Kill Bill, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, and Inglorious Basterds have been some of the most popular movies streamed on Netflix over the last couple of years. This isn't surprising given the amount of respect their director, Quentin Tarantino, has garnered over the years, as well as the cult-following he has amassed. What is surprising is how many times Quentin has actually used the ever popular streaming service: zero. You heard me right. Tarantino has never, and will never, use streaming devices to watch a film. At first, I thought maybe he had some kind of vendetta against a higher-up in the company, much like one of his beloved characters would. I thought, maybe they owe him some kind of loyalty check? I was shocked to learn he actually has no personal issue with the company. He simply believes that having movies at your fingertips takes away from the joy of film. It's as simple as that. As I researched the issue, this isn't the only example in his life that proves he is still film's biggest advocate.
When asked what he uses instead of Netflix, Quentin's answer was again a surprise. He still records movies onto VHS tapes. That's right, in 2015, one of the country's greatest filmmakers still turns on a VCR to tape the next showing of The Big Lebowski on AMC. He adds these tapes to his ever growing library of tapes and DVDs he has stored at his house. Years ago, when his favorite video store was going out of business, Tarantino bought the store's entire library. This man has an entire Blockbuster in his basement! It sounds so inconvenient, but his reasoning actually kind of makes sense: If you want to enjoy something, you at least have to work a little to make it happen. I think about the joy as a kid, of popping in that VHS and watching it rewind just to get back to where I left off before I fell asleep the night before. I remember getting nervous every time there was a little glitch in the screen, hoping the tape wasn't done for. This idea actually makes me wanna watch a tape again! As cool as this all is, I don't even think it's the coolest thing Quentin does to preserve the art he holds so dear.
While there are plenty of directors who still use film instead of digital cameras today (Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen, Judd Apatow, J.J. Abrams, to name a few), Q is taking it one step further. He not only wants to shoot in film, but he wants fans to experience seeing it on film as well. In 2007, Tarantino bought a small film theater that was to be shut down, just to make sure it would always show movies, and show them on film. Just this last year, Tarantino announced that he is paying for 70mm projectors to be installed into a handful of theaters around the U.S. so that his fans can see his new film, The Hateful Eight, the way it's meant to be seen. He is paying out of his own pocket, big as it may be, so that many people can get the chance to experience film the way he has, and maybe fall in love with it just as hard.
One can look at his career and think that Quentin Tarantino has changed the film industry enough, just by making the movies we all love. What I love so much about him is that he will never believe that's enough. He has devoted his life to making sure each an every person has a chance to experience an art form the way it was intended, and I think that's worth more that all the Oscars in the world.