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“For Hollywood and Miss Sharon!” Cinetextuality in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Columbia University Press blog | Ron Wilson

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood has garnered plenty of attention as a strong contender at the Oscars this weekend. To better understand the buzz, Ron Wilson, author of a forthcoming volume on Tarantino for the Directors’ Cuts series joins us on the blog today with this discussion of the cinetextuality in Tarantino’s latest film.

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Tarantino’s acceptance remarks at the 31st Palm Springs International Film Festival when presented with the Director of the Year award emphasized the importance of the cinema-going experience in a world where the concept of instant gratification now extends to domestic screen viewing on a variety of platforms. The director has constantly stressed the importance of film formats (35mm and 70mm) over digital ones not only with the production of films but most importantly, for him, the true theatrical experience of viewing a film as a communal one with the format itself being an integral part of that experience. This is part of Tarantino’s cinephilia (“love of cinema”) a cinephilia that also extends to the aural and visual content of his films and is a significant aspect of his auteurism. Nowhere is this cinephilia better displayed than in the 9th film by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.

A distinct trait of Tarantino’s cinephilia is that he puts it to practice in his films, which are replete with visual and aural references and allusions to numerous films and television shows that the director holds dear. This practical use of cinephilia typically takes the form of what I call... Read more



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