QT8: The First Eight is a documentary about the works of acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. As stated, it details the production, making and themes and releases of Tarantino’s first eight films – from Reservoir Dogs to The Hateful Eight. It is all told to us by the cast, crew and associates of Tarantino and is an interesting look into the man who immediately became a cinematic living legend.
I feel that anybody could go on about Tarantino for hours on end. To sum up my thought on the man’s work without making this an article purely about him, I have had a love hate relationship with the works of Tarantino. By which I pretty much mean I love Kill Bill and everything before it, and I have kind of hated the ones that I saw after it. Although the only ones I have seen after Kill Bill are Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
That is not a knock on their quality – they are all masterpiece in one way or another – but something about them either offended me or failed to hold my interest. I do, however, credit him as one of the last true filmmakers. When you think of a director who only makes what he wants, casts who he wants, works with who he wants, has a tremendous talent and whose name alone brings in the crowd, these days it appears to be only Tarantino with that kind of power. For that he has my respect.
QT8 truly acts as a window into his work. The film is almost entirely interview based. Nine out of ten of the big actors who have worked under Tarantino are present here, telling us what it is like to work for him – both the good and the bad. It is remarkable that, despite how strict he is and the pressure that had been put on these actors, that they have little but good to say about him.
These are people like Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russel, Christophe Waltz, Jamie Fox and Tim Roth – huge, respected and prestigious, and all taking the time to talk about what an experience it was to work with him. It was also nice to see the late Robert Forster again.
The only break we get from these interviews are clips from the films themselves and some nice animated sequences to display what is being said. These two elements make the documentary itself feel very much like a homage to Tarantino – taking just a little bit of his style to show us more of him, as opposed to just telling us about him. As such it carries across the most poignant, thought-provoking moments as effectively as the black comedy. Just like with Tarantino’s films, it’s fun, hilarious, thought-provoking, and at times scary – especially the brief segment looking at Harvey Weinstein.
It’s good and slick. It honestly doesn’t feel as long as it is, and I could’ve watched it all day long. It’s less a look at the man and more of his work and just how important that work is to film. It’s honestly hard to disagree. It told me things that I didn’t know myself – such as most of the production of Reservoir Dogs, which is already my favorite Tarantino film – that made me respect the work and the man himself just that little more.
He’s a lover of film and that’s what got him to where he is – cinema could honestly use more of that. QT8 was refreshing, fun and had me hooked from beginning to end. Comparing that to the man it is talking about, I can’t think of any higher praise than that.
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