Quentin Tarantino,…”Director DJ Unchained”
“Movies are not about the weekend that they’re released, and in the grand scheme of things, that’s probably the most unimportant time of a film’s life”. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. His films have been characterized by nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, and an aestheticization of violence that often results in the exhibition of neo-noir characteristics. Tarantino has been dubbed a “director DJ,” comparing his stylistic use of mix-and-match genre and music infusion to the use of sampling in DJ exhibits, morphing a variety of old works to create a new one.
Tarantino grew up an avid film fan and worked in a video rental store while training to act.
“When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.’ Quentin Tarantino
His career began in the late 1980s, when he wrote and directed My Best Friend’s Birthday, the screenplay of which formed the basis for True Romance
“I love Elmore Leonard. To me, True Romance is basically like an Elmore Leonard movie”. Quentin Tarantino
In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992; regarded as a classic and cult hit, it was called the “Greatest Independent Film of All Time” by Empire magazine
“Reservoir Dogs is a small film, and part of its charm was that it was a small film. I’d probably make it for $3 million now so I’d have more breathing room”. Quentin Tarantino
Its popularity was boosted by the release of his second film, 1994’s Pulp Fiction, a neo-noir crime film that became a major critical and commercial success, widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.
“I don’t think Pulp Fiction is hard to watch at all”. Quentin Tarantino
“I’ve always thought John Travolta is one of the greatest movie stars Hollywood has ever produced”. Quentin Tarantino
Paying homage to 1970s blaxploitation films, Tarantino released Jackie Brown in 1997, an adaptation of the novel Rum Punch.
Spike Lee questioned Tarantino’s use of racial epithets in his films, particularly the racially offensive epithet “nigger”. In a Variety interview discussing Jackie Brown, Lee said: “I’m not against the word… and I use it, but Quentin is infatuated with the word. What does he want? To be made an honorary black man?”
Tarantino responded on Charlie Rose by stating: “As a writer, I demand the right to write any character in the world that I want to write. I demand the right to be them, I demand the right to think them and I demand the right to tell the truth as I see they are, all right? And to say that I can’t do that because I’m white, but the Hughes brothers can do that because they’re black, that is racist. That is the heart of racism, all right. And I do not accept that … That is how a segment of the black community that lives in Compton, lives in Inglewood, where Jackie Brown takes place, that lives in Carson, that is how they talk. I’m telling the truth. It would not be questioned if I was black, and I resent the question because I’m white. I have the right to tell the truth. I do not have the right to lie”.
In addition, Tarantino retaliated on The Howard Stern Show by stating Lee would have to “stand on a chair to kiss my ass.”
Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in both directors’ films, defended Tarantino’s use of the word. At the Berlin Film Festival, where Jackie Brown was being screened, Jackson responded to Lee’s criticism by saying:
“I don’t think the word is offensive in the context of this film … Black artists think they are the only ones allowed to use the word. Well, that’s bull. Jackie Brown is a wonderful homage to black exploitation films. This is a good film, and Spike hasn’t made one of those in a few years”.
“When I’m writing something, I try not to get analytical about it as I’m doing it, as I’m writing it”. Quentin Tarantino
Kill Bill, was a highly stylized “revenge flick” in the cinematic traditions of Japanese martial arts, spaghetti westerns and Italian horror, followed six years later, and was released as two films: Vol. 1 in 2003, and Vol. 2 in 2004
“I am a genre lover – everything from spaghetti western to samurai movie”. Quentin Tarantino
“If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one”. Quentin Tarantino
“Quentin Tarantino is a hip-hop artist. I told him, ‘You’re hip-hop!’ You keep seeing surprises, and a clip here and there, because Quentin is hip-hop. A hip-hop artist will drop a single, leak something over here, and drop something over there ’cause he knows it’s hot. He’s on the spot with the way he does things”. Jamie Foxx
“I’m a big collector of vinyl – I have a record room in my house – and I’ve always had a huge soundtrack album collection. So what I do, as I’m writing a movie, is go through all those songs, trying to find good songs for fights, or good pieces of music to layer into the film”. Quentin Tarantino
“Then all of a sudden, Quentin Tarantino comes along and puts a song from 40 years ago in one of his films and they’ve suddenly discovered you. That was a real gift that Quentin gave me”. Nancy Sinatra
“I saw Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained,’ and you could say a lot of things against it, but it was incredible fun. I don’t like blood and gore, and I am very squeamish about violence, but Tarantino’s violence is actually funny”. Salman Rushdie
Django Unchained was the subject of controversy due to its use of racial epithets and depiction of slavery; many reviewers have defended the usage of the language by pointing out the historic context of race and slavery in America.
Spike Lee, in an interview with Vibe magazine said he would not see the film, explaining “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me…I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”
Lee later tweeted, “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
Writing in The Los Angeles Times, journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan noted the difference between Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Django Unchained:
“It is an institution whose horrors need no exaggerating, yet Django does exactly that, either to enlighten or entertain. A white director slinging around the n-word in a homage to ’70s blaxploitation à la Jackie Brown is one thing, but the same director turning the savageness of slavery into pulp fiction is quite another.”
“I don’t believe in elitism. I don’t think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience”. Quentin Tarantino
“Quentin Tarantino is controlled insanity, I would say. He’s very loud and fun. I don’t think there’s anybody on the planet like him that I have ever met”. Rose McGowan