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Quentin Tarantino’s Filmography Gets The Documentary Treatment In “QT8: The First Eight”

Nobody loves cinema more than Quentin Tarantino. When watching one of his films, it’s impossible not to see the joy that movies, as well as making movies, brings the man. So, a documentary about his cinematic output almost makes too much sense not to exist. Lo and behold, one now does exist, in the special presentation QT8: The First Eight. A one night only event this coming Monday, it’s the sort of flick that should bring together anyone who loves Tarantino and his work. Luckily, it’s not a thrown together project either, but one made with care, featuring a ton of his players speaking highly about the auteur.

This is a documentary that focuses exclusively on the first eight films in Quentin Tarantino’s career, beginning with Reservoir Dogs and ending with Django Unchained, though the making of Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood is briefly mentioned. Spanning 21 years, it features behind the scenes footage, interviews with his most frequent collaborators, and a handful of animated moments, to boot. There’s a tiny bit of his backstory, but most of the doc is primarily concerned with once he became a writer and a director (the former is featured early on when discussing his scripts Natural Born Killers and True Romance). Split into chapters, like his movies, there’s tribute paid to his dialogue and style, as well as the numerous strong female roles he’s written over the years. All in all, it’s a guide through his filmography, meant to remind you just how great a talent he is. Without question, it succeeds. Tara Wood writes and directs, with cinematography by Jake Zortman, as well as a score by Doran Danoff and Tyler Wenzel. The talking heads here consist of Zoë Bell, Bruce Dern, the recently departed Robert Forster, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Kruger, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Eli Roth, Tim Roth, and Christoph Waltz.

In many ways, this is a fan film, but it’s a well made one. If you have a solid working knowledge of Tarantino, not much will be a surprise here, safe for one throwaway detail (for me, it was that he made Reservoir Dogs in part through the money he got for playing an Elvis impersonator on an episode of The Golden Girls). Still, even without surprise revelations, it’s compelling to watch the men and women who work with him most waxing poetic about him. Especially, there’s a twinge of sadness in Robert Forster’s presence, as he credits Tarantino for breathing life back into his career. It’s a touching tribute.

QT8: The First Eight is clearly not the type of documentary that wins awards. In another era, it probably would have been included as a special feature on a deluxe Blu-Ray or DVD box set of Tarantino’s entire celluloid output to date. Hell, it still might be on a future release. For now, though it’s just a classy doc that lets fans of QT bathe in the glory of his one of a kind cinematic voice.

If you love Quentin Tarantino, QT8: The First Eight is an enjoyable guided tour through most of his unique filmography. Sure, it leaves out his incomplete first flick My Best Friend’s Birthday, forget about his contribution to Four Rooms, and looks at Kill Bill as one project for the purposes of counting, as opposed to tackling Kill Bill: Volume One and Kill Bill: Volume Two separately (there’s no wrong answer there, just an observation on my part), but Wood definitely appreciates what Tarantino has brought to cinema. If you’re in that boat as well, this one night only special screening on Monday is a must see. What better way to celebrate QT than to see his vision celebrated on the big screen?

Be sure to check out QT8: The First Eight, playing Monday night as a special Fathom Event!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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