The old cow-boy has tears in his eyes. The girl just drag him a compliment in the ear: she has “never seen someone play so good in his whole life”. The scene is taken from Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood . Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Trudi (Julia Butters), have just completed the filming of a sequence from western, leaving the stars in the eyes of the young girl. Alone, the passage captures the essence of the ninth feature film of Quentin Tarantino, without a doubt, the most melancholy of his filmography.

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“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is undeniably his film, the more melancholic, reflexive, loafer, and the less “déconnant””

Serge Kaganski

Could you suspect such a sensitivity in a filmmaker, often described as a “geek ” hyperactive” and déconneur? Where are past, backfires director of Inglorious Basterds ? Replica sharp of Pulp Fiction ? The freedom for the staging of Kill Bill ? The machismo retro and the plot convoluted of Reservoir Dogs ? The absence of these gimmicks, trademarks of “QT”, make Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood , a work the most singular of its author. That of an artist arrived at “maturity”, was felt Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Cannes film Festival, at the time of entry of the feature film in competition.

“I would not say that the cinema of Quentin Tarantino became more mature, but Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is undeniably his film, the more melancholic, reflexive, flâneur, and the less “déconnant””, ” confides Serge Kaganski. This great name of the critical cinema, a veteran in the magazine Les Inrockuptibles , has met with the hellion of the american film a half-dozen times. In a professional setting as well as informal. He remembers to have had in front of him and a “movie buff cinéphage with an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, able to talk endlessly about this or that film, this or that filmmaker, or such-and-such a scene”.

Once Upon A Time? In Hollywood : should you go see the latest Tarantino film ? – Look on Figaro Live

The Eden Tarantinien

The banter of Jules Winnfield, the taste of the digression of Hans Landa, the hard-line position of Beatrix Kiddo: Quentin Tarantino is a character who “looks a little bit” to those who have gone through his filmography, analysis Kaganski. Among them, Jackie Brown, a stewardess embodied by Pam Grier in his third feature film. Heroin better illustrates the facet melancholy of a native of Knoxville. His love affair failed with Max Cherry, the officer in charge of security played by Robert Forster, is one of the most beautiful love stories to have ever existed on the screen (the antithesis of the open relationship between Clarence and Alabama, the protagonists of the scenario of True Romance , written by Tarantino a few years earlier). After the détonants Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction , the loves frustrated Jackie Brown had enough to brew a gentleness unexpected in the universe of the filmmaker.

Jackie Brown is in some way a movie in the future anterior where Tarantino is projected forward in the characters older than him, who project themselves back to their youth and trying to live in the present the possibility of a second act in their lives, says Kaganski. The film leaves a large part of time that passes, or has passed, the feeling of lost paradise for the characters as for Tarantino.”

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It was better before? Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), the villain of Jackie Brown , does not say the contrary. By observing his friend, the taciturn Louis Gara (Robert De Niro), a former fellow-prisoner, whom he admired, the arms dealer realizes that it is no more than the shadow of itself: “a guy’s flamboyant, it’s not worth anything”.

In Tarantino, the loser is always shining with a thousand lights. It is often him who wins the bet. In the phase of rewriting of history, which began in 2009 with the Second world War ( Inglorious Basterds ) and continued with the slavery ( Django Unchained ), it is always the marginalized who take the nice role. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is no exception to the rule. The image of the loser magnificent, guardian of the gates of Eden tarantinien, is sublimated by the duo of Pitt-DiCaprio.

Cinema meta nostalgic

The paradise of Tarantino defends himself with blows references. “He undeniably possesses a sensitivity to cinema: it loves and knows perfectly the films that have “educated”, it defends a certain idea of the cinema, he bought a room, The Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, he remains attached to the 35mm, says Kaganski. From this point of view, he is a filmmaker sensitive, since it defends tooth and nail a vision of the cinema, so a vision of the world”.

throughout the film, Tarantino brings back to life some film genres that have rocked his youth. Thus, his love of spaghetti westerns, the B movies and films of asian martial arts are the heart beat of Kill Bill . The magazines “pulp” is used to provide the adrenaline from Pulp Fiction . The new wave comes crashing on the love of black film in Reservoir Dogs . Boulevard of death and Jackie Brown are two tributes to the exploitation films of the 1970’s… And again, these are the losers who inherit the beautiful role: Kurt Russell ( Boulevard of death , Eight Men ), the anti-hero admired in John Carpenter fallen into disuse, Pam Grier ( Jackie Brown ), former star of films of Blaxploitation, John Travolta ( Pulp Fiction ) star in decline who had marked in Blow Out … “I like to raise the players a little bit forgotten,” confided the principal interested in Figaro magazine a few days ago.

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“Tarantino is a man who thinks about his lovers, to his practice in the movies, it has an analytical dimension and reflexive cinema, with the dose of melancholy, precise Kaganski. As the character played by DiCaprio in “Once Upon A Time… “, it may feel more lonely and out of place in our era cinematic super-hero franchises and special effects”.

What about the choice of the actors of this neuthe sixth feature-length film? The two biggest stars of the ‘star-system’ (Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt) are embodied in the famous losers tarantiniens, remained on the tile after the emergence of the “New Hollywood”. Al Pacino, actor who gave a face to this same “New Hollywood” at the beginning of the 1970s, slips into the skin of the messiah, a harbinger of the change of the time. There is a dimension meta in Tarantino. As when the filmmaker is to meet DiCaprio, a former child star, and Julia Butters, actress, star of just 10 years, in a scene on the children stars.