Two decades after winning the Palme d’Or for Pulp Fiction in 1994, Quentin Tarantino is back at the Cannes Film Festival for a 20th anniversary screening of the film. In anticipation of the screening, Tarantino participated in a press conference, and unsurprisingly it was rather lively. We already shared what he had to say about putting together a 4-hour miniseries version of Django Unchained, but since the conference was chock-full of fascinating quotes from the one-of-a-kind filmmaker, we thought it fitting to provide the full audio for your listening pleasure. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, we’ve also pulled some of the more interesting quotes.
Hit the jump to see what Tarantino had to say about how he enjoys rewatching his own movies, his disdain for digital projection and the “death of cinema”, why he doesn’t like using original scores in his films, the most exciting directors working today, and more.
If you want to listen to the full audio of the press conference, click here.
Though Tarantino recently vowed that he would not be making The Hateful Eight into a movie any time soon after the script was published online, he noted in the press conference that’s he’s cooled down but remains undecided on what he’ll do with the script:
“I have calmed down, a bit. The knife-in-the-back wound is starting to scab.” He said he had “a lot of fun” doing a script reading other actors, adding “I might do that now with every script that I intend to do. I don’t know if I’ll do it maybe that public, but there was something kind of wonderful about committing to a full-on reading and having three days of rehearsal on it and have the actors explore the material and just hearing it out loud… I’m still in the process of writing it, finishing the second draft, and then I intend to do a third draft. Maybe I’ll shoot it, maybe I’ll publish it, maybe I’ll do it on the stage, because I realized it could work really well onstage. Maybe I’ll do all three.”
Tarantino also reiterated his disdain for all things digital:
“As far as I’m concerned, digital projection and DCPs is the death of cinema as I know it. It’s not even about shooting your film on film or shooting your film on digital. The fact that most films now are not presented in 35 millimeter means that the war is lost. And digital projections, that’s just television in public. And apparently the whole world is okay with television in public, but what I knew as cinema is dead.”
“Well, I’m hopeful that we’re going through a woozy romantic period with the ease of digital, and I’m hoping that, while this generation is completely hopeless, that the next generation that will come out will demand the real thing. And the way after 20 years albums are slowly coming back, I’m very hopeful that future generations will be much smarter than this generation and realize what they’ve lost.. Back in my day, you a least needed 16 millimeter to do something like that, which was a Mt. Everest most of us couldn’t climb. So a more democratic, artistic society can come up with a whole lot of junk. But there may be some flowers in the dustbin that may appear that might not ever have the tenacity to get a film made if things were like in the old days. I’m talking out of the other side of my mouth saying the good part about it all, especially for younger filmmakers. Now, why an established filmmaker would shoot on digital, I have no fucking idea. I just don’t get it at all. I just can’t understand it at all.”
Not to say the current state of filmmaking is completely lost. Tarantino recounted how he sent an email chain around to a bunch of his friends asking them each to pick the top 10 most exciting filmmakers working today. The two that landed on every single list? David Fincher and Richard Linklater.
The filmmaker also touched on why he’s averse to using a composer on his films, opting instead to pick and choose established music himself:
“I don’t do an original score basically because I don’t want to hire a composer who I’ve never met before and trust them with the soul of my movie. I don’t trust anybody that much when it comes to my movie. So if I choose the music, it’s as if I’m choosing it. It’s my choice. I’m not waiting until the 11th hour to have someone show me the soul of my son. I’m choosing the soul of my son.”
“Whenever I hear directors say they don’t watch their movies or they can’t watch their movies because all they see are the flaws and it’s just too painful, I feel soooo sorry for those people. How can you get up in the morning? How can you do what you do if you think your stuff is so shitty? If it was too painful to watch my movies, I wouldn’t make another one! I would just give up at some point! I just feel bad for them. I feel like their lives aren’t as enriched as they could be.
I watch my movies all the time, and I’m always — at home you have a whole lot of movie channels, and they show the films uncut and you just kind of hit the guide on your button and see all the movies playing for the next three hours going down the line. And you go down it and whenever I see one of my movies is playing, I’ll turn it on. Maybe I’ll watch it for a little bit, maybe I’m going through the scroll to see what else is on, but I always watch it, whenever it happens to come up. And sometimes I watch it for a bit and then I’m done, and sometimes I watch the whole thing. I hadn’t seen Kill Bill: Vol. 1 I think in a couple of years. I’d seen Kill Bill: Vol 2. I’d screened it just for myself on film in the last year. But Kill Bill: Vol. 1 I hadn’t. And I just noticed in 15 minutes it was going to be coming on, like Showtime 2, and I thought, Well, you know, I’ll watch it again and I’ll watch it through the opening credits, through the “Bang Bang You Shot Me Down” opening credits, and that will be it. Goddamn if I didn’t watch that whole motherfucking thing to the fucking end! And I mean right to the very end. The last credits. And, uh, I felt very, very gratified.”
Tarantino’s a smart guy and he loves talking about movies, so it’s always fun to see him sit down for one of these extended conversations. Hopefully a new Tarantino film isn’t too far away. Be sure to listen to the full press conference if you have the time. It’s definitely worth a listen.