American director Quentin Tarantino at Rome Film Fest 2021. Quentin Tarantino Red Carpet. Rome (Italy), October 19th, 2021 (Photo by Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
One Of Quentin Tarantino's Favorite Camera Tricks Came Straight From Sergio Leone
Close-ups have been a part of movies since the early days of cinema, but the Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone and his hyper-focus on the subject’s eyes may be one of the most influential practitioners of the style. The technique is near and dear to Quentin Tarantino, who has repeatedly paid homage to Leone throughout his filmography and uses the style often.
Tarantino utilizes Leone close-ups because of the way they enhance the suspense of action scenes, but also because they’re an effective characterization technique. Tarantino explained, “It’s a very strong choice to shoot them like that since we used actors who have cool-looking faces. This cuts together well, especially in certain dialogue scenes, because their faces hold the screen.”
Using Leone’s close-up technique gives Tarantino’s movies an epic Western quality, despite the film’s genre, such as the climactic sword duel of “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” playing out like the ending of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Critics initially dismissed Leone and the Spaghetti Western as cheap and violent, but both have gone on to influence Hollywood’s most acclaimed artists.