Thursday, August 20, 2009

QT's Top 20 film list contains no references to himself!

The latest Quentin Tarantino extravaganza Inglourious Basterds – which The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg argues no Jew would have had the cojones to make – is finally here Friday. Since QT’s name is bigger than anything related to the production itself, and its ho-hum reception at Cannes, he recently told LA Weekly about his 20 favorite films that were released in the past 17 years – since his notable directing career took flight. The list does not include Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, From Dusk Till Dawn, Four Rooms (ha!), Natural Born Killers, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill or Grindhouse.

Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)

#2-20 (in alphabetical order):
Anything Else (Woody Allen)
Audition (Takashi Miike)
The Blade (Tsui Hark)
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)
Dogville (Lars von Trier)
Fight Club (David Fincher)
Friday (F. Gary Gray)
The Host (Joon-ho Bong)
The Insider (Michael Mann)
Joint Security Area (Chan-wook Park)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
The Matrix (Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski)
Memories of Murder (Joon-ho Bong)
Police Story III (Supercop) (Stanley Tong)
Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright)
Speed (Jan de Bont)
Team America: World Police (Trey Parker)
Unbreakable (M. Night Shyamalan)

The list is an assortment of blockbusters that meet an entertainment quota, Asian cinema that was overlooked in the states and a truly forgettable Woody Allen comedy. You know, the one with Jason Biggs.

QT adopts the auteur theory in making his picks, it seems, with writers-directors like his buddies Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater and Sofia Coppola showing up, as well as Lars Von Triers (I would’ve gone with Dancer in the Dark over Dogville), Michael Mann (digging The Insider pick but no love for Heat?) and M. Night Shyamalan. He thankfully used restraint in nepotism by not including his friend Eli Roth’s horrid horror film Hostel.

Being a utilitarian of international film history in bundles, he ironically takes a swing at British cinema, saying Shaun of the Dead is a one of the rare great British films. Although I wouldn’t go that far in evaluating the hilariously derivative zombie-com, I appreciate the honesty.

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