Quentin Tarantino: Your muse is back

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Quentin Tarantino's muse is back

Quentin Tarantino – searching for a muse

The nine mythological Greek muses were water nymphs who each permeated an art (such as literature, painting or music) and inspired the artist who practised it.

Artists often refer to their muse as the source of their creativity.

Photographer Man Ray credited his lover Lee Miller with being his muse; for Auguste Rodin it was Rose Beurut; Jacqueline Roque inspired Picasso; Edie Sedgwick illumined Andy Warhol; Roger Vadim credited his talent to Brigitte Bardot whilst tortured artists Frida and Diego Kahlo were their own muse double act.

Quentin Tarantino, the cinematic wonderboy of the 1990s, said that the actress Uma Thurman was his muse. He cast her in several movies, most notably in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.

Yet, despite his muse, Tarantino’s career imploded after Jackie Brown. This brightly burning supernova suddenly encountered the dark energy of a black hole. The dark energy sucked his talent dry along with box office receipts and the patience of his audience.

Although Tarantino’s films continued to do relatively well at the box office, they failed to reach the creativity displayed in his earlier genius. It appeared that the director had burnt out.

Tarantino needed another muse.

Finally, after a long wait, Tarantino is back in form.  His new movie, Django Unchained, is a story about a freed slave, his bounty-hunting companion and corrupt plantation owners. The movie unfolds (at nearly three hours long) with the Tarantino brand of quirky humour, an engaging musical score and graphic violence.

The cast, including Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson, are exceptional in this sad, brutal and honest portrayal of America’s dirty past.

The film keeps the audience enthralled, and sometimes horrified, by the fantastical elements of his storytelling.

Quentin Tarantino’s muse is back. The (Greek) gods would be proud.

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About the author

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.


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