Quentin Tarantino has said that 1917, one of the best modern war movies, is actually overrated. As well as being one of the best filmmakers of the modern day with classics like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino is also vocal about his opinions on cinema in general.
Tarantino hasn’t shied away from criticism of the work of other filmmakers, and often gives his reflections on new movies. The sequels to the science fiction movie The Matrix have come under fire from him, as have the sequels to John Carpenters Halloween, the horror movie Scream, and plenty of others.
However, one movie that is a surprise inclusion in Tarantino’s list of overrated films is 1917. 1917 is the 2019 war movie from Sam Mendes, which focussed on World War 1 and an important mission undertaken by two young soldiers delivering a vital message. It was one of the most-praised movies of the year, being nominated for 10 Oscars as well as being a huge box-office success.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of 1917 is its long, extended one-take shots which string together each sequence into a single immersive experience. But, speaking about the movie on the Club Random with Bill Maher podcast, Tarantino played down the technique and said that the film used too many invisible cuts to create the illusion of a single take.
He said “1917 would be truly impressive if they did the movie with six cuts and that’s it. Not seven minute cuts, and eight minutes, and seven, and six, and [invisible cuts]. I’m not saying they do a bad job of that… But if you’re going to do it, really fucking do it. Go 15 minutes per fucking take.”
Tarantino continued “My friend brought something up [about 1917], and oh my god, once he brought it up I couldn’t unhear it. He was complaining about it because he felt it played too much like a video game.” He explained “The person I was speaking to said, ‘It’s ‘Wolfenstein’ the movie’. There’s this famous Nazi-werewolf game called ‘Wolfenstein’. It’s like ‘Wolfenstein’ the movie, but I’d like it better if it was ‘Wolfenstein’ the movie.”
It’s always interesting to hear the opinions of one filmmaker on the creation of another, especially when their opinions go against established or conventional opinions. Hopefully, even if Tarantino does retire from making movies, he’ll continue to give his thoughts on others.