It’s been widely talked about over the years that Quentin Tarantino might have a little foot thing going on. They tend to show up quite a bit in his films and there has even been significant discussion about feet in his flicks. Heck, remember back to the opening scene in Pulp Fiction when Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules and John Travolta’s Vincent have an aside about the severity of giving another man’s lady a foot massage. And over the years feet have shown up in all kinds of shots, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. Well, recently Quentin Tarantino tried to set the record straight about the use of feet in movie shots.
While promoting the novelization for his movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, the director addressed what people had been saying about his use of feet in movies. To his credit, he did tackle the question despite it likely not being the first (or millionth) thing he wanted to talk about when promoting something. But he did mention some of the thought and artistic processes while taking a chance to also compare himself to some of the best directors ever. Here’s what he had to say to GQ (via ScreenRant).
“I don’t take it seriously. There’s a lot of feet in a lot of good directors’ movies. That’s just good direction. Like, before me, the person foot fetishism was defined by was Luis Buñuel, another film director. And Hitchcock was accused of it and Sofia Coppola has been accused of it.”
So, on the one hand, Quentin Tarantino isn’t wrong about being the only one to ever use feet as part of establishing shots in scenes. He certainly isn’t the first to do it, and won’t be the last. They are part of the human body after all and can add an interesting angled perspective to certain shots when done correctly. On the other hand, cherrypicking some of the best directors ever and using them as the reasoning behind it only probably makes sense up to a certain point. But, no doubt, Quentin Tarantino has made it part of a conscious choice over the years and isn’t shying away from the assertion that he’s overdoing it in this respect.
Trying to catalog all of Quentin Tarantino’s foot use in movies is a fool’s errand. It isn’t like this dude is making a foot fetish reel here. Sure, there are examples out there if you are looking. And maybe some of them represent a cinematic non-sequitur. But oftentimes, they are used to show determined movement (Kill Bill movies) or are part of the reveal of a story (Waltz’s Han Landa finds Bridget’s shoe).
It’s also easy to sympathize a little with Quentin Tarantino here considering his body of work includes some of the best movies of a couple of generations. Does he have a big ego putting himself in a certain class of filmmaker? Sure, but he also isn’t wrong. Having to answer questions about feet use in a movie seems a little myopic to say the least. But enough people have noticed it over the years that I guess there could be something there.
As for Quentin Tarantino and his future work, that remains to be seen. He has said before that his tenth movie could be his last. Whether he holds to that isn’t clear. And there has been a wide variety of suggestions of what he could do for this “last” curtain call if that’s the case. Maybe a Star Trek movie? It’s been discussed. It might be hard to get a bunch of foot shots into that kind of science-fiction fare.