AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
But Tarantino’s also got other projects on the horizon. They include a film criticism book and possibly a TV series, as Tarantino told talk show host Fabio Fazio, of Italian state broadcaster RAI, on Sunday, before adding: “But first I want to make a comedy.”
Comedy seems to be on Tarantino’s mind. During an onstage conversation with Rome fest chief Antonio Monda, he described an unspecified project that sounded very funny.
“It’s not like my next movie. It’s a piece of something else that I’m thinking about doing — and I’m not going to describe what it is,” Tarantino said. “But part of this thing, there is supposed to be a Spaghetti Western in it.”
“I’m looking forward to shooting that [thing] because it’s going to be really fun. Because I want to shoot it in the Spaghetti Western style where everybody’s speaking a different language,” he went on, before breaking into laughter.
“The Mexican Bandido is an Italian; the hero is an American; the bad sheriff is a German; the Mexican saloon girl is Israeli. And everybody is speaking a different language. And you [the actors] just know: OK, when he’s finished talking then I can talk,” Tarantino laughed again.
During a wide-ranging talk about his 32-year career so far, during which he’s shot nine films, Tarantino said the first film he remembers seeing is British spy movie “Deadlier Than the Male,” directed by Ralph Thomas, with Richard Johnson in the James Bond-like role.
“That’s as far back as my memory of a movie goes; I was literally about 5,” he recounted. “I remember this one scene with Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina. They kidnap this guy, and they kind of hold this guy prisoner. I remember watching it at 5 and being a little blown away by the sexual politics of it. I didn’t understand that at 5.”
Years passed and Tarantino kept remembering this film, but had no idea what the title was. Then, toward the end of the 1990s, when he started his personal film collection, he bought “Deadlier Than the Male,” without knowing that was it.
“And so I’m screening it after I bought it. And then all of a sudden, about midway through, that scene comes on and I go: ‘Oh my God! This is the fucking movie! This is the first movie I ever fucking saw!,'” he said.
Asked by Monda about when and how he decided to become a director, Tarantino said it took him eight years to break through, and revealed that he fully realized his calling while taking acting classes.
“I realized that, not only did I love movies more than the other kids in the class,” he said. “But I cared about them, whereas I think they only cared about themselves. And the reason why is that I loved movies too much to be an actor.”
“I didn’t want to just appear in them: I wanted the movie to be my movie,” he said.
Toward the end of the talk, Tarantino paid tribute to late great composer Ennio Morricone and told the story of how his Oscar-winning soundtrack to “The Hateful Eight” came about.
After venerating Morricone for years, and using tracks that he composed for other films, when Tarantino wrote “Hateful Eight,” he thought, “This one should have an original score,” he said and reached out to the maestro.
But when they met in Rome, there had been some confusion. “Hateful Eight” had already been shot, whereas Morricone thought the cameras hadn’t rolled on it yet. And he was booked up for another job.
Tarantino said he was disappointed, but would find another solution. But then he asked Morricone about the “little theme in his head” that Morricone had previously mentioned. And Morricone went to work and the next day told him he could give him three different arrangements of the theme that he had been thinking about, plus many unused tracks from the soundtrack he had written for John Carpenter’s 1982 film “The Thing.”
“I think I can give you 20-25 minutes of original music that you can maybe stretch to 40 minutes, depending on the arrangement,” Tarantino recalled Morricone telling him.
“Then you can use unused tracks to ‘The Thing,’ and you’ve got a complete original score,” he said. “He was a true giant.”