Tarantino’s Meta Metaness

Quentin Tarantino–the ultimate film nerd–only attracts fellow nerds when it comes to intricately dissecting the alternate universe that pops off the page of his screenplays. Thus, those fanatics who have speculated for years about the interconnectedness of the characters in every movie from Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained (The Hateful Eight is apparently not as pertinent to the theory) can rest assured that Tarantino has built an entire world for his proponents to crawl into and hide away when their own reality is too banal to bear.

While in Australia promoting The Hateful Eight, Tarantino confirmed to talk show The Project that not only is everything and every character related (kind of like Bret Easton Ellis’–the Tarantino of the literary world–canon), but there is also a subset sort of world as well. What does this mean, exactly? Well, just that some of Tarantino’s movies, specifically From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2, exist on their own plane, while others, like Reservoir Dogs, True Romance and Pulp Fiction exist in a world more closely resembling our own (e.g. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnifield could go to a movie theater and see From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill). If it sounds slightly confusing, that’s because it is.

But perhaps Tarantino can better clear it up. Here’s exactly what he had to say about the metaness of his films: “There is the realer than real universe, alright, and all the characters inhabit that one. But then there’s this movie universe. So From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, they all take place in this special movie universe. So when all the characters of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, when they go to the movies, Kill Bill is what they go to see. From Dusk Till Dawn is what they see.”

Does this sound plausible? Sure. After all, everyone’s favorite Tarantino character, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), foreshadowed the plot of Kill Bill with her rehashing of the plot of Fox Force Five. Tarantino even wants to keep us dangling with who could potentially be the person in The Hateful Eight linked to his previously created characters by coyly noting, “I will say that there is one character amongst the eight that is related to one of my other characters in one of my other films. I can’t explain the relation because that would tip my hat a little bit too much. The only other clue I can give… is that the actor was originally cast as that character in the other film but they weren’t able to do it due to a scheduling conflict.” Way to throw the picked clean bone of a pork chop to your salivating fans, Quent.