Tagged: Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction: Tim Roth’s Surfer Shirt

Tim Roth in Pulp Fiction (1994)

Tim Roth in Pulp Fiction (1994)

Vitals

Tim Roth as “Pumpkin”, aka “Ringo”, an otherwise unnamed small-time crook

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Now that it’s summer—and already a hot one!—I’ve started rotating my favorite aloha shirts and tropical prints into my wardrobe. Luckily for me, bright Hawaiian-style resort shirts have been undergoing a wave of revival each summer, perhaps encouraged by Brad Pitt’s now-famous yellow aloha shirt in Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Style in QT’s early movies typically conjures the well-armed professional criminals in their uniforms of black suits, white shirts, and black ties, but outside of this lethal look, characters in the Tarantino-verse often pulled from the Hawaiian shirts in their closet. The first example would be Harvey Keitel’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it palm-print shirt before taking Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange for tacos in Reservoir Dogs. Two years later, it was Roth himself that would be tropically attired for the next of Tarantino’s defining cinematic works. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Leo’s Black Airport Attire

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorenza Izzo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorenza Izzo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, re-energized movie and TV star

Rome to Los Angeles, Summer 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

Background

I recently had the good fortune to rejoin my friend Peter Brooker on his excellent podcast, From Tailors With Love, joined by John Williams of James Bond Radio to talk about the style in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Tarantino’s ode to the movie industry at the close of the 1960s.

Though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cycles through the orbit of real-life stars like Sharon Tate, Steve McQueen, the Mamas and the Papas, and James Stacy—to name just a few—the central story focuses on the dynamic between the fictional actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend, the laconic stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

The movie begins with Rick coming to terms with his “washed-up” career, his desperation leading to a meeting with talent broker Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino), who suggests spaghetti westerns as the gateway to the next phase of Rick’s career. Following Rick’s impressive performances on episodes of The F.B.I. and Lancer, Schwarz books him four back-to-back gigs in Italy, where he also meets and marries the beautiful starlet Francesca Capucci (Lorenza Izzo) as his stardom climbs to new heights. Continue reading

Robert Forster’s Sport Jacket and Cherry Red Polo in Jackie Brown

Robert Forster as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1997)

Robert Forster as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1997)

Vitals

Robert Forster as Max Cherry, reliable bail bondsman

Los Angeles, Summer 1995

Film: Jackie Brown
Release Date: December 25, 1997
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Mary Claire Hannan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

One year ago today, the great Robert Forster died at the age of 78 after more than a half-century in movies and TV, perhaps best known for his roles in Medium Cool, Jackie BrownMulholland Drive, and most recently as taciturn “disappearer” Ed on Breaking Bad.

Though he’d been acting for three decades, it wasn’t until Jackie Brown that Forster gained widespread recognition with his Academy Award-nominated performance, establishing both Forster and Max Cherry as the latest beneficiaries of the “Tarantino effect” that had renewed the careers of actors like Harvey Keitel and John Travolta after their turns in QT-directed films.

Jackie Brown remains the rare Tarantino joint adapted from another writer’s source material, in this case the novel Rum Punch by prolific crime author Elmore Leonard, who was born 95 years ago today on October 11, 1925.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Brad Pitt’s Double Denim and Karmann Ghia

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, taciturn Hollywood stuntman and personal “gofer”

Los Angeles, February 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This summer’s Car Week posts are likely to be more embraced than usual as many are enthusiastically embracing the open road after months of global lockdown and road trips emerging as safer alternatives for summer travel.

My first official Car Week post of the year was an obvious one for me. I went into Once Upon a Time in Hollywood last year knowing I’d be entertained, but the absolute immersion into 1969 Southern California far exceeded my expectations. By the time we were joining Brad Pitt as he worked the gears of his sporty Karmann Ghia through the streets of L.A. to the shifting sounds of Billy Stewart’s “Summertime”, Joe Cocker’s “The Letter”, The Bob Seger System’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”, and Aretha Franklin’s “The House That Jack Built”, I was hooked. It’s hardly two minutes of screen time, but the kinetic energy, superb soundtrack (how much did it cost to license music for this scene alone?), and electrifying sense of place made it one of the most memorable sequences I’d seen on the big screen in years and gave me a sense of the entertainment that was to follow. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Leo’s Orange Leather Blazer

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, washed-up TV actor

Los Angeles, February 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

Background

Years after his glory days on the Western serial Bounty Law, proto-cowboy actor Rick Dalton fears that he’s “a has-been” as he’s relegated to dwindling, often villainous roles in Westerns and crime shows. Each one presents the opportunity to either impress audiences or remind them that he isn’t the star that he once was, so it’s with considerable apprehension—and a killer hangover—that he’s driven to the set of Lancer to film his walk-on role as the sinister Caleb DeCoteau opposite James Stacy (Timothy Olyphant).

“You’re Rick fuckin’ Dalton… and don’t you forget it,” encourages his stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), calling out from the cockpit of Rick’s Cadillac as the actor makes his wheezing walk onto the set. Rick is met by the gregarious Sam Wanamaker (Nicholas Hammond), the Chicago-born actor and director who had indeed directed the Lancer pilot, “The High Riders”. In yet another touch of QT’s revisionist history, this episode aired in September 1968, six months before this movie depicts it being filmed on Sunday, February 9, 1969. Continue reading

Pam Grier’s Black Suit in Jackie Brown

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown in Jackie Brown (1997)

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown in Jackie Brown (1997)
(Note that this shot is a mirror image in the film, so I flipped to reflect how Jackie actually looked in this scene.)

Vitals

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown, flight attendant and money courier

Los Angeles, Summer 1995

Film: Jackie Brown
Release Date: December 25, 1997
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Mary Claire Hannan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today marks a BAMF Style first, focusing on a badass woman from the movies: Pam Grier as the eponymous lead in Jackie Brown, adapted by Quentin Tarantino from Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. QT had long been a fan of Grier—and rightly so!—including a reference to her in his debut feature, Reservoir Dogs (1992). He had hoped to secure a role for her in Pulp Fiction (1994) until he realized that the actress’ strong presence would make it difficult for audiences to accept Eric Stoltz yelling at her on screen.

After Tarantino and Roger Avary acquired the film rights to three of Elmore Leonard’s novels, the director reportedly “fell in love” with Rum Punch, selecting that as his next feature. In the hopes of hiring Grier for the lead, he changed the character from the white Jackie Burke to the black Jackie Brown, her new surname alluding to Pam Grier’s famous role in Foxy Brown (1974). This character modification wasn’t Tarantino’s only homage to Grier’s career, as the soundtrack also included pieces from Roy Ayers’ original score for Coffy, the blaxploitation classic that provided Grier with her star-making role upon its release 47 years ago on May 13, 1973. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Brad Pitt in Black and White

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, swaggering Hollywood stuntman

Los Angeles, Summer 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Tonight the night? Why not?

When Cliff Booth poses himself this question on the night of Friday, August 8, 1969, he was merely considering whether or not he should partake in an acid-dipped cigarette he bought from “a hippie girl” six months earlier, but the night turns out to be far more eventful than a mere drug experiment.

Brad Pitt may have asked himself the same question a month ago during the 92nd Academy Awards when he won his first Oscar for acting in recognition of his performance in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, the ninth film from Quentin Tarantino as the auteur added his own revisionist touch to a consequential year for American pop culture.

As today is Friday the 13th, let’s take a look at one of Cliff’s less celebrated outfits on what started as a very unlucky night for the stuntman… until he turned the tables thanks to that acid-dipped cigarette, his pet pit bull Brandy, and a few decades worth of combat-honed grit.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Leo’s Brown Leather Jacket

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, washed-up TV actor

Los Angeles, February 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

Background

Now that Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has been released on video and streaming services, I wanted to get cracking on the much-requested to cover Arianne Phillips’ fantastic costume design that brought the end of the swinging ’60s to life. Phillips’ costume design is one of ten categories for which Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a contender at the Academy Awards this Sunday, in addition to nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt.

As Pitt’s yellow Aloha shirt and jeans was already the subject of a BAMF Style “preview” post last summer (with a more robust post to come, I assure you!), I wanted to turn my attention to Rick Dalton, the fading star of TV westerns who’s forced to admit at the start of the movie:

It’s official, old buddy. I’m a has-been.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Brad Pitt’s Aloha Shirt and Champion Tee

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Hollywood stunt performer and war veteran

Los Angeles, February 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

How to Get the Look

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s stylish late-sixties outfits in Tarantino’s ninth film, released in American theaters today, will receive fuller BAMF Style coverage once the movie has been released to home media and streaming services, but I wanted to take an early look at Cliff Booth’s scrappy summer attire that has gotten plenty of exposure in the film’s promotional posters, photos, and trailers. Continue reading

Inglourious Basterds: Aldo Raine’s Ivory Dinner Jacket

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, U.S. Army OSS officer and redneck leader of the “Inglourious Basterds”

Paris, June 1944

Film: Inglourious Basterds
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Anna B. Sheppard
Brad Pitt’s Evening Attire: Giorgio Armani

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Inglourious Basterds kicks off a two-film spree in Tarantino’s filmography focused on rewriting history with violent vengeance. In this revisionist take on World War II, a band of Jewish-American military guerillas – think The Dirty Dozen meets The A-Team – is assigned the sole task of secretly but brutally fighting their way through occupied German territory, murdering any Nazi encountered in their wake. The two-year spree of these “inglourious basterds” who give the film its title ends up in a Paris movie theater on the eve of the D-Day invasion with an opportunity to take down the German high command, including Hitler himself, to end the war. Continue reading