarantino also talked about someone getting into film being able to pick any 3 of his movies to be able to get into him as a director. He used Howard Hawks as an example from when he was a child, saying he watched Rio Bravo, His Girl Friday, and another Hawks movie I can't remember somewhat randomly and in quick succession, became a huge fan of the director, and went on to seek out virtually all of his movies. I think he wants to avoid someone picking one of his movies at random and being turned off to the rest of his work. That said, I think there's many more avenues for a budding film fan to find out what's generally considered good from a director and what isn't today (and going forward) than there was when Tarantino was young.

I actually kind of think a little less of him for being so concerned with his legacy. On one hand, it's neat to hear someone like him have an awareness for his own filmography, but if someone is a real artist who has a passion for their craft, I think it would be nearly impossible to just give it up because you're concerned with how future generations will think of you. You only get so many years in life, why stop doing what you love to do more than anything if you don't have to?


Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Quote:
Tarantino also talked about someone getting into film being able to pick any 3 of his movies to be able to get into him as a director. He used Howard Hawks as an example from when he was a child, saying he watched Rio Bravo, His Girl Friday, and another Hawks movie I can't remember somewhat randomly and in quick succession, became a huge fan of the director, and went on to seek out virtually all of his movies.


I wonder what he thought of Hawks' later movies, they're not highly regarded. I got a little irritated that he singled out Wilder(twice)
some friends heard these interviews & asked me, "is Buddy Buddy really that bad?"
Tarantino shapes a lot views with anything he says, he is like a god to so many film fans.

Quote:
That said, I think there's many more avenues for a budding film fan to find out what's generally considered good from a director and what isn't today (and going forward) than there was when Tarantino was young.


Yeah, that was sort of a weird analogy. I doubt many kids today rely on the tv guide listings when they want to seek out a director.

Quote:
I actually kind of think a little less of him for being so concerned with his legacy


He does seem a bit full of himself (I remember the email that foot fetish girl wrote last year -where he said "but Kill Bill is one of my seminal films!"


Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Yeah, QT does come off as pretty arrogant at times. I highly doubt he's going to retire anytime soon.


Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
PeachyPete wrote:
On one hand, it's neat to hear someone like him have an awareness for his own filmography, but if someone is a real artist who has a passion for their craft, I think it would be nearly impossible to just give it up because you're concerned with how future generations will think of you. You only get so many years in life, why stop doing what you love to do more than anything if you don't have to?


Excellent point. I think it is a matter of being cautious and sensitive. If an artist (no matter if writer, playwright, photographer, composer, film director.....) feels that they run out of ideas and are either repeating themselves or trying to do something different and it doesn't work, it is good advice thinking about retiring. Bringing on once again the example of Hitchcock (he tried to go "lean and mean" with his tv crew, away from the lush color photography in "Psycho" it worked perfectly. Then he started to keep up with the '60s - and even started arguing with composer Bernard Herrmann because he wanted a "jazzier" score for "Torn curtain" - and see the mess he made.) In 1972 he literally went back to the roots, back to London, back to an all British cast and black humor - and it worked brilliantly. Hitchcock still had one truly great movie in him, but it's hard to tell. I fully understand that noone will want to go out as a "has been" with a string of mediocre movies. Tarantino has his very own trademark style. Similar to the Coens he uses very articulate dialog which the characters never would use in "real life" - that is the very stuff for great and sophisticated humor. Tarantino also has a great way of quoting 60s and 70s exploitation and B movies almost verbatim and with great energy and zest - and it is great fun. But when does his style finally become "deja vu"? I think he is aware of his limitations, since he is by now a slave of his own style. It's all about cool. Tarantino directing a straight drama? No way. Or is it? BUT - if he does, he would lose any cred for the cool stuff. I think Tarantino knows that he long since painted himself into a corner. I am a fan. I would love to have him around for many more years. I hope he has enough inspiration to pull it off.


Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Tarantino makes movies about movies. It makes sense that he would have the same sense of awareness about how his own catalog is going to function as a singular entity after his career is over.

That said, I think his best bet is to make movies for as long as he feels the need to do so, and put his worries about his oeuvre aside. Make the movies and let history sort them out. Nobody's going to forget Pulp Fiction just because he made Death Proof 2 when he was 60.

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Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
JamesKunz wrote:
I don't feel that I look down on directors who fizzled out in retrospect, but when you're alive during their filmography it's a problem. When Woody Allen throws up To Rome, With Love, I feel embarrassed for him.


...but then, if he Allen had quit before the 2000s I never would have gotten Match Point. And as Perf mentioned, Frenzy is pretty excellent. One Frenzy is worth Marnie/The Birds/Torn Curtain. So I say, keep directing, sirs and madams. Because we can ignore the stinkers and hope you get lucky with something great.


Which is true for some directors. After Wise BBlood, John Huston directed a bunch of stinkers (most notably Annie). But he ended his career on a good note with Prizzi's Hnor and The Dead. Robert Altman, after missing trhoughout most of the 80s, came back in the 90s with The Player and Short uts, missed a few more times, then ended his career on a high note with Prairie Home Companion. Sidney Lumet was on a downhill slope in the early to mid 1990s and for a while in the 2000s. Yet he ended his career on a high note with Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.

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Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:46 am
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
Vexer wrote:
Yeah, QT does come off as pretty arrogant at times. I highly doubt he's going to retire anytime soon.


I hope he has another 20 or so films to go. He's in pretty good form right now.

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Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:56 am
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
calvero wrote:
I don't think it is, but Tarantino does. He also thinks Owen Wilson sucks(per the Stern interview)
The guy likes to talk a bit too much imo (he says he'll retire after 3 more films, let's see if he keeps his word - I doubt it)


I would say that he will be a producer but a really hands on one.
there will be a token director. but every produced Tarantino film will still be a Tarintino film.
On a side note: what if he does change his mind. does it really matter


Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:41 am
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Post Re: Tarantino & 'legacies'
I think auteur theory is actually on the decline. It reached a definitive peak, and what goes up must come down. In the decades to come, there will still be plenty of people who make no connection between pulp fiction and basterds. QT should just stop worrying.


Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:53 pm
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