Cool Video Essay Explores How Quentin Tarantino’s Dialogue Keeps Audiences Hooked

Kill Bill 3

The real trick to ‘Tarantino’s magic tricks’ is something that a lot of screenwriters likely already know, and yet very few of them are masters at using. Too often the screenwriters seem bound by whatever dictates they’re being given by those above them and those that have to shoot the scenes they’re writing. On top of this, Tarantino isn’t bound by anyone really since he writes his own script, he directs his own script, and he has the final say in what goes out. Maybe it’s seeing behind the tricks and not being fooled by the story as much, but Tarantino’s ‘tricks’ are still not quite as addictive as some people seem to think they are. If you want the truth, Tarantino goes out of his way to explain every, last, scene in his movies in the same way that Seth MacFarlane overdoes a joke in Family Guy. Sometimes it’s so funny and so entertaining that you can’t help but laugh, and sometimes it can be interesting to the point that you can’t help but keep watching no matter how much it drags out. One has to remember though, REAL PEOPLE don’t always talk like this. The moment that someone goes into a monologue usually means that the other person is going to get bored, get up and walk away, or try to interrupt at some point.

But film students eat this stuff up because they want to see it for something that they’d love to be able to do, and now you might be asking, am I a cynic or am I bound to make sense at some point. He’s a great storyteller, Tarantino, and he does manage to convey an interesting tale, but as far as being the genius that so many laud him as….meh. He does make a good movie, don’t get me wrong, and his dialogue is infectious since it keeps you wanting to sit through it until the end, but at the same time, there are moments when it seriously lags as you’re simply waiting for the characters to say something. He’s not a quick-moving director, meaning that his movies don’t have quick, staccato pace that keeps people trying to keep up as they get one snippet after another. Oh no, Tarantino hooks a person by giving them a tidbit one second, then another tidbit in the next several seconds, and so on and so forth. He doesn’t drop the payload immediately and without cease, he paces himself in a way that can be great or can be akin to waiting for an elderly grandparent to make their way down a short flight of steps. Obviously he’s not my favorite director but I will give the man props for what he’s done and what he’s accomplished since he’s managed to convince a great many people that he is a genius and that he does have the clout that comes with being someone that can create a movie that people will see as one of the greatest pictures ever made. I enjoyed Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill vol. 2 was my favorite of the duo, and between Reservoir Dogs and The Hateful Eight I’d pick Reservoir Dogs any day. But don’t ask me to state that Tarantino is a genius.

I’ll claim that he’s talented, he can weave a good story, and he can definitely convince those around him that his tales are something worthy of the praise and acclaim that they’ve earned. But a genius, not quite. He’s failed as Sheryl Garratt of Writing Cooperative has written and he’s succeeded, and it would appear that he’s learned and grown from his failure so one can’t state that he’s too arrogant to ever learn anything. My denial of his genius is a matter of opinion, much as anyone’s denial of any celebrity is based on their personal opinion first and foremost. He’s not my favorite director, in fact I’m fairly certain I don’t have a favorite, but he does tell a great story and he does manage to convey a good deal of just about anything and everything he can in any scene he creates. Perhaps though this is my beef with him, as he tells a great story, but he continues to tell it, and tell it, and tell it, until finally a person is about ready to turn off the movie or at least fast forward to the action or another scene that might take the characters further into the tale. The dialogue he creates hooks people without a doubt, but largely because they’re looking for a bit of reason within the ramble, a sense of logic within the entire spiel that his characters sometimes unveil. At times this continual unfolding of scene, kind of like the triangle-folded notes that were passed around in school back in the day, are interesting. But sometimes they’re just a lot of work to listen to. Yet surprisingly, they do hook the audience.

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