If you asked Quentin Tarantino which decade he’d choose to live in permanently, the answer would likely be the 1970s. The director has always shown an immense passion for various movie movements of the era — Blaxploitation, the explosion of martial arts films, New American cinema — and recently shared that his preferred vision of Luke Cage would be from that time. And of course, his movies have always nodded heavily to those influences as well, so it’s not a big surprise that Tarantino is diving deep into the start of the decade for a new project.
Speaking at the Lumière Festival in Lyon, Tarantino revealed he’s deep in research about the year 1970….but it won’t necessarily be for a film.
“Am I going to write a book? Maybe. Is it going to be a six-part podcast? Maybe. A feature documentary? Maybe. I’m figuring it out,” he said, revealing everything was a “work in progress” at the moment. However, he did share with attendees some of the topics that are catching his interesting.
Again, in no big shocker, it’s the movies themselves that has sparked Tarantino on the time period, with the director citing Mark Harris‘ acclaimed book “Pictures At A Revolution: Five Movies And The Birth Of The New Hollywood” as one of the things that got his engine running.
“New Hollywood was the Hollywood and anything that even smacked of Old Hollywood was dead on arrival,” he explained. “…the more I started going to the library and looking up newspaper articles of what it was like, I realized New Hollywood had won the revolution but whether it would survive wasn’t clear. Cinema had changed so drastically that Hollywood had alienated the family audience.”
“Society demanded (the Hollywood new wave) but that doesn’t mean that they supported it as a business model and it made me realize that New Hollywood cinema from 1970-76 at the very least was actually more fragile than I thought it was. That experiment could have died in 1970,” he added.
In particular, Tarantino is intrigued at the reception to Hollywood’s artistic shift, and in addition to watching movies, he’s been reading reviews from that time.
“That’s how I found the think pieces of the time. ‘What’s wrong with movies?’ ‘Movies have become scary,’ ‘Can Hollywood survive,’ ” he said. “There were a lot of promises made of possibilities of a new cinema. It was almost like, could Hollywood handle this kind of freedom? Could the public handle it? The freedom seemed limitless. Directors could adapt any book, could shoot anything. There were no restrictions and that was maybe untenable.”
It was a fascinating time both for the medium and society at large, and it seems like Tarantino is looking at that intersection. What he turns his research into will be exciting to see, and with the director revealing he’s spent the last four years researching the subject, whatever it turns out to be, it should be undoubtedly thorough. Read some excerpts from ‘Pictures At A Revolution’ below. [Deadline]