Few living filmmakers have proven as able to spin their obsessions into cinematic gold as Quentin Tarantino. The most obvious of these spring from filmgoing itself — he’s reinvented and continues to reinvent so many of his favorite techniques from genre pictures of all eras and nations — but it doesn’t take an obsession with Tarantino to find others. His sweeping, often motormouthedly expressed ideas about violence in modern society will give film scholars plenty to write about for decades to come; those of baser interests might find some satisfaction tracking the director’s penchant for shots of women’s feet. And anyone who thrilled, early in Pulp Fiction, to John Travolta and Samuel Jackson’s conversation about what the French call a Quarter Pounder with cheese knows that he also must maintain a deep personal and professional interest in food.
Furthering this very specific subfield of Quentin Tarantino Studies, Dan Goodbaum has edited together the video above, which compiles images from notable food scenes in Tarantino’s work. (Grantland’s Zach Dionne catalogued twenty of them here.) Over it, we hear a segment from Elvis Mitchell interviewing Tarantino on his radio show, The Treatment. Mitchell, ace noticer of his filmmaking guests’ themes, tricks, and tics, mentions to Tarantino “how food is used for power in your movies.” We then see and hear about the meaning of, among other comestibles, the burger in Pulp Fiction, the nachos in Death Proof, the rice in Kill Bill Volume 2 , the strudel in Inglourious Basterds, and all the sweets (taken from Leonardo DiCaprio’s real eating habits) in Django Unchained. “When you watch Jackie Brown,” Tarantino says, “you want a screwdriver.” We see a shot of the drink, albeit dominated by Patricia Arquette’s feet. But that’s another video.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.