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Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment
This post was originally published on 8 March 2019 and updated on 26 May 2019.
As streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, and the upcoming Disney+ and Apple TV+, continue to bring the cinematic effect into the home – abandoning the popcorn infested cushions and soda-covered grounds in favor of the couch and coffee table – Hollywood’s silver screen standard is slipping through cracks along Sunset Boulevard.
Going to see a movie used to be an adventure. You packed up the kids and sat amongst equally excited strangers, waiting for the lights to dim and the opening scene to commence. Now, seeing a movie falls into the past-time realm: an easily accessible means of entertainment. While many Hollywood influencers are all in favor of this shift in entertainment consumption, not all entertainment professionals are on board. Steven Spielberg, and more recently, Helen Mirren are two significant opposers.
As for Quentin Tarantino, the culturally contentious director has been an outspoken advocate for the movie theatre experience. If the fact that he owns one – The New Beverly Cinema – doesn’t paint a clear enough picture concerning his beliefs surrounding “theatre magic,” nothing will. Unless you take a moment to consider the message Tarantino is sending with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Quentin Tarantino operates in a Hollywood he no
Quentin Tarantino described Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of “hippy” Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton, former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth. Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore…”
Once realizing that Tarantino devised a story about characters who no longer recognize the entertainment industry – for “hippy Hollywood” had begun taking over the “Golden Age–” you realize that Tarantino penned a very relevant reflection within a decades-old historical zeitgeist.
By garbing a contemporary concern in yesterday’s attire, it becomes so evident how little time exists between the resurfacing of trends. For Quentin Tarantino, like a western movie star in a melodrama, is a Hollywood giant in a streaming service society.
The past shift vs. the present one
Back in 1969, the days of Gone With the Wind and East of Eden were fading in rearview mirrors, and the world was making room for socially-reflective melodramas like They Shoot Horses, Don’t They and more niche productions like The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Those classical Hollywood tales were traded in for narrative arcs more disparate from the romanticized “Hollywood spirit.” Films – ranging in genre, story, and underlying themes – constituted “hippy” Hollywood.
Now, Hollywood bigwigs fear and often dismiss the very type of movie that took over in the late 60s. Today, big-budget films that aren’t part of a film franchise are shunned; the likelihood of success presents too much risk. If it’s not a series, it’s deemed too unpredictable. Apparently, viewers have grown accustomed to returning to worlds that inspire familiarity. Who knew? There have only been how many box-office-breaking Avengers movies?
We don’t need Iron Man to sell tickets
Back in the late ‘60s, we traded in the big romantic notions for more eclectic narratives. Now, it seems that we’re trading in unique standalone films for consistency and box office reliability. The two do not seem synonymous. And in response, Tarantino will prove that he can still produce a standalone, big-budget Hollywood film with a star-studded cast, film it in LA (just like the old times), and get people to leave their homes to see it, even though Iron Man will not make an appearance.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s personal vendetta against the complacency that has settled over many major industry influences. While some may say, “It’s the way it is. This is the way of the future,” Tarantino’s new film will argue that interconnected franchises are not the superior outlet, but rather the safer one. And when, in film, within an art form destined to question the status quo, has the safer move been the right decision? Or better yet, the righteous one?
Here are some of the other articles we have published on the cinematic gem.
- True Hollywood Glamour Arrives At Cannes – Premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio & Margot Robbie Wow All
- Watch: Reaction From Stars On The Making Of Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood | Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie & Quentin Tarantino
- Hollywood Insider’s BEST DRESSED WINNERS: Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Recap With Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nick Jonas, Elle Fanning, Ming Xi & Many More
- “Trailer With A Scoop Of Trivia” – all the facts you must see on Quentin’s masterpiece
- And of course, the countless time we have featured them on our Instagram @hollywoodinsider
- New & Exciting Poster Released For Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood – Taking A Page Out Of The Golden Age Of Hollywood
By Joshua Lezmi
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Joshua Lezmi is an entertainment journalist who keeps an ear to the ground concerning movies and Broadway. Writing reviews and feature stories for Hollywood Insider, Joshua enjoys contemplating all the ways that art impacts life. Though often reflecting contemporary cultural values back on society, art can also mold the reality we know. Joshua’s coverage often carries and comments on this concept. Joshua enjoys raising questions in his pieces that are designed to be explored, for like the subject matter he covers — movies, TV shows, and Broadway productions — the appeal is in the journey.