Acclaimed writer-director Quentin Tarantino recently declared that Hollywood’s modern era is one of the worst in cinematic history. Beginning with Reservoir Dogs in 1992, Tarantino quickly became appreciated as one of the most talented filmmakers in Hollywood. His Palme d’Or-winning follow-up film, Pulp Fiction, cemented Tarantino’s place as one of the industry’s top directors. He has since gone on to cultivate one of the most celebrated Hollywood careers with Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
During an episode of The Video Archives Podcast (via MovieWeb), Tarantino called the current era in Hollywood one of the worst. The Academy Award-winning director also included the 1950s and the 1980s in that category, despite Tarantino claiming he saw more movies in the ’80s than any other decade. Read what Tarantino had to say below:
Tarantino has previously stated his negative opinions of 50s and 80s-era Hollywood, citing censorship and the rise in political correctness. However, with his new comments, the director has joined the chorus of criticism against the state of modern Hollywood. With major cinematic franchises filling up screens year after year, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Universe, and Harry Potter, respected industry filmmakers have claimed that cinema is being corrupted by the box office. Goodfellas and Taxi Driver director Martin Scorsese previously made headlines when he stated that superhero movies were not real cinema and compared them to theme park rides that attract droves for the cheap thrill. However, many other Hollywood celebrities, including Lupita N’yongo, have come to the MCU’s defense.
Although superhero and franchise films have clearly taken over Hollywood, with nine out of the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2022’s domestic box office being franchise films, there is an argument to be made regarding the theatrical favoritism given to tentpole films over character-driven original fare. Although independent dramas and original films can succeed in today’s cinematic landscape, as seen with Bong Joon-ho’s Academy Award-winning Parasite, it wouldn’t be fair to say that such films have benefited much from a theatrical release. Many critically-acclaimed films have instead found success premiering on top streaming services like The Power of the Dog, Roma, and Sound of Metal.
Although Tarantino has been vocal about his distaste for the modern movie-going experience, he has continued to show love for new films that challenge audiences and bring something different to Hollywood, but are, coincidentally, giant spectacles as well. Tarantino has publicized his love for sequel Mad Max: Fury Road, Disney’s massive flop The Lone Ranger, and the highest-grossing film of this year, Top Gun: Maverick. With Tarantino set to bow out of theatrical filmmaking with his tenth and final film, perhaps he can leave audiences with something that he believes is worthy of the modern era.