I’ve loved movie soundtracks and putting playlists together for as long as I can remember; it’s a pretty well-known fact among anyone who knows me! Film soundtracks are such mood makers, and give films their own unique spirit and personality.

I’m a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks. They’re so incredibly diverse, with music ranging from Ennio Morricone to the White Stripes, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Bernard Hermann, and Maurice Jarre, to 50’s and 60’s rock and roll, surf music and 70’s funk, and beyond.  He mixes it all up so creatively. Whenever I hear Dick Dale’s Misirlou I can see the opening credits of Pulp Fiction in my head, and I can’t listen to Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell without envisioning Uma Thurman and John Travolta on the dance floor during the Twist contest. I would imagine that Tarantino’s soundtracks have succeeded in introducing a new generation to music to which they might not otherwise be exposed.

When Quentin was here for CFI’s special screening of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the Smith Rafael Film Center, he was so delightful and articulate, we were all quite taken with him. During his onstage Q&A with Programmer Sterling Hedgpeth following the screening, he held his cup of coffee the entire time and gave the audience an inside look to his filmmaking process, not skipping a beat. I’ve had so many special moments at the Rafael, and that evening with Quentin as our guest was surely one of them.

Quentin Tarantino © Angelo Pennetta

One of the songs on the playlist, Now You’re All Alone, has a CFI connection – singer/songwriter/filmmaker/actor David Hess was a good friend of CFI. David’s most well-known film role was his portrayal of Krug Stillo, a nasty piece of work in the 1972 cult classic film The Last House on the Left, directed by Wes Craven. In his personal life, David could not have been more different from his character in the film. David was a frequent visitor to the CFI offices, and we always loved his humor and irrepressible enthusiasm for life. The night before he was scheduled to appear at the premiere of a film that he was a part of at the 2011 Mill Valley Film Festival, he passed away of a heart attack. David started out as a songwriter (Elvis recorded a couple of his songs), and I was so tickled when Quentin Tarantino chose David’s song to be a part of his The Hateful Eight soundtrack.

My favorite song on the playlist is Out of Time, my very favorite Rolling Stones song, which was included on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I thought Quentin did a crack job recreating the 60’s, from the hair, the makeup, the clothes; to me, it was pitch perfect.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the tracks to his films; I picked some of my favorites for your listening pleasure. Tarantino’s film songbook is vast (literally hundreds of tracks), and it was so hard to choose. Consequently, this playlist is loooong! I had so much fun putting this together, I hope you find some music here that you enjoy.

– Maureen Galliani