Few filmmakers working today — or even working ever in history — could make news announcing they’d only be making a couple more movies. Steven Soderbergh did it a few years ago, and it registered as an “Oh, hmm” with most cinephiles. But when Quentin Tarantino, one of the brashest and most distinctive voices in the medium for the past 25 years, says he’s just about done in the industry, it’s cause for reflection, disappointment, and vast anticipation. Last year, Tarantino promised only a few, but on Thursday afternoon, the Django Unchained director said he’s officially stopping at two more. “Drop the mic. Boom. Tell everybody, ‘Match that shit.'”
As shared by The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino took the stage in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center for the Adobe Max creativity conference — a gathering I’m led to believe is a real thing — and with his trademark humility (har har har) assured the audience that he wants his film career to end on his terms, with a master stroke and a final hurrah. His answer to how personally defines success is vintage QT. “Hopefully, the way I define success when I finish my career is that I’m considered one of the greatest filmmakers that ever lived. And going further, a great artist, not just filmmaker,” he said.
What his final two movies would be is still very much in the unknown, though reports earlier this year say it’s set in 1930s Australia, and he’s teased a sequel to Kill Bill as well. However, he told the crowd at the conference that he’s currently focusing on a nonfiction project about the year 1970 and its importance to cinema history. “It could be a book, a documentary, a five-part podcast,” he says.
Part of me is going to be incredibly sad when Tarantino stops making movies, but, at 53 years old and a career spanning 25 years, he’s only directed eight features (if, like he does, we count both volumes of Kill Bill as a single film). He takes his time with his movies and makes sure they’re something he’s truly passionate about and reflects his own tastes. And for the most part, I feel like this has paid off immeasurably. As great as his early works are, I’ve felt like his last three films — Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight — are some of the most brilliant and socially relevant movies by any director, much less the same one. He keeps getting better, and if he’s content to finish his career with two more features, I feel like he’s going to give us something worth talking about and worth remembering.
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Images: The Weinstein Company