Quentin Tarantino recently released his ninth film “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” one of his most expensive, most profitable and biggest films behind his spaghetti Western blaxploitation epic “Django Unchained.” We are nearing his 10th and self-promised last feature film and, as he was one of my favorite directors growing up, I would love to see Tarantino follow through with his timeline.
However, the number of projects the director has fancied leaves me wary.
The promise of retirement first began to formulate between the years 2012 and 2014, but it reached the mainstream in 2015 at San Diego Comic-Con during the QA portion of Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” panel, in which he pondered his future.
He maintained his mission to hang it all up after his 10th film, as it became international news that the winner of the Palme d’Or wanted his legacy to be that of excellence.
His legacy is already disputed. He has left a filmography that has either aged worse than many had hoped or is wholly problematic. At the same time, he has grown in recent years to be indulgent. He has a new habit of abandoning his repackaging of Schlocky cinema in the form of cheeky references and an Easter egg hunt style of film-making.
The director has also made his intentions clear in recent years to direct a Star Trek film. His re-imagining intends to look like his movie “Pulp Fiction,” a ’90s suave subversion of ’60s and ’70s culture, and I can not help but sense a motif here.
The tragedy of Tarantino’s obsession with Star Trek probably stems from its odd inception in the ’60s, but “Galaxy Quest” already achieved what the Oscar-winning director hopes to create.
The distinction of feature film is also important. During that aforementioned 2015 panel, he also mused about creating an anthology series a la “American Horror Story” or “True Detective.” His release of an extended edition of “The Hateful Eight” on Netflix as a mini-series and his similar plans for “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” seem like a follow up to his flirtation with television as a format.
This is all without getting into the many other properties the auteur has fantasized about, including James Bond, “Flash Gordon” and Universal’s monster films, and his own properties such as his rumored third “Kill Bill” film.
Tarantino’s indecisiveness has left him between self-imposed rocks and hard places that seem desperate, so he should make a decision and end his film-making endeavor.
Tarantino is a director who, at one point, was one of the most creative voices in film, represented by the sheer fact that he was able to turn B movie film-making into high art. It seems that he has spiraled recently, however, and is shifting into a nostalgic filmmaker lamenting the fact that he was born in the wrong decade. He is starting to remind me of that one kid from high school who listened to Frank Sinatra and wore fedoras.
It is time we closed the book on Quentin Tarantino’s storied career. He is now nothing but a gatekeeper to a system of film-making that many directors are moving away from.
Opinion writer AK ALMoumen is a media production junior and can be reached at [email protected]