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Dance2Cinema: Tarantino

Pulp FictionKill BillDjango UnchainedReservoir DogsJackie Brown — the compositions made famous by Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces will be heard on the penultimate day of the 12th Krakow Film Music Festival. In the third instalment of the Dance2Cinema series, we will hear the Spanish Pop Culture Band and Polish soloists Ania Karwan and Damian Ukeje. The concert will be organised in cooperation with the FIMUCITÉ Festival in Tenerife.

Quentin Tarantino, an American director and screenwriter, winner of two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes, is considered to be a leading representative of post-modernism, alongside David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar and Jim Jarmusch. According to Krystyna Wilkoszewska, these four artists, so ergent, both culturally and stylistically, “are masters of pastiche, mockers of national myths, destroyers of traditional genre conventions, and Quentin Tarantino’s films – especially Pulp Fiction – are built on the principle of quotations, appropriation and irony – the favourite post-modernist intertextual game”. The director himself claimed: “I steal from all the films I know, and I’ve seen a lot of them, because I used to work at a video rental place.”

It was during his work in Manhattan Beach, California, that the 22-year-old Tarantino took a serious interest in cinema. He wrote scripts for two films: Natural Born Killers  and True Romance. Selling them to top directors (Natural Born Killers was bought by Oliver Stone, while True Romance went to Tony Scott) enabled him to realise his dream of releasing his own film. In 1992, he directed Reservoir Dogs – the story of six gangsters who, after an unsuccessful jewellery store robbery, are trying to find out who’s a traitor. The debut was a success; Tarantino won the International Federation of Film Critics Award at Toronto Film Festival, and soon began working with American-Mexican director and screenwriter Robert Rodriguez (their joint productions include Four RoomsFrom Dusk till Dawn and Sin City). 

Two years after his spectacular debut, Tarantino made an aesthetic revolution in cinema by creating Pulp Fiction  – a film telling three gangster stories, without paying any regards to chronology, with carefully polished dialogues and masterful acting (John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth). The originality of the script was appreciated by international film organisations and associations – Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for their joint work. Since then, the American director’s career has gained momentum, and his subsequent productions (including Jackie BrownKill Bill I and IIGrindhouse: Death ProofInglourious BasterdsDjangoHateful Eight or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the premiere of which is slated for the summer of this year) have cemented his image as an innovative filmmaker who adheres to post-modern film stylistics with sublime dialogues, exaggerated violence, deformed reality and homages to spaghetti westerns and low-budget horror films.

Tarantino attaches particular importance to music, as an element of the film language with which he experiments as willingly as with the script. His films rarely feature original scores (a spectacular example is the Hateful Eight from 2015, which won Ennio Morricone an Oscar for the music), because the director prefers to choose the songs on his own, often using fragments of soundtracks from his favourite films or reaching for a personal, very extensive collection of records with all kinds of music (from blues through soul to funk and rock). By doing so, he creates a cohesive musical setting with his own narrative, telling an alternative film story or adding content that cannot be seen in the image and heard in the dialogue.

The most famous fragments of these film and music collages will be head in May 2019 during the 12th Krakow Film Music Festival. The third edition of the dance and club Dance2Cinema series will feature musicians from the Spanish Pop Culture Band and soloists associated with the Polish music stage, Ania Karwan and Damian Ukeje. The repertoire will feature legendary works from the director’s oeuvre, including songs from  Pulp FictionKill BillReservoir Dogs and Django. “We’ve prepared a performance — a collection of gems from Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks. I hope everyone likes it, although there is some danger associated with participating in this show... It can be addictive!” warns Gonzalo de Araoz Vigil, leader of the Pop Culture Band.

Pedro J. Mérida, producer of the FIMUCITÉ Festival, with whom we co-organise the concert, points out that the selection of works forming the Dance2Cinema: Tarantino project is not accidental. “This is the world’s largest compilation of songs showcasing the road to the career of one of the most outstanding filmmakers. In a word: this concert is the best musical rollercoaster we’ll ever see on stage” he says.

Join us for the third concert of the Dance2Cinema series, featuring songs from Quentin Tarantino’s films, on Saturday night — the 18th of May 2019. Pop Culture Band, Ania Karwan and Damian Ukeje will perform in the Chamber Hall of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, which will be turned into a club stage for the night.