While much has been made about Quentin Tarantino’s plans for his tenth and (supposed final) film, the director’s next creative project might not be a film at all. In a wide-ranging conversation with fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese published in the fall issue of “DGA Quarterly,” Tarantino revealed that he’s working on a book whose plot ponders Hollywood vs. foreign cinema. “I’ve got this character who had been in World War II and he saw a lot of bloodshed there. And now he’s back home, and it’s like the ’50s, and he doesn’t respond to movies anymore. He finds them juvenile after everything that he’s been through. As far as he’s concerned, Hollywood movies are movies,” Tarantino said. “And so then, all of a sudden, he starts hearing about these foreign movies by Kurosawa and Fellini. … And so he’s like, ‘Well, maybe they might have something more than this phony Hollywood stuff.'”
In researching his veteran character, the filmmaker known for his nods and homages has rewatched or watched for the first time films from the postwar era through his character’s eyes, he told Scorsese. “So I’m enjoying watching them but I’m also [thinking], ‘How is he taking it? How is he looking at it?’ I always like to have a good excuse for just throwing down into a pit of cinema,” Tarantino said.
The revelation contained far more details than what Tarantino has shared about his plans for his next and final film, which he has said may be a horror movie, “Star Trek” installment, or a follow-up to his revenge epic “Kill Bill.” We still don’t know when the book is going to be released, though Tarantino said previously he planned to write plays and novels after he retires from directing. The filmmaker recently revealed that he had conceived of his most recent film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” as a novel before turning it into a film.
The book talk also served as a setup for Tarantino to ask Scorsese about Scorsese’s early experience being lured away from Hollywood films and becoming a more adventurous moviegoer.
Scorsese, whose next film, “The Irishman” premieired at the New York Film Festival last week to massive praise, said his parents frequently took him to the movies while he was growing up in New York City. The first film he saw was King Vidor’s 1946 western “Duel in the Sun” starring Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, and Gregory Peck.
“[We] had a little television set, a 16″ RCA Victor, and my grandparents would come over on a Friday night because they were showing Italian films for the Italian community. And the films were [Vittorio De Sica’s] ‘Bicycle Thieves’; [and Roberto Rossellini’s] ‘Rome,’ ‘Open City,’ and ‘Paisan,'” Scorsese said. “And so at 5 years old, I saw the reaction of my grandparents crying watching ‘Paisan’ and I heard the language that was the same as they were speaking. And so I knew there was another kind of cinema, but it wasn’t the movies.”
The director continued: “There was something that affected me when I saw those Italian films on that small screen that I never got past, and so that changed everything. That really gave me a view of the world, the foreign films. It made me curious about the rest of the world, apart from the Italian-American Sicilian community I was living in.”
The directors also talked about what Scorsese called the “quieter pace” of “The Irishman,” Tarantino’s first time visiting New York while casting for “Reservoir Dogs,” Scorsese’s place in the legacy of New York cinema, the catharsis of “Taxi Driver,” and Tarantino’s believe that his first time nailing an homage to Josef von Sternberg was in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Read their full conversation here, thanks to the DGA.