CINEMA: centrepiece: Tales of a Dog's life

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The Independent Culture
Since the release two years ago of Reservoir Dogs, you'd be forgiven for thinking that American cinema had been exhumed and resuscitated by one man alone: Quentin Tarantino. He litters gossip columns, film journals and style magazines; he's one of the few writers whose name can be guaranteed to push an otherwise unremarkable feature (see True Romance). And he must surely be the first executive producer whose name appears above that of the director, as on the poster and trailers for Killing Zoe.

Tarantino is a movie geek. (Imagine that Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards had been a champion skier, revitalised international skiing as we know it and inspired a whole new generation of nerdy slackers to carve their name on the slopes, and you have the idea.)

Reservoir Dogs (with Tim Roth, right) was a lean, lithe debut which showcased his unerring precision with words. Pulp Fiction was mostly sprawling and self-indulgent, but both films bore the stamp of anal retention, a fact made explicit by subsequent dissection of their minutiae: did you know, for instance, that the character of Mr Blonde is actually an oblique reference to the hair colour of Tarantino's sister's babysitter's ex-CIA agent-turned-gangster brother-in-law?

Unfortunately, all this only serves to cloud Tarantino's achievements. Do we genuinely care that the jewellery store in Reservoir Dogs was named after Godard's wife? No. We care about the films. If, however, you want to find out QT's hat size and inside-leg measurement, get along to the NFT on Saturday where he'll be interviewed on stage. I'm sure he'd be delighted to tell you everything in excruciating detail.

Ryan Gilbey

Tarantino Choice, NFT (071-928 3232) Quentin Tarantino will be interviewed after a screening of `Pulp Fiction' on Saturday at 6.30pm. See film listings for full programme details

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