Ever since films started being such an important part of our Pop Culture, there has been an avalanche of great directors. Wether they directed the intergalactic wars (George Lucas), a view on the ultraviolence of humanity (Stanley Kubrick) or comedies, horrors, dramas that we much love, there is always one director that stands tall on every film lover soul, in my case, there's two, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino. They are undeniably two of this generation's most influential directors, with skills that can't be done by anyone else without looking like a rip-off, they are both masterminds. The reason why they are my favorite directors of all time is the fact that when you call, let's say Pulp Fiction a Quentin Tarantino film or Inception a Christopher Nolan film, it's because it is really their film, both directed and written by them, a lot of the times, writers can't direct movies, and directors don't really have the skills to write one either.
Sometimes I view them as kind of the opposite side of the coin, and when I ask people if they like Chris and say yes, they also say Quentin is overrated, same happens when I ask people if they like Quentin, Chris becomes overrated. Anyways, I find myself having a hard time trying to choose which director I truly admire more, I guess it kind of depends on the mood I'm in. If I choose one, I feel so guilty, like cheating on the love of your life with a slut. They didn't start off around the same time but they weren't so far away either, with both of them having nine films each (if you count Kill Bill to be two movies and include Tarantino's The Hateful Eight coming out this December). Anyways, I created this article, not only for you guys to read, but for kind of a decision maker for myself, let's start. (Personal opinion only... for you butthurt people):
In this time of cinema history, a director's name is recognized based on the style of their film makers. This doesn't necessarily mean all of their movies are the same, it just means that you can feel the atmosphere they give off within the first few minutes of the ride their movies take you on. Again, what is a director without a style of their own.
Nolan: Nolan's films are heavily influenced by Film Noir, with the protagonists always being psychologically damaged, seeking vengeance or being filled with guilt. His first three movies, Following, Memento & Insomnia are all thrillers, dealing a lot with the landscape of the character's mind, their morals, wether it's a man obsessed with following people around the city in order to satisfy himself with the stories of the individuals, or not being able to remember what happened a few minutes ago, and having to believe what might always be a lie. he really likes to explore the flaws of the characters and how their acts uncover the consequences which always end up tragically. (Not in chronological order but) let's continue with The Dark Knight trilogy.
Without a doubt, since Batman Begins came out, being followed by the universally acclaimed Dark Knight, he completely shaped the way Comic Book movies are made and viewed (wether it's for the greater good *ehem Man of Steel, or the greater bad *ehem Fantastic Four). Contemporary superhero film directors have taken influence on what Nolan gave us that has pleased us geeks so much even up to this day. He transformed the Batman films into a grittier and much more realistic story, when being a vigilante comes with consequences, and the antagonists are simply twisted, being the embodiment of Fear, Chaos, and Pain. When the first two films came out, it showed the whole world that Comic Book movies are not just for children anymore, but also for those nerds (including me) that crave the satisfying adaptation of the characters we love so much, giving us the most iconic villain up to this day in history.
Thrillers and Comic Books are not the only strengths that Nolan has, oh no, he is a director that is able to fuck with your mind to a level that seems inhuman. With his other three films The Prestige, Inception and Interstellar, the story lines and plots are flawless, leading to a conclusion that either leave you saying "Oooh, so that's what happened" or "HOLY S**T" or "Wait... What?!". All of his movies have quickly escalated to the peek of Pop Culture, being able to gather a massive cult following.
Tarantino: Quentin's films are extremely dynamic, filled with bursting energy, graphic violence, characters whose conversation could be 2 hours long and completely unrelated to the plot of the movie but still are the most entertaining thing you'll see in the theatre. Going from Crime, to Revenge-Flicks, from Indestructible Cars to Western Bounty-Hunters, his films don't really have a genre, but at the same time, it has a little bit of all, satires all around the place? Check. Blood spattering everywhere? Check. Black Humor that makes it uncomfortable to laugh? Check. Starting with his highly acclaimed film debut, Reservoir Dogs, dealing with the perfect heist that goes completely wrong in an nonlinear story telling, similar to his academy award-winning follow up, Pulp Fiction, that intersects three stories, with mobs doing the dirty job, a boxer tangled in a web of pride, and taking the big-boss' wife out for dinner. Completing the crime drama trilogy with Jackie Brown, his most underrated work, including excellent performances and an awesome (and finally easy to follow) plot.
After 6 years, he came back in the 20th Century with a Two-Part revenge story about katanas, guns, high amount of action, buckets of blood, conversations about comic books, 'F**k You's' under shoes, and much more, Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2 is so much fun for your eyes. Sure, a lot of graphic violence, blah blah blah, but so what, it's still a fantastic movie. Death Proof though, came out a couple of years later, and is the only Tarantino movie that I consider weak... like really, really weak. His last to movies, Inglorious Basterds and Django: Unchained take place deep into the past, either rewriting history of how Hitler died, or the adventures of a free-man and a German being Bounty Hunters in the old west.
Victory: Tie Both of their styles are iconic, original, and fun. Touching Science Fiction, Ninjas, The Old West, or Nazis, this only makes both directors more recognized in our geek-world.
What is a good movie without awesome characters, and what is an awesome character without awesome actors, both Nolan and Tarantino make sure to gather a great team of talented actors, twist them up, and make them the perfect person to play the specific role. The pick of actors is near flaw-less, damn, even the extras in the movies are better that the protagonists in some movies we see today. Let's take a look at the most used actors that make the movie a beautiful experience.
Nolan: Let's start off with Christian Bale, he played our beloved Dark Knight, giving his own take, and even though I feel that Ben Affleck is the Batman we've been waiting for, I still believe that the caped crusader that Bale's gave life to, will always be respected and acclaimed. He also played the magician twins in The Prestige who would go head-to-head against Wolverine (Hugh Jackman of course). Michael Caine, not appearing in only 3 of Nolan's films, he has now become a vital part of the cast, being the embodiment of wise thinking, and a moral driven character. Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt only take part of the massive star-filled cast.
Tarantino: Samuel L. Jackson has been Tarantino's most powerful actor, every single role he plays, wether he plays a loud mouth mob, an ass-kisser, or simply narrates a few minutes of the movie, he nails every single characters he is given, with no flaws, always stealing the show in any scene he appears in, Umma Thurman and Zoe Bell are the two most familiar and striking actresses in Tarantino's films, with Thurman giving us the face, and Bell giving us stunt contributions that makes action-packed films like Kill Bill so amazing. Tarantino is also responsible for bringing actors that were nearly forgotten back to the box-office success, like John Travolta, coming in Pulp Fiction from Saturday Night Live, making us know that time may have passed, but his skills were still sharp, same goes for Nash Grier, who gave us an spectacular Jackie Brown. Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz giving us the most terrifying yet charismatic villain performances in Quentin's filmography. Also really hyped that Tim Roth will come back in The Hateful Eight after giving us Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs.
Winner: Tarantino Sure, Nolan has an amazing cast, who plays their characters with their soul, but Tarantino has a way bigger category that owns the roles and contributes to the Badass-Fest you get at a Quentin movie, not only that, but the academy award nominations and wins can also be strong evidence of Tarantino's great company.
This goes along with Style like the heart and mind of a human body, both director's have an amazingly wide and powerful mind, both writing stories that keep your eyes peeled to the screen and make you think, make you laugh, make you scream, make you cry, and make you get addicted. What are the actors worth, without some badass storylines. In this round we see what director tells the story better, and who has the better story as well, again as I mentioned before, both directors direct AND write these extraordinary motion pictures.
Tarantino: Quentin has the gift of giving you a scene that has nothing to do with the actual plot, make it interesting, since it's so natural and alike to the conversations we have in modern times. He is able to develop stories within stories, and tell them with a flow so soft as a river. Or give you a whole movie with a non-chronological set of scenes. Whatever Tarantino does, seems like it came out of a comic book that has been passed out from generation to generation, with people memorizing the catchy scenes like the palm of their own hands. Western, Nazis, Mobs, a heist, ninjas, a car, all subjects that are so common, being seen on every movie now a day, which of course makes it boring and dull, but Tarantino twists the cliches, expands the plots, brings so many memorable characters to life, stories with each, such a thick personality. Satires, metaphors and high-styled violence are used in such a level, that you're able to recognize his movies by just hearing the dialogue... or Samuel L. Jackson... maybe just him. He often seeks to harness, manipulate and ultimately imitate the aesthetic elements and conventions typically used in the cartoon medium. More specifically, he often attempts to meld comic strip formulas and aesthetics within a live action film sequence, in some cases by the literal use of cartoon or anime images. Tarantino's cinematic ambition to marry artistic expression via live action and cartoonism is yet another example of his ability to morph genres and conventions to produce a new and authentic style of his own. Tarantino stand tall as one of the best cinematic story tellers of our generation.
Nolan: Nolan uses stories that make your brain basically hurt, with complexity that goes far away from a normal person's brain. A Nolan film really gives you the sense that Nolan is not only an amazing director, but also an amazing vision adapter, being able to export paradoxes, or ideas that only live in the depths of your conscience into the screen. With a constant pace of releases, Nolan's mind is always moving, ahead of itself. Instead of writing his stories, Chris constructs them, shapes them, draws them, like an architect, and only when the drawing is flawless, with no holes, no ends, no malfunctions, only then, does he actually materializes it. Nolan also uses the concept of time a lot, playing the role of the unstoppable force, the true antagonist of the film, with impossible constructions, and the exploring of personal identity, getting into the minds inside his own, making his films feel far more than personal, it makes the viewer have a connection with the project.
Winner: Nolan Don't get me wrong, both minds are wide, amazing builders and exploding with movement, and as much as Tarantino's simplicity is loved, Nolan's expandable stories, complex and mind-twisting plots and an imagination that only an amazingly and dynamic mind has. Not to compare IQ's or anything, but the final product of Nolan makes him look like a total and absolute smartass genius.
Final Verdict: Both and None From the actors, to the atmospheres, to the stories, what Director is the actual greater one, there isn't one, each one has flaws or weaknesses that are completely covered with the strengths. To be honest, I find myself having a very hard time trying to choose one, it feels like I'm cheating on my girlfriend, and definitely, at least for me, it all depends on the weather. Both directors have forever marked the future of cinematic history. Doesn't matter if you like them or not, they are masterminds, it's one of those times where the opinion doesn't matter, and them being great is a fact. Wether you followed them since the beginning, or you have just heard about them (which I doubt), these men are men to be respected and admired as two of the most influential figures in modern cinema...