Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic works are known to be firmly inscribed in the history of (US American) film and film genres at the same time that they comment on (US American) history and culture, past and present. Tarantino’s films unabashedly rewrite history while also critically engaging with contemporary issues, discourses, ideological and moral questions. In this course, we focus on two of his neo-westerns in particular: Django Unchained (2012) and The Hateful Eight (2015). The course aims at acquiring an understanding of what it means to watch, discuss, and examine cinematic metafiction and intertextual references in postmodern film, the western and the neo-western genres, and Tarantino and his film teams’ revisionary visions and interpretations of American culture and history, specifically questions of nationhood, space, identity politics, social injustice, violence, and ethics.
The course syllabus and some of the secondary reading materials will be made available at the beginning of the semester on Stud.IP. Please purchase and watch the following films by Quentin Tarantino, some of which you can watch on https://archive.org/,
others you probably find online as well. I list first the films that are central for this course and that I suggest you begin watching before adding a list of further western and other films relevant for our discussion of cinematic metafiction, film’s reflexivity, and film history more generally:
- Django. Dir. Sergio Corbucci. Perf. Franco Nero, Loredana Nusciak, José Bódalo, Ángel Álvarez, and Eduardo Fajardo. 1966. https://archive.org/details/tntvillage_302940.
- Django Unchained. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. 2012.
- Stagecoach. Dir. John Ford. Perf. Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Louise Platt, George Bancroft, Donald Meek, Berton Churchill, and Tim Holt. 1939.
- The Hateful Eight. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern. 2015.
- High Noon. Dir. Stanley Kramer. Perf. Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Grace Kelly, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney, and Henry Morgan. 1952.
- The Birth of a Nation. Dir. D. W. Griffith. Perf. Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper, Mary Alden, Ralph Lewis, George Siegmann, and Walter Long. 1915. https://archive.org/details/dw_griffith_birth_of_a_nation.
- The Magnificent Seven. Dir. John Sturges. Perf. Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz. 1960. https://archive.org/details/the-magnificent-seven-1960.
- Sukiyaki Western Django. Dir. Miike Takashi. Perf. Hideaki Itô, Masanobu Andô, Kôichi Satô, Kaori Momoi, Quentin Tarantino. 2007. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an7JRd3Z1so.
Keep checking this site and the announcements in the course as well before the semester, since as I prepare this course, list number II may expand some more.