Quentin Tarantino Is Working on a Mysterious Project About 1970s Cinema
In many ways, Quentin Tarantino is a film lover first, a filmmaker second. It’s his deep knowledge of cinema that’s made his films so distinct. Whether you’re a fan of Tarantino’s appropriation or not, you can’t deny how much his profound love of the medium defines his work. But instead of just plucking his favorite bits and pieces to make another genre film, Tarantino’s next project will be about film history itself.
The Hateful Eight director is looking back to the year 1970 as inspiration for his next project. Earlier this week Tarantino spoke at the Lumière Festival in Lyon, France to present his 15-film retrospective program titled “1970.” A curation of films including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, M.A.S.H., Five Easy Pieces, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the series explores a pivotal shift in cinematic history, an era Tarantino called “the New Hollywood.” But the program is just the beginning of the filmmaker’s research for next his endeavor, which won’t exactly be a movie, according to Deadline.
Am I going to write book about it? Maybe. Am I going to do it as a six-part podcast? Maybe. Will I do a documentary about it? Maybe. I don’t know, I’m figuring it out.
So what exactly is this whole 1970s idea about? Tarantino explained it was all inspired by Mark Harris’ Pictures Of A Revolution: Five Movies And The Birth Of The New Hollywood, which he called “the best cinema book written this decade.” The book looks at five films that signaled a change in Hollywood and audiences’ movie tastes at the time. Tarantino said he spent four years researching the year 1970 and patterns that arose from it:
What we think of as New Hollywood cinema that existed until at least 1976 was more fragile that I thought it was. That experiment could have died in 1970. It could have not worked. But ultimately it did because enough New Hollywood influence did happen, in particular M.A.S.H. and Five Easy Pieces, to keep the experiment going. But if M.A.S.H and “Five Easy Pieces” hadn’t worked in 1970, it’s very doubtful that there would have been an The Exorcist. There never would have been a The Godfather.
But Tarantino isn’t just looking at the best movies from that era, he said he was instead drawn to the films he found most interesting. “Oddly enough, it was the films on the lower end of the Top 30 or 40, which while they weren’t as good, in a weird way were more interesting to me.” For his next project, whatever it becomes, Tarantino said he wants to put his critical, filmmaker perspective in the background and explore the topic more like “a historian or a sociologist.”
A Tarantino documentary or even an anthology TV series exploring film history would be a pretty awesome idea. (I’d sure as heck watch that on Netflix.) We’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of his 1970s obsession. Till then, just keep imagining what a Tarantino-directed 1970s Luke Cage movie would be like.