Don’t be a square–new images emerge from Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


I’ve considered myself a movie guy for the majority of my life, my father’s work as a location scout is certainly one of two major factors. The other was Pulp Fiction. It’s a cliche, but that film did for me what it did for a lot of kids (who were probably too young to be watching): Movies were damn cool.

My relationship with Tarantino’s films has aged like wine; not quite turning to vinegar as Marsellus Wallace would suggest, but I’m quick sometimes to remind myself of some of his more over-the-top, self-indulgent qualities… 

… until a new film comes along and yep, I just need this in my life.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as I’m shocked it’s still being called, has received a slew of exclusive photographs from Vanity Fair. In them we get some glimpses of the great ’60s costumes, like Brad Pitt’s wonderful Hawaiian shirt, and a few set shots. Also our first look at Al Pacino in costume as a Hollywood agent-type.

Long-described as a sort of Hollywood-insider story, Hollywood is set in 1969, concerning itself with the Manson murders of that summer. Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, victim of the infamous murder and late wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. The extent to which Tarantino’s film will depict Manson and the events are unclear, perhaps relegating her story to a parallel arc alongside what seems to be our main focus.

Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a veteran actor who, with his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) finds himself increasingly frustrated and alienated by a changing Hollywood and film industry. No doubt we’ll get all sorts of Hail, Caesar!-esque bits of backstage drama and madness, though I’m really curious to see how Tarantino plays this.

Based off of the scant details, it sounds as if Hollywood is the first film of Tarantino’s to avoid easy genre classification since… ever, perhaps. Jackie Brown closed out his “crime trilogy” in 1997, and whether you want to call crime films genre films is a bit of a debate. Then came Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and 2015’s The Hateful Eight. Of course, all unique and interesting, but you can point and go “kung-fu… western…” and so on.

It might read as hype, but I do think this could be the most interesting film in terms of what it tries to accomplish. Long a scholar of films and film history, every fan (myself included) relishes the little nods and winks Tarantino cobbles his films from, so to have a movie about movies is full circle, in a way.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is currently slated for a July 26th release date.

Exclusive Preview: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood[Vanity Fair]