This is an edited extract from the Foreword to Christopher Frayling's Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece (Reel Art Press), based on a long conversation between Frayling and Tarantino from January 2018.
The movie that made me consider filmmaking, the movie that showed me how a director does what he does, how a director can control a movie through his camera, is Once Upon a Time in the West. It was almost like a film school in a movie. It really illustrated how to make an impact as a filmmaker. How to give your work a signature. I found myself completely fascinated, thinking: ‘That’s how you do it.’ It ended up creating an aesthetic in my mind.
There have only been a few filmmakers who have gone into an old genre and created a new universe out of it.