It will be a whole year tomorrow since the day Sally Menke passed away. It’s one of the strangest and saddest deaths I’ve heard of, though no stranger and sadder than the truth that Menke will never work on a film again. Putting all my fondness for her own work aside, her absence gives me great concern about Quentin Tarantino’s future films. I love and trust Tarantino enough to watch anything he makes, but his collaboration with Menke was as crucial to his body of work as his scripts.
Think of what Pulp Fiction would be without the interweaving narrative that defines its story and pace. Think of the tension that hangs in the air in the opening sequence of Inglourious Basterds. Think of the electrifying chase sequences in Death Proof, or the magnificent battle between The Bride and Crazy 88 in Kill Bill. Tarantino's films are crowded with scenes that showcase Menke's panache.
So, in her honor, watch one of their films tomorrow! And in the meantime, here's Tarantino's tribute to Menke on the DVD of Death Proof. Here's hoping he doesn't lose his rythm in Django Unchained.