The Top Ten Quentin Tarantino Collaborators – Part 2

Much like Tarantino with his current Kill Bill films, I thought I’d make this a two-part article.

quentin tarantino

Unlike Tarantino, I won’t be getting twice as much money for doing it.

Sally Menke

sally menkeSadly, Long-time Tarantino collaborator Sally Menke passed away in 2010. As Tarantino’s loyal and exceptionally talented Editor, Menke worked on all of his feature films until her death, starting with Reservoir Dogs and ending with Inglourious Basterds.

Yes, Tarantino often gets credited for being the auteur of a generation, but without Menke, his films would undoubtedly have lacked much of the precision, tempo and grit, which only Menke could apply to a roll of celluloid.

Her exceptional contributions didn’t go unnoticed though. She received Academy Award nominations for both Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction.

No doubt if she was still with us Menke would have continued her editing career with Django Unchained. The film is most comparable in tone and style to Inglourious Basterds, and new Editor Fred Raskin (Assistant Editor on the Kill Bill films) does her proud.

But Tarantino’s latest did feel like it lacked the complete sharpness and clarity felt in his previous films, and maybe, this was partly due to Menke’s absence.

(A Band) Apart of: 7 Films

Collaborative influence: 9/10

 

Samuel L. Jackson

samuel l jackson - jackie brownIf it wasn’t for Tarantino, there is a small chance Samuel L. Jackson would have dropped off the mainstream radar long ago.

Although he does possess the acting ability and charisma to reap the decades of success he has already achieved, much of this cool dude’s reputation can be largely attributed to many of the characters Tarantino has cast him as.

Whereas many other actors have had complete career revivals handed out to them (sometimes hopelessly) by Tarantino, Mr L. Jackson has used the opportunities to ensure we all know he will always be able to steal scenes, evoke empathy and scare the shit out of us – all while sharing a frame with Hollywood’s hottest.

He has rarely been a leading man, but Tarantino has used this to his benefit when considering him for roles. If he’s not playing a menacing gangster or calculated criminal, Jackson will be found in the background of Tarantino’s work, effortlessly stealing scenes or using his uber-cool tone for narration.

And just to prove he has still got it, just take a little peek at his upcoming releases. At time of writing I count a measly 10 films (three are being filmed as you read)!

(A Band) Apart of: 5 Films

Collaborative influence: 8/10

 

Lawrence Bender

lawrence benderMuch like Sally Menke, Producer Lawrence Bender is a stalwart when it comes to collaborating with Quentin Tarantino.

And like Menke, Bender often relied on Tarantino’s films for the big pay checks. Granted, he does have a lot of credits on his CV, but if you look much further than Good Will Hunting, From Dusk Till Dawn or An Inconvenient Truth, you realise the reputable work must be attracted to him rather than the vice-versa.

So again, it would seem Tarantino’s influence has aided an undeniably talented collaborator, albeit one who may be a little lost for direction without the helmer at his side.

And Bender should be fine for the foreseeable future, especially if he sticks with the biggest chin in Hollywood. Kill Bill Vol. 3 is heavily rumoured to be his next project, and once again, Bender will be on Producer duties.

(A Band) Apart of: 6 Films

Collaborative influence: 8/10

 

Uma Thurman

uma thurmanI’m sure if Tarantino compiled this list and was true to himself, Uma Thurman would be sitting comfortably at the top (probably with bare feet).

Many directors display favouritism when it comes to choosing leads, and for a while at least, Tarantino’s was Thurman.

At times, this relationship looked to be a little more cosy than just a purely professional collaboration, culminating with Thurman splitting with hubby Ethan Hawke while working with Tarantino.

And when the final credits rolled for Kill Bill Vol. 2 with the dreamy line “Based on the character The Bride by Q & U”, we would have been forgiven for thinking Quentin may ask Uma to be his real life bride soon after.

Anyway, I’ll digress as this is starting to sound a little like OK! Magazine. Uma was wicked in Pulp Fiction, a revelation to rival Ripley in the Kill Bills, and let’s hope she’s ready to give us more of the same in Kill Bill Vol. 3.

(A Band) Apart of: 3 Films

Collaborative influence: 8/10

 

Bob and Harvey Weinstein

Weinsein BrothersEver since the film business became just that – a business, there has always been someone looking over the creative’s shoulders.

From moguls to exec producers and studio heads, the director’s creative license has always been kept an eye on – and often restricted by the money men.

Even some of the world’s most successful and seasoned directors had to make sure they were giving something back to their bosses in order to fulfil their own creative urges.

Take Martin Scorsese. For every Raging Bull, there has to be a The King of Comedy. For every Goodfellas, there has to be a Casino.

If Tarantino wasn’t granted the backing the Weinstein’s unreservedly have always supported him with, he would probably still have made the same films – just on a lesser budget.

But, they did support him. They supported him with every single crazy, leftfield idea he put to them, and they still do.

Of course, now, when Tarantino comes to them with a pitch, they sit a little more comfortably due to the fact every film he has ever made has been a success. But that’s to their credit.

Quite simply, if it wasn’t for the Weinstein’s, we wouldn’t have the luxury of wetting our pants in excitement every time we hear there will be a new film by Quentin Tarantino.

(A Band) Apart of: 8 Films

Collaborative influence: 9/10

 

This list is based on Tarantino’s ‘eight’ films.

 

Very Honourable mention: If Tarantino had directed his script for True Romance there is a good chance both Brad Pitt and Christopher Walken would squeezed onto this list somewhere.

Brad Pitt had the pleasure of playing one of Tarantino’s most colourful and larger-than-life characters in Inglourious Basterds – Lt. Aldo Raines. But he also famously turned down the lead role in True Romance only to go on and steal a couple of scenes anyway as the pot smoking couch hippy Floyd.

Walken plays two of the most memorable Tarantino creations – Captain Koons in a flashback scene in Pulp Fiction, and the truly terrifying Vincenzo Coccotti In True Romance.

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About thenumbereightytwo

I am an avid film enthusiast with a passion for creative writing. My favourite things in life are writing about; film, popular culture and current affairs; watching films and looking at penguins. One day I hope to be getting paid more than I deserve for doing all of these professionally (not the penguin part - that will still be a hobby). View all posts by thenumbereightytwo

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