For most cineastes, hearing Robert De Niro's name associated with the Fockers film series and other half-rate projects is enough to induce chest pains. The iconic actor — one of the greatest of our time — reduced to juvenile jokes that really aren't funny is disappointing to watch, but if some of the reviews from his latest film Silver Linings Playbook are any indication, things may be back on the up for the star. "I love actors. I've been on an almost lifelong journey with Robert De Niro, and feel intimately familiar with him as an actor (not as a person). Here his work unobtrusively charmed my socks off," Ebert said of his role in the comedic adaptation.
Our own Erik Davis spotted this three-part interview series by Quentin Tarantino about De Niro on Cinephilia. The video first aired on U.K.'s Cinefile in 1994, and Tarantino taps into that "charming" and "charismatic" side of the actor during the chat. The director shares stories from his years in acting classes and mentions a classmate who had a photo of De Niro tucked inside his wallet as though he were a patron saint of inspiration. De Niro's "brash" and "streetwise" characters embodied New York, as Tarantino explains, exuding an "Italian sense of coolness that exploded in the 1970s." Tarantino makes a case for De Niro as the greatest filmmaker of the 1970s, because of his association with the talented filmmakers he worked with who "were at the forefront of the most interesting filmmaking at the time." Listen to Tarantino touch upon De Niro's career and hear thoughts on everything from Mean Streets, to the actor's collaboration with lifelong friend Martin Scorsese.
On a related note: if you've been anticipating Tarantino's Django Unchained, the first set of reviews have arrived for the spaghetti Western revival. Our own David Ehrlich had glowing things to say about the movie that hits theaters this Christmas: "DJANGO UNCHAINED: holy sh!t. brutally hilarious spaghetti comedy does for business what Basterds did for war. Best American film of 2012," he wrote on Twitter. Commence freak-out until December 25. See more early reviews on Slash Film.