Quentin Tarantino has finished writing his script for a spaghetti Western. Can it ride high with the greats, or match his own career peaks? Geoffrey Macnab investigates
Misery's formula is depressingly straightforward. "A loves B, B doesn't love A," observes washed-up flying ace Freddie Page. Shallow, selfish, drunken, not even particularly good looking, Page's analysis of the situation is accurate if prosaic.
Inglourious Basterds ticks all the boxes for a film by Quentin Tarantino. Visceral violence, an inspired soundtrack, genre bent all out of shape, reams of crackling dialogue and a veritable love letter to Sergio Leone, The Dirty Dozen and the films of pre-war Germany? Check. But an award-winning performance? Now that's unusual. Samuel L Jackson as the Bible-spouting hitman in Pulp Fiction, and Robert Forster as the ageing bail bondsman in Jackie Brown, both received Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Oscars. But in general, Tarantino films don't receive their plaudits for their performances.
'Acting is something I need to do. It's a need to be somebody else, which is freeing, and allows me to be comfortable with who I am'
When the singer and musician Isaac Hayes met MGM executives in 1970, the conversation turned to the Ernest Tidyman novel Shaft, to which the studio had just acquired the film rights. Hayes thought he might be up for the lead role as the black private detective John Shaft, as the studio seemed keen to cash in on the emerging blaxploitation genre.