If there is any current Oscar-nominated director who should kick off a talk about cinematic influences, as Patrick Goldstein points out for LA Times' The Big Picture, its Quentin Tarantino. He's the go-to movie geek filmmaker who saturates his films with a mixture of cinematic history and Tarantino twists, and Inglourious Basterds is no exception. But homages and geek love are a double-edged sword, as the director pointed out when he discussed the films that inspired him to make his recent piece of revisionist history.

Tarantino explains: "Here's my problem with this whole influence thing: Instead of critics reviewing my movies, now what they're really doing is trying to match wits with me. Every time they review my movies it's like they want to play chess with the mastermind and show off every reference they can find, even when half of it is all of their own making." The writer that really got under his skin was Salon's Stephanie Zacharek, who had a lot of criticisms for the blood fest known as Kill Bill.

But he still managed to gush about some of Inglorious' key influences. There is, of course, the opening homage to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, plus a number of influences for each of his actors. For example, Shosanna Dreyfus was seeing flicks about "people fighting behind enemy lines" with films like Operation Amsterdam, and Michael Fassbender was thrust into the world of George Sanders and The Saint.
Personally, I've always enjoyed Tarantino's films because he merges the best of both worlds into highly entertaining features. We're living in an age where most themes, films, and techniques have been done before, some way or somehow. Rather than lathering in remake and reboot love, and becoming a copy machine for foreign flicks and classics, he morphs key moments and techniques into a new vision. They can be cinematic puzzles for the movie fiend who can spot the references, or simply highly entertaining and popular gateways into films that many fans wouldn't consider otherwise.*

I'd rather have a hundred Tarantino's showing their love with brief shots or references rather than seeing every good foreign movie get copied into English with sub-par talent and sub-part storytelling. And it's just a cherry on a great sundae that Tarantino can merge homage with fresh filmmaking.

Check out the great interview and weigh in below: Does Tarantino rely too heavily on movie homages, or is he an example of how Hollywood should show love of foreign flicks and old films?

*While I loathe bells and whistles on films, he'd be the perfect filmmaker to do a pop-up video series on, outlining all of his intended homages and influences.
categories Movies, Cinematical