Sometimes when I enjoy a movie less than I thought I would, I find that my dissatisfaction stems from the feeling of having watched a movie made out of other movies, a Frankensteinian creation assembled from the dead bits and pieces that worked well when attached to their original bodies, alive long ago, but, when re-used, don't come to life at all. When avid cinephile turned avid cinephile and director Quentin Tarantino plays the role of a cinematic Dr. Frankenstein, however, he turns the voltage much higher up, elevating the practice to an auteur's art.
When Tarantino's films reference his favorite films — be they classics of the canon, tried-and-true westerns, kung-fu obscurities, pieces of European new-wave, or grind-house exploitation flicks — they often transcend their sources. Jacob Swinney, whose supercuts of Tarantino's use of sound, close-ups, and cars we featured back in April, has cut together 34 particularly impressive visual references of the thousands found in the director's filmography and placed them alongside the works quoted.
The video covers, in three minutes, visual references from the "Mexican standoff" from City of Fire in Reservoir Dogs to the dances from Band of Outsiders and 8 1/2 in Pulp Fiction to Superchick and The Graduate's opening titles in Jackie Brown to Bruce Lee's tracksuit in Game of Death on Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Volume One to Daryl Hannah's writhing from Blade Runner in Kill Bill Volume Two to framing from The Searchers in Inglorious Basterds.
It stops short of The Hateful Eight, Tarantino's latest, leaving it as an exercise for the viewer to tabulate just how wide a swatch of cinema the man has repurposed this time. He's gone on record as saying he'll only make two more feature films, but don't worry, cinephiles: they'll more than likely contain enough references to other movies, visual and otherwise, to keep you in viewing material for the next twenty years.
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.