Quentin Tarantino thinks we’re currently in the worst era for Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino is currently promoting his book called Cinema Speculation. It’s not really a memoir, it’s more like a collection of writings about the films and characters who shaped him as a person and as a writer/director. It seems like the book was just a little side project which maybe got out of hand and he turned it into a book. Love him or hate him, Tarantino has a lot to say about the history of film and the current era of Hollywood, and I personally find his interviews interesting – although I don’t agree with everything, obvs. Well, to promote the book, he went on Howard Stern’s show and said a bunch of sh-t:

Tarantino believes his best film is “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”: “For years people used to ask me stuff like that. And I would say something like, ‘Oh, they’re all my children.’ I really do think ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is my best movie.”

He thinks this is one of the worst eras in filmmaking though: That Tarantino views “Hollywood” as his best movie is all the more notable considering he views the modern movie era as being tied with the 1980s and 1950s as “the worst in Hollywood history.” “Even though the ‘80s was the time that I probably saw more movies in my life than ever – at least as far as going out to the movies was concerned – I do feel that ‘80s cinema is, along with the ‘50s, the worst era in Hollywood history. Matched only by now, matched only by the current era!”

[From Variety]

I mean… from a technical standpoint, I’m sure OUATIH is probably one of his best achievements, perhaps jointly with The Hateful Eight (which was one of the most beautifully-shot films he’s made). As far as the films which I would consider his best, or the most enjoyable or the most complete? Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. I honestly can’t believe he didn’t name Pulp Fiction, that changed everything for him and for the film industry.

During this book tour, Tarantino also confirmed that he’s going to do a television project next year. He didn’t give many details other than it will be an eight-episode series. Hm. Tarantino has directed for TV before, on network television – he directed episodes for CSI and ER, and he acted in Alias.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, posters & promotional image courtesy of ‘OUATIH’.

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32 Responses to “Quentin Tarantino thinks we’re currently in the worst era for Hollywood”

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  1. Driver8 says:

    Jackie Brown ftw, but I also loved Inglorious Basterds. OUATIH is a great movie too. I know he’s problematic but I enjoy his body of work.

  2. Pam says:

    I loved Reservoir Dogs more than any of the others.

  3. Neners says:

    I don’t disagree with him. I cannot remember the last time a movie came out that I wanted to see in theaters, it’s been that long

    • Leanne says:

      Same. He is absolutely right about the state of movies today.

    • Jennifer says:

      The last movies I saw in theaters were Encanto (November 2021) and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (sometime in 2021), before that was December 2019, for obvious reasons. I seriously DO. NOT. WANT. TO. WATCH. ANY. MOVIES. COMING. OUT. any more. Not even the Marvel ones and I used to watch them all and now I’m all “fuck it, maybe when it’s on Disney Plus.” I finally got around to watching Love and Thunder and eh…not worth the schlep or money to pay to see it in a theater.

      Like, I’d consider seeing the George and Julia movie or the Wakanda movie, but I just don’t….care that much to go any more?

      I’m not a fan of Tarantino, but yeah, movies suck today.

  4. Esmerelda says:

    Maybe there’s more in the book, but he’s not being very specific, isn’t he?
    That said, these days I see many more “foreign” films than Hollywood films, they’re just more interesting and original.
    The 80s were silly, but I do like Hollywood movies of that era, I think they channeled a peculiar American creativity – it was authentic, in a way.
    Tarantino and Weinstein of course found success standing in opposition to 80s filmmaking, but I’m not sure if they’ll be remembered in 20/30 years.

    • ConcernFae says:

      Stylized films like he makes tend to go out of fashion when the cool kids move on to something else. However, once they are no longer “that movie my Dad liked,” they are rediscovered and become critic’s faves. What stands against him is that they were not only critically admired but so popular that uncool people loved them. The cool kids of all generations hate that.

      I will have to say that Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill Vol. 1 is an almost unmatched four film streak. The later films are great, but reflective in a different sort of way. Saw The Hateful Eight in 70mm. The tempo just felt off on that one. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood managed to meld the sensibilities of the early and later films in a remarkable way.

      Also, I am sure QT is a deeply shitty human being. Very curious to see how he handles fatherhood.

  5. HeyKay says:

    That poster with Brad Pitt and Leo…that might just be Brads last true “movie star” role.
    I honestly think Brads public career is over.

    After the pandemic + plus big screen tv at home + cost, I don’t plan on going back into a movie theater anytime soon again. Which is too bad, I enjoyed going to the movies in theaters.

    • Jais says:

      That poster with brad Pitt makes me want to vomit. It’s just a visceral reaction I have when I see him now. Not even a huge Leo fan but I’d rather see him than the other one.

    • AmB says:

      That poster! “Blue Steel” all the way, am I right? (They’re barely recognizable.)

  6. Sasha says:

    Pulp Fiction is, I’m guessing, most people’s favourite if there were a poll? It’s pure, brilliant entertainment. Not a single scene is wasted. Once Upon is less of a an immediate “POW” but I love it more on every rewatching and now think it’s fantastic. The whole ranch sequence is amazing in how it builds tension. I also love Leo and Brad’s characters in it (personal opinions on them as individuals aside).

    • The Recluse says:

      Yeah, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is my absolute favorite of his films, even though the first time I saw it in the theater I left feeling sad because of Sharon Tate’s fate in real life. But it has grown on me so much and you can tell Tarantino loved that period and that he really HATED Manson and his followers. Their actions changed the whole spirit of the time, especially there.

  7. C says:

    He thinks the 50’s were one of the worst eras? Lol.

    We’re just witnessing the transformation of the old remnants of the studio organizations. Streaming is part of that. If you listen to old interviews with Mary Pickford in the 50’s, she (who helped build the Hollywood system) predicted streaming taking place of the former viewing experience.

    • ConcernFae says:

      There were a lot of great films in the 50s, but they weren’t the ones that were popular at the box office. There was truly an enormous amount of crap produced. The issue is that we don’t watch it now, so we don’t know about it. QT has. It also used to show up on TCM as filler. They have expanded their programming into the 80s and 90s films, so not as much of it now. Have you watched Debbie Reynolds films beyond Singing in the Rain? Not great. And that was so much better than a lot of the product the studios churned out.

      I’m a huge film noir buff, but those films were in reaction to the mindless fluff the studios pushed as money makers and a tiny portion of the films made.

      • C says:

        There’s always been crap churned out no matter the era (for every quality pre-Code, 1960’s postmodern, or Technicolor-fantasy film, there are 900 B, C, Z-list films) and the box office hits are usually the ones to float to the top of cultural analysis and hindsight, or at least more so than people say. Obviously there are plenty of cult classics or films that get a second look.
        The 50’s had some pieces of cinema that I really feel like make the 80’s in no way comparable the way that he is implying. The 40’s weren’t great either in a lot of ways cinematically but I’ll give it a pass given that that that had to do with suburbs developing, the war, etc which affected revenues and production.
        The 80’s, I can understand.

  8. Becks1 says:

    I did think OUATIH was an excellent excellent movie. I was surprised by how much I liked it. Tarantino’s movies are either hit or miss for me, I either love them or can’t finish them. I thought Hateful 8 was well done but boring, I can never make it through Pulp Fiction, but I love the Kill Bills and I loved Django Unchained.

    As for this era being bad for movies…..IDK. I am in general over the Marvel movies (but we are going to see Wakanda Forever this weekend) but I think there is so much more than that being made right now. Like yesterday we saw the trailer for Emancipation and that looks excellent, if heavy as mentioned. I loved Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast last year. There are definitely quality movies being made today.

    I do think part of the issue for the movies era of today is that while there is still quality like I said, so much of the quality entertainment has moved to television and the streaming services.

  9. Tina Loman says:

    I don’t love or generally like any of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. I’m on that so overrated train. I didn’t watch OUATIH until it was on my tv. The 80’s had great teen films that are now so wrong, but I still love 80’s movies. John Hughes films, Flashdance, The Goonies, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Princess Bride. I forgot ET. Scarface, The Shining, Raging Bull, and I don’t know can’t think. There are other ones that I think film buffs will point out. When Harry Met Sally and The Color Purple. The 80’s weren’t all bad. Cheesy Big Trouble in Little China. Loved it. I think I liked Sixteen Candles more than Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. I like all of those cheesy 80’s films more than anything of Quentin Tarantino’s.

  10. Ann says:

    Pulp Fiction for me. I didn’t see it until my 20s and it gave me a whole new appreciation for how good movies were in the 90s. It lost POTY Oscar to Forest Gump, which seems like probably the hardest Oscar vote ever. I still can’t decide which one I think deserved it more.

    I probably won’t read the book but I do always like his interviews. He’s such a film nerd on top of his own achievements so as annoying as he can be I do usually find a lot of what he says interesting.

  11. Eurydice says:

    Most movies produced are crap, no matter what the era – we just remember the good ones and forget about the bad ones. And it’s really about demand and supply. There’s a huge demand for content, but a limited supply of artists. You can’t manufacture more great writers, directors, actors – but you can manufacture marginal ones, so you get marginal product.

  12. butterflystella says:

    Reservoir Dogs is IT for me. That movie blew me away when my (now ex) boyfriend put it on one night!!

  13. Tacocat says:

    I am a big fan of Tarantino’s work. Inglorious Bastards is a masterpiece. Reservoir Dogs is amazing. That being said, I haven’t seen OUATIH and I don’t plan to. I’m not interested in the POV of the main characters, I don’t want to watch any of Pitt’s modern work, and I find the Sharon Tate element distasteful. I can’t speak to the controversy about Bruce Lee because I didn’t watch it.

    I guess, maybe, the 80s were a superficial time and a lot of big hit films were on their surface shallow, but, there were so many amazing movies made too. Raging Bull. Sophie’s Choice. The Color Purple. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Back to the Future. Children of a Lesser God. Aliens. Wallstreet. The Untouchables……..

    • C says:

      The 80’s had a lot of great films but I can see where as the “auteur” he wouldn’t think any of them were “real cinema”. From that perspective anyway.
      As with most subjects, there are a surprising number of film critics and film experts who seem not to like the medium very much given that paradoxically they claim to be exploring it yet they are often very insular and closed-minded about it.

  14. Well Wisher says:

    Of course, He’ll think that.
    Diverse peoples telling stories in diverse ways.
    “Bad, very bad”.

  15. Dorky says:

    I love Quentin Tarantino, but he’s wrong about the ‘80s. Uncle Buck, man. 😍

    • Susan says:

      It’s funny you mention that, I was channel flipping (insomniac) the other night and it was like a hit parade of 80s classics (to me) including UB. I was thinking about those movies and so many focused on a party, a big event, social climbing and status, etc…it got me thinking about how now we are all mostly avoiding social events and parties and don’t seem to care as much about status, we are more inclined to hate those people. But this may be more reflective of my place in life and age vs movie trends.

  16. K says:

    I thought maybe all the women started wearing shoes.

  17. Patricia says:

    Of course he won’t like movies nowadays: they are not about him or made for him. Honestly, it’s mostly American white straight men who think movies are worst. Everyone else is finally watching decent stories about themselves. Have a sit and understand just because it’s not about you or for you, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. And go watch some Jordan Peele or something, jesus.

  18. Casey says:

    KILL BILL FTW! we are in the worst era tho. Nothing original.

  19. Rad says:

    As current cinema goes, I thought “Everything, everywhere, all at once” was brilliant. But that was one bright spot in an otherwise abysmal season of viewing fare. Even the sequel to “Downton Abby” was lacking. Honestly, I look at iMDB to see what is in production or set for release, and nothing is compelling me to to go. MCU/DCU has been done to death – rehashed, reimagined garbage that still caters to an infantile male fan-base.

    And sorry, though I like your movies, Quentin, stop basing the bulk of them on comic books, oh, sorry, graphic novels (how adult males are able to justify reading them). No one ever seems to read a book any more and go “Hey! This would make a great movie!”. Something like Greg Bear’s “Anvil of the Gods”. Dare you to turn that into a movie.