9. Quentin Tarantino
PULP FICTION, RESERVOIR DOGS, KILL BILL, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, JACKIE BROWN
There might not be a better case for director-as-pop-star than Quentin Tarantino. He’s kind of the Warhol of filmmakers, only I think he’s having more fun. He faster than Scorsese, (much) funnier than Kevin Smith, and his films are similarly some freak genetic fusion of fanboy and auteur. He might be criticized more for making movies about how he loves movies if he weren’t so consistently damn interesting. He takes storylines from throwaway B-, even C-grade genres and elevates their importance by taking them seriously and imbuing them with stronger characters, better dialogue, and more complex narratives. He uses dialogue to create and extend suspense, and while his imitators have stolen his pop-culture-fueled dialogue of digressions and asides, they forget (or maybe never realized) that Tarantino’s are both always about something and serve some purpose. And, come on, the music in his films could imbue iconography into slowly drying paint.
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