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Sometimes you can flick to a film and just know whose it is. There’s that director footprint, like a seal of ownership, that you can identify within minutes of switching on. Sometimes it’s a visual style – you can tell a Pixar film from a mile off. Or maybe it’s the dialogue that’s distinctive. But what about the films of Quentin Tarantino? What makes them so, recognisable?
These films are incredibly indepth, with a ton of unique characters and brilliant ways in which they interact. But how do the films themselves do this? Tarantino has spent his life painstakingly crafting a spiderweb-like film universe, in which every character branches out to another somehow. This band of rogues overlaps in between his films in ways that are as weird and wonderful as his creations.
These aren’t plot related, mind you. These crossovers are more like Easter Eggs, teasing and giving little enjoyable in-jokes to only the most observant of fans. Film buffs say that good screenwriting is to give every character a backstory. Well Tarantino could dedicate entire films to his.
I’ll start with an easy one. Pulp Fiction‘s Mia Wallace tells John Travolta about her failed TV show, Fox Force Five. Sound like Kill Bill to you? Maybe it isn’t Uma Therman playing The Bride, but Mia Wallace? Coincidence I think not.
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Speaking of John Travolta, did you know that Reservoir Dogs‘ Mr Blonde and Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega are related? Here’s a big hint – they’re brothers. Tarantino originially intended to write The Vega Brothers as a prequel but scrapped the idea when both Messrs Travolta and Madsen aged more than their respective characters.
Okay with that? Good, cause here’s where it gets a little deeper. Keeping with Reservoir Dogs, Mr White’s relationship with a woman known only as “Alabama” can be linked with the same girl from the Tarantino scribed True Romance. It’s also a safe bet to assume Detective Jack Scagnatti from the Tarantino penned Natural Born Killers is related to Seymour Scagnetti. Remember him? He was mentioned as being a parole officer in Reservoir Dogs by Mr Blonde.
Further down the rabbit hole we go. Tarantino himself has admitted that he writes two kinds of film; “movie movies” and the “Realer than Real” universe. These “movie movies”, From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill are films that character from his other films would enjoy. So, in the drama Curdled, a character is seen watching the Gecko brothers from From Dawn Till Dusk on TV. This would explain both why there are suddenly vampires in a Tarantino film, and why no one in Django Unchained is worried about vampire attacks. The rest of his films are firmly in the “Realer than Real” category.
I could keep going endlessly with speculation and fanboy-driven ramblings, or you could go and watch the films and marvel at what Tarantino has created yourselves. Or, you could head to Cracked.com and check out their theory on the ending of Inglorious Basterds. It certainly blew my mind.
If that is true, then the man truly is a genius. Either way, you have to love how this guy’s brain works.