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Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, Tarantino’s Homage to Italian Cinema

Monica Straniero (September 03, 2019)
Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, previously presented in Cannes, comes to Rome for a highly anticipated preview of the Italian release with Sony Pictures on September 18. Along with the director, who wore a black t-shirt stamped with the word Brutalism, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie also attended the premiere.

Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, which was presented in Cannes and came out on July 26 in the US, arrived in Rome for a big preview in anticipation of the September 18 Italian premiere with Sony Pictures. Along with the director, who wore a black t-shirt stamped with the word Brutalism, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie also attended the premiere. 

According to Leonardo DiCaprio, 2016 Academy Award Winner for his performance in the Revenant, his character explores what it meant to be an actor at a time when Hollywood was being transformed. “The movie tells the story of two people who are trying to survive in a changing Hollywood. I play a bipolar man, distraught by how the film industry is moving on without him.”

Beyond Margot Robbie, whom Tarantino chose to interpret Sharon Tate, whose assassination anniversary took place on August 9, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Zoe Bell, Dakota Fanning and even the late Luke Perry are also part of the cast. 

For his ninth film, the director of Pulp Fiction casts aside his propensity towards splatter to create a nostalgic and humorous tribute, as an auteur in search of a lost era. One of the scenes that are sure to become cult classics is the one where Brad Pitt is challenged by Bruce Lee. “I don’t want to seem like the typical old guy who prefers the movies of the past, but back then we had artisans who were able to capture beautiful images without the use of digital. I remember the marvelous sets from back then. Everything was built from scratch. But it was also very expensive. Budgets that today are out of reach even for big productions.”

Tarantino’s love of the seventh art is boundless. “I’m passionate about B movies and I always loved Italian ones, westerns, mysteries, and sexy comedies, even peplum films. Directors like Sergio Leone, Duccio Tessari, Sergio Sollima, Sergio Corbucci gave new life to these genres. An English critic, Laurence Staig, wrote a book years ago titled 'Italian Western. The Opera of violence' and actually it’s what I’m doing, at least with regards to violence, with all of my oeuvre.”

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