For those that love the films of Quentin Tarantino, part of the joy is to see how the man is going to assemble his latest film, through all sorts of homage and tribute that he pays to various films and genres that he loves so much. Most people probably don’t know that he does this, but fear not for now there is a valuable resource that can be used to one’s advantage to not only find more joy in the man’s work, but the work of other great filmmakers from the very beginnings of cinema. If You Like Quentin Tarantino…is another entry into the If You Like series from Limelight Editions and Katherine Rife, that goes into every single one of his films, which also includes the yet unreleased Django Unchained, and explores the melange of references and inspirations that make up a Tarantino film. While most books like these would settle for just a mere synopsis and checklist of all the films, Rife manages to do a fantastic job with both her presentation throughout all of the 192 pages in this great little book.
From the very introduction of the book, Rife portrays her history and emotional impact with her first encounter with Pulp Fiction. From here, Rife does a wonderful mixture of chronologically going through his career, with each film getting its own chapter and digging up some spectacular films, that have either been entirely referenced by the auteur, in their actuality or in spirit. From Reservoir Dogs’ links to Hong Kong action cinema to the The Dirty Dozens impact on Inglorious Basterds, all of the films referenced are not only great films, in and of themselves, but Rife presents them with as much enthusiasm as the man would himself.
Not only are the films that are sprinkled throughout this book just great movies, but at times, it also shows their importance in cinema history as well. There’s a portion in the chapter on Jackie Brown that gives an impressive history lesson on Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. It speaks on the role that Melvin had making an African-American indie film and while its only about two pages long, it certainly shows how Rife manages to pack so much information, while being very economical in her writing. Another one of my favorite sections was a great appendix about the now defunct Rolling Pictures line, that Miramax had given Quentin to showcase some great films that had introductions and video notes from Quentin himself.
As a means of resource, If You Like Quentin Tarantino… is a wonderful guide to plenty of fantastic films and a wonderful insight into the man’s overall history. From the great Jack Hill, to Blaxsploitation, to the Shaw Brothers, there’s a plenty of films to discover from around the world that beg to be seen and I’m glad that someone like Quentin Tarantino and Katherine Rife have given me a road map to get there. Highly Recommended!