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Quentin Tarantino Defends His Depiction Of Feet In Movies In A Very Tarantino Way

Margot Robbie puts her feet up at a movie theater in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
(Image credit: Sony)

People have been picking up on trends and trademarks in Quentin Tarantino's movies ever since the beginning of his career. From non-linear storytelling, to trunk shots, to heaps of pop culture-infused dialogue, there are always elements in Tarantino's work that remind audiences that he is the author. Certainly also included in this special group is his affinity for including shots of feet – but as the writer/director sees it, there isn't anything particularly noteworthy about them, as he sees those angles as simply being part of a long cinematic tradition.

Any time a new Quentin Tarantino movie is released, there are some critics that immediately focus in on how many moments there are that capture actors below the ankle, but in a recent interview with GQ there is a suggestion from the filmmaker that it isn't part of his style that he really thinks twice about. Asked directly about the trend of including shots of feet in his movies, Tarantino said,

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.

The origins of this whole thing stem from 1994's Pulp Fiction, which captures the moment where John Travolta's Vincent Vega and Uma Thurman's Mia Wallace meet by following the latter's bare feet as she enters her living room. Since then it has been a repeated element featured in his movies – including Jackie Brown (which features Bridget Fonda's Melanie Ralston flicking her toes against a glass); Inglourious Basterds (which sees Diane Kruger's Bridget Von Hammersmark in a dark Cinderella moment with Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa); and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (which has Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate resting her ankles on the seat in front of her in a movie theater).

Quentin Tarantino doesn't attribute those moments to any kind of foot fetish, however. Instead, he views their inclusion as simply part of the cinematic language he uses to make his movies – language that he learned from watching the works of legendary filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Bunuel. According to him, he simply uses the shots as part of his style, and any outside reading is inconsequential.

Conversation about foot shots in Quentin Tarantino movies has only grown as he has continued to produce films and film criticism has become more pervasive in the internet era, but that hasn't impeded his use of them in any way – as evidenced by the aforementioned 2019 hit Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. There's every possibility that we'll wind up seeing another notable example in the filmmaker's next movie as well... whatever that winds up being.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.