Did you know that Quentin Tarantino loves movies? The auteur’s body of work is marked by its love of cinema, with metatextual references and in-story character loves of the medium — to the point where the way we stopped World War II in Tarantino’s history is literally with filmstrips. In his latest work, the Oscar-nominated Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, this love of the silver screen became about as explicit to the plot as any of his other films, telling the story of an aging actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), his loyal stunt double (Brad Pitt), and a real-life actor, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), who in real life suffered a terrible fate. Much of the pleasures of the film come from watching film professionals make film. And if you love Once Upon a Time, you owe it to yourself to watch a free half-hour documentary on its making of. So, effectively, you’ll be watching a making of a film about people making films. Trippy!
“A Love Letter to Making Movies” is the subtitle of this documentary, released on Sony Pictures’ YouTube channel. And despite Once Upon a Time‘s lapse into ultraviolence near its end, the documentary shows in sensitive detail just how much fun the crew was having, and just how important it was for Tarantino to pay his proper respects to the time period that shaped him so. In the doc, you get to see DiCaprio’s excitement in reuniting with his The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Robbie, the difficulties of putting modern stars in a Steve McQueen movie, and Dakota Fanning talking about shooting her Manson Family scenes not far from where it actually took place. Plus: it also features a chat with the late, great Luke Perry, who plays a brief role in the Western DiCaprio’s character guest stars in, which is just lovely all around.
Check out the full doc below. For more on Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, here’s my impressions at a lovely screening/Q&A at Tarantino’s New Beverly. Plus, our chat with star Pitt, and our take on the chances of the film winning Best Picture.