L-R: Pam Grier as Jackie Brown. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
What comes to your mind whenever you hear the name “Quentin Tarantino?” Tongue-in-cheek violence? Badass men? A shot from a car’s trunk? Or maybe John Travolta’s revitalized acting career?
Well, if you’ll ask me, the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I hear his name is this: strong women, the kind that won’t put up to men’s bullsh*t. That’s right, fellas. You ain’t gonna see no damsel in distress in Tarantino’s films. (Well, maybe Pulp Fiction‘s Fabienne is an exception.)
Top: Mélanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds.
Bottom: The women of Death Proof.
Although Tarantino’s audience is generally male, women are the lead characters in most of his films (excluding Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction). Jackie Brown, the Kill Bill movies, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds — all of them have female heroes. Even the supporting characters are strong women — the taxi driver in Pulp Fiction, O-ren Ishii, Elle Driver, Gogo Yubari, etc.
Now, I don’t think Tarantino’s here to show that these women are bitches; he just wants to show us that women are not as weak as patriarchs think they are. So, is Tarantino a secret feminist? Well, I guess the answer is in his films.
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