Advice to anyone who may be interviewing Quentin Tarantino about Django Unchained: Ask him about slavery, NOT VIOLENCE.
It seems like discussing the violence in his movies, especially in the wake of the incredibly violent Django Unchained, would be a logical thing to do considering the tumultuous state of the media industry in relation to the violent mass-murders in the last year. However, Tarantino made it very clear to one reporter that he has said his part about violence, and he’s done talking about it.
After some pleasant talk with reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy about the effects the film has had on America’s acknowledgement of slavery, the reporter threw in a question regarding why Tarantino likes making violent movies. The dialogue started civil enough, with Tarantino comparing that question to asking Judd Apatow why he likes making comedies, and saying that the reason, at its most basic, is he thinks violence makes for good cinema. Tarantino goes into a further explanation until the reporter asks the fateful question: “Why are you so sure there’s no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence?” That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Tarantino seems absolutely disgusted that the reporter would ask him such an offensive question and fires back with a reply for the ages.
“I’m going to tell you why I’m so sure? Don’t ask me a question like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question… I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.”
Yes, that’s his real reply. Sounds like the whole slavery theme has gone a bit to Tarantino’s head. The reporter attempts to recover by bringing up what Jamie Foxx has said on the subject, which again causes Tarantino to go bonkers.
“Well then you should talk to Jamie Foxx about that… I’m here to sell my movie. This is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake. I don’t want to talk about what you want to talk about. I don’t want to talk about the implications of violence… I’ve said everything I have to say about it. If anyone cares what I have to say about it, they can Google me, and they can look for 20 years what I have to say about it. I haven’t changed my opinion one iota… I’m shutting your butt down.”
I’m shutting your butt down, followed by a slightly maniacal laugh. Wow. Well if it wasn’t clear how Tarantino feels about violence in movies, it certainly is now.
I would agree with Tarantino that the violence in his films is nothing more than good cinema. To try to say his work is directly affecting any increase in gun violence in America is giving the power of movies a bit too much credit, especially when the violence is delivered in Tarantino’s over-the-top style. That being said, it isn’t an issue that can be ignored, and it certainly isn’t a question he’ll be able to escape just because he freaked out on one reporter.
It’s a shame that the interview took such a turn for the worse, because there really was some great dialogue going on about the effects Django Unchained can have on America’s views on slavery. Obviously that is all going to be overshadowed by Tarantino losing his head, but that part of the interview is still worth watching. We’ve included the interview below for your viewing pleasure, but be warned, I felt incredibly awkward watching it from the safety of my home. I can only imagine how bad that was for Guru-Murthy.
What do you think of Tarantino refusing to answer questions about the violence in Django Unchained? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.