DAR Directors Roundtable: Martin Scorsese vs Quentin Tarantino

Today, we have a new roundtable. One talking two top directors and their filmography. Martin Scorsese. Quentin Tarantino. Without further adieu, let's get right into the discussion.

I think this is the ultimate comparison..it seems odd to put these two up against each other because Scorsese has been directing much longer and both director's movies are so different, but Tarantino can definitely hold his own against the greats.

Just to be extra clear, both of these guys are ranked number one for me, I like each for different reasons and my top movies of all time are mostly Scorsese flicks, but if I had to say who was a better director (and I'm being extremely objective here), I would have to say Tarantino.

Let me explain. In my opinion, Tarantino has always pushed the envelope conceptually and he is a risk taker in his writing ( Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill are perfect examples), the film's dialogue is flawless, his intelligence is always weaved into each script and his references to other unheard of films is incorporated throughout his entire filmography with soundtracks that are brilliant.

Tarantino truly shows his scope of knowledge on films and music and never disappoints. The guy is like a walking encyclopedia or reference library of music and film. I do think, however, his risk taking is where he gets some point deductions according to some, because they may find his perspective and approach on various topics a bit harsh or

Tarantino is very comfortable with this nonlinear storyline angle and he does it well, actually he does it perfectly, those particular movies are ranked among classics. He also incorporates crazy amounts of graphic violence to portray the seriousness/extreme nature of the matter and flawlessly brings to life his vision. I mean blood streaming out of eyes, blood splatter on walls…he has mastered the definition of "blood bath". As I mentioned, he excels at dialogue throughout every movie and pays attention to the smallest details which adds to the cohesiveness of the entirety of the movies (facial
expressions, clothing, scenery, set, color scheme etc.) and he makes sure everything he incorporates magnifies what he's trying to portray. Tarantino allows his characters to drive the movie rather than the
story, his character development is on point and he equally develops every character. As a viewer and fan, it allows me to experience the depth of each one and he does this in every movie and does it effortlessly. Not to say that Scorsese doesn't, it's just Tarantino does this in the most difficult of films. Another point to be noted is Tarantino's casting. He truly casts the best people based on the character he has in mind. I have never watched one of his movies and thought somebody else would be better suited.  It is no surprise that Tarantino has already won several awards in the "best screenplay and director" categories. He truly is deserving. Again, both of these
directors/writers are absolutely brilliant but I would have to say Tarantino, in the short amount of time he's been doing this (comparatively) has shown his range, ability and attention to detail in each movie and that he is in fact legendary.

Not sure I can give you a decisive winner between the two in terms of who is the better director between Scorsese and Tarantino. Both have very unique filming styles that work for them and only them. Tarantino pretty much fathered the modern day nonlinear story telling style (See Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs just to name a few...). His influence can often be seen in many of Christopher Nolan's films paying homage to this unique style with notable films such as his Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, Inception and a couple of others. Tarantino also frequently takes minor and secondary actors from one of his films, and makes them major leads in his next which is always cool to see. Quentin Tarantino does not shy away from his own influences... often incorporating spaghetti western type elements combined with deep south elements which often result in shoot em ups and frequent use of the N word with the hard R. He blends them perfectly so it often feels in good taste, that being the context of the film... MOST of the time. Having been in 7 Tarantino movies (including the upcoming Hateful 8) Tarantino seems to bring the best out of Samuel L. Jackson. The pairing of these two in movies is like fine Pinot Noir to a nice steak. Always worth the time and price of admission.

Martin Scorsese brings this amazing cinematic grittiness to a lot of his movies. That down and dirty bare bones take no prisoners kind of art. Directors seem to have that one actor that is the Pippen to their Jordan they can always rely on to properly demonstrate their vision. Early Scorsese fans recognize Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas) as that person to him. Having been making movies together spanning 5 decades, It just feels like every Scorsese film should have DeNiro in it...That is until we got to see the magic of Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2002's Gangs of New York followed by one of my favorite movies, 2004's The Departed.

Seems as though Martin Scorsese has found two actors capable of gloriously exuding the gritty nature and filming styles we have come to know in his films. Actors capable of holding your attention until that very unique Scorsese plot twist or that heart pounding fight scene.

I'm not a huge fan of Tarantino honestly. While I appreciate his risk taking in some aspects, I feel like he's lost his direction in some way as a director. Reservoir Dogs is great, as is Pulp Fiction and I enjoy Jackie Brown, but after that is where he lost me. I don't really think this is truly a competition or a heavy comparison because Scorsese directed two of my all time favorite films, Goodfellas and Casino. He also directed the amazing The Wolf of Wall Street as well and while Tarantino is known for dialogue in his films, I am not a big fan of the dialogue in his more recent films. Blood and gore for the sake of it really doesn't appeal to me as the violence in some of his movies are just overkill. So, when choosing between these two directors and who makes better films, I have to go with Scorsese hands down.

Have an opinion on this director debate? Post comments below and join the convo!



Popular Posts