Cinema Speculation

Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780063112582. $35. FILM
Tarantino’s love of film began at the age of seven, when his parents regularly took him to movies like M*A*S*H, Dirty Harry, and Jim Brown’s Black Gunn. He may have been too young to see those films, but the seeds of everything for which he is both lauded and condemned—violence, profanity, genre tropes, and more—can be found in the films he devoured as a child. In his first book of film commentary, he specifically explores the “New Hollywood” of the 1970s, and for every recognized classic, such as Bullitt or Taxi Driver, there’s a wonderful surprise mention of other films, such as Rolling Thunder and The Funhouse. Tarantino’s passion for film is legendary, so when he extols the virtues of The Outfit or Paradise Alley, it’s as if he’s sharing detailed descriptions from memory. This is not objective film criticism; these are Tarantino’s personal, very passionate opinions on every aspect of the films and topics he covers. His genre and exploitation film roots are never far from view, but his holistic appreciation of cinema as an art form is front and center. Hopefully, he’ll have further volumes.
VERDICT Dynamic film commentary from a contemporary legend that is essential reading for cinephiles.
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