300ml, a directing duo out of Brazil, has put together a rather absorbing short film called Tarantinos Mind – an exploration into the common themes, characters, and references that underpin Quentin Tarantino‘s filmography. The film centers around a diner conversation between actor-musicians Selton Mello and Seu Jorge, who discuss Mello’s “Tarantino Theory” over a few beers, some French fries, and plenty of sarcasm. His fast-paced logic can be difficult to follow at times, but Mello’s argument ultimately rests upon a set of overlapping identities and motifs that run throughout films like Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill franchise — all of which combine to form their own parallel reality.
The takeaway, then, is that all of Tarantino’s films unfold within the same universe, though Mello isn’t exactly the first to espouse this philosophy. Earlier this week, a Reddit user posted an extensive breakdown of his own, inspired by a Cracked.com post from July 2011. The concept is a bit more layered, dividing the Tarantino universe in two, but it’s just as compelling. Here’s an excerpt, where user UOLATSC argues that everything within the Tarantino world happens after World War II — and, more specifically, after the dramatic movie theater scene from Inglorious Basterds:
Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.
You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino’s movies are technically two universes – he’s gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til [sic] Dawn take place in a ‘movie movie universe’; that is, they’re movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)
So, which interpretation are you buying — Mello’s unified approach, or UOLATSC’s Inception-style historicism? Do you have a theory of your own? Let us know in the comments below.