Maverick filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is someone who gives new meaning to the term ‘auteur’ in cinema. So rare it is, to find a filmmaker whose films are but an amalgamation of all the films he has watched and loved his entire life, yet which possess so daringly original a voice.
Tarantino is the quintessential example of a man who is so consumed by his passion for cinema that everything he has done his entire life has revolved around it. He has worked as an usher at a movie theatre, as a clerk at a video rental store, and even as an Elvis Presley impersonator on a TV show, before turning film director.
Tarantino: The Film-watcher.
In fact, it was during these formative years that he watched so many films from across the globe, which eventually contributed to the encyclopedic knowledge that he has about world cinema today. There is no greater example of someone who has learnt his craft simply by watching what others have done before him. When asked once, about whether he went to film school, his reply was simply, “I went to films.”
Strangely enough, he also considers watching bad films as much of a learning experience as watching classics from the masters. He claims that apart from the fact that bad cinema teaches you what not to do, if you scour the depths of B and C grade cinema, you’ll find some gems that didn’t get the recognition they deserve.
He never hated any film.
Quentin Tarantino, in fact, once said something that must serve as an important message for everyone who is inspired – by him or otherwise – to pursue their dreams in cinema. “Never hate a movie,” he said. His logic? If you ‘hate’ a film, it’ll bother you, but never benefit you in anyway. But choose to merely dislike a film, then look at what makes you dislike it, and you’ll know exactly what to avoid when making your own film!
Don’t try to love what you do. Instead, do what you love. There is nothing like an all-consuming passion for what you do for a living, and there’s no way you can fail at doing something which you love so much that it is the only thing you know how to do.
Respect the history of the field or vocation you’ve chosen to follow; both the good as well as the bad of it. Every little bit of it has contributed to where the field exists today, and where it is headed tomorrow.
~ Pradeep Menon