Great article, Christopher Shinn.
Tarantino seems to rely quite heavily on Girard’s notion of desire to establish dramatic tension. The plot in Pulp Fiction, for instance, is ostensibly structured around a stolen suitcase — which, when found, reveals only a mysterious and intentionally ambiguous light.
His recent film, The Hateful Eight, even uses the ‘symmetry of multiple protagonists battling for the elusive object’ that you mention.
And of course, in both films the conflict produced by mutual desire leads to an abundance of violence.