When Quentin Tarantino isn’t talking about how much he loves his own movies, he’s calling every other new movie “the worst in Hollywood history.” Lambasting Marvel and the current era of films, the Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood director stated that modern movies are alongside with the ’50s and the ’80s as the worst era of films ever made. “Even though the ’80s was the time that I probably saw more movies in my life than ever–at least as far as going out to the movies was concerned–I do feel that ’80s cinema is, along with the ’50s, the worst era in Hollywood history,” he explained on The Video Archives Podcast. “Matched only by now, matched only by the current era.”
The director was promoting the release of his new book, Cinema Speculation, when he was asked to speculate and pick his own best film on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show. Tarantino gave the honors to Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the two play a struggling Western actor and his stuntman. When the 2019 film first debuted, Esquire called it “a Shakespearean masterpiece.” Margot Robbie also controversially portrayed Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time, which depicted a pseudo-parody of the infamous Manson murders. “For years people used to ask me stuff like that, and I would say something like, ‘Oh, they’re all my children,'” Tarantino said. “I really do think Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is my best movie.”
Back in June 2021, the Pulp Fiction director stated that Once Upon a Time could even be his last film. “Most directors have horrible last movies. Usually their worst movies are their last movies,” he told the Pure Cinema Podcast. “That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the late ’60s and the ’70s, then that ended up being the case for most of the New Hollywood directors who made their last movies in the late ’80s and the ’90s… Maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic on Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.” Tarantino did promise fans that his last film would be his tenth, however, meaning that he still has one in the chamber to deliver.
Tarantino’s latest comments on film arrive at the same time as rumors that he may lead his first eight-episode limited television series in 2023. Anyone looking for more information won’t find it yet, but it may be a sign of just how much the director is fed up with modern movies. “The [films] that don’t conform… the ones that stand out from the pack,” he said, are still the good ones.
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
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