ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

As J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, "advice is a dangerous gift", and you should always be wary about who you take it from. Normally I would agree with this sentiment, but there are some people who's advice is just too good to ignore - too good in fact, that I'm prepared to ignore Tolkien's.

Legendary film director Quentin Tarantino happens to be one such person. The man who practically re-invented American cinema with his endearingly mundane dialogue, ultra-violent outbursts and non-linear narrative structures, surely has more than a few nuggets of wisdom to share. To say Tarantino is a little eccentric is like saying Zed is just a little dead, but as they say, there's a bit of madness in every genius. So listen up folks, here are 10 pieces of life advice straight from the mouth of the director himself...

On seizing one's chances in life:

If you want to make a movie, make it. Don't wait for a grant, don't wait for the perfect circumstances, just make it.

On the importance of life experience:

When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'

On making the best out of even dire situations:

I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time and I learnt some great dialogue.

On knowing when to retire:

I hope to give you at least 15 more years of movies. I'm not going to be this old guy that keeps cranking them out. My plan is to have a theater by that time in some small town and I will be the manager - this crazy old movie guy.

On the importance of self-confidence:

To be a novelist, all I need is a pen and a piece of paper.

On staying true to yourself:

This movie [Reservoir Dogs] was never meant to be everything for everybody. And I don't mean that as a slam. I'm just saying I made this movie for myself and everybody else is invited.

On the importance of modesty:

I don't believe in elitism. I don't think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience.

On one's commitment to an art form:

Movies are my religion and God is my patron. I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I don't make movies to pay for my pool. When I make a movie, I want it to be everything to me; like I would die for it.

On following your passions:

If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.

On making the most of what you're good at:

I couldn't spell anything. I couldn't remember anything, but I could go to a movie and I knew who starred in it, who directed it, everything.

So there you have it - the best guidance a double-Oscar-winning director can give you. For some reason, I now feel suddenly inspired to make a spaghetti Western-influenced tale of gory revenge. Weird, huh?


Has Tarantino changed the way you think?


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