Sometimes it may seem that this is not the case, but any upcoming film has a chance to be called by someone “the greatest film ever made.” However, this honor has some special reservations if you’re like director Quentin Tarantino. Not only did the director of “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” choose the Steven Spielberg classic for this distinction, Tarantino also explained why this name is very specific.
In an upcoming interview for our in-house ReelBlend podcast, Quentin Tarantino spoke for the fourth time to talk about everything related to cinema; the first after a big live show at the New Beverly Cinema. While promoting his new joint appearance on The Video Archives Podcast, Tarantino had another lively discussion about cinema, which led to him choosing Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” as the greatest “movie” ever made. This distinction is important because the director of the movie “Once upon a Time… in Hollywood” made it clear in the following remarks:
I think Jaws is the best movie ever made. Maybe not the best movie. But this is the greatest movie ever made. And there are other films that can get into its thin air. But as for the film, it’s better not to make it “Jaws”. There is nothing “better” than “Jaws”. This is the best movie ever made. And it shows how badly timed most of the films shot before “Jaws” are.
Give Quentin Tarantino the opportunity to divide his tastes in cinema into two separate important camps: “cinema” and “films”. In this case, the name of the film sounds almost like an abbreviation of the blockbuster opuses that Steven Spielberg made a name for himself. This means that “films” seem to be more independent/arthouse titles that have a higher pedigree and usually end up on the best picture nominees lists every year.
Strangely enough, “Jaws” is one of six horror films nominated for “Best Film”, so the line in this regard may be a little blurred. Leaving aside the debate between “cinema” and “film”, Quentin Tarantino does not use this division to be a snob. Later in the conversation, he explained that such glasses are a separate art form, and how Steven Spielberg became the one who perfected it:
By this I meant, to one degree or another, that Spielberg and many of his associates grew up watching such films in the cinema. “Henry Levin’s Journey to the Center of the Earth”, he will run to see it. The fantastic journey of Richard Fleischer. He’s going to run and go see it. They’re Gordon Douglas! He’s going to run and go take a look. So… most of them were not so well directed. These were tasks given to the journeyman directors who did their best with them. That’s how we used to see comics — such a movie experience. Unlike Spielberg, who said, “No, this is exactly the movie he likes.” This is exactly the movie for which he was sent to earth. And he’s going to make it an inch of his life as effective as possible. And you know, Michael Anderson doesn’t put that kind of work into Logan’s Escape.
Spielberg and his “cohorts” like George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Copolla seized on genres that were funnier in their childhood, only to turn them into something new. Thanks to films like Jaws, Star Wars, Taxi Driver and The Godfather, we saw a generation of directors who took films they liked and brought them to life through their personal lenses. That’s exactly what Quentin Tarantino would have done when he came on stage with “Mad Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction”; and that’s why he’s such a staunch supporter of the cinematic experience.
If this conversation boils down to anything, then it’s a game recognizing a game. Just as Steven Spielberg idolized the films that helped make Jaws, Quentin Tarantino is in awe of the bearded director and his dedication to making films that awakened his love for cinema. Although, given his co-creator Samuel L. Jackson’s history with sharks, you have to wonder if this has already caused any humorous conversations between them?
(Image courtesy of Universal Pictures)
You will be able to watch and listen to Quentin Tarantino’s latest performance on ReelBlend, as it will be released on YouTube tomorrow. Meanwhile, Tarantino may not be working on his tenth and final film yet, but you can still enjoy the gift of this man’s word in two very cool ways.
Tarantino’s Video Archives podcast, which he co-hosts with friend and co-creator Roger Avery, is currently being broadcast wherever you find great listening material. However, if you also want to read this man’s thoughts on 70s filmmaking in his upcoming book, Cinematic Speculations, which you can already pre-order on Amazon (opens in a new tab); or any other good bookseller.