Quentin Tarantino Talks THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Rewatching His Own Movies, His Disdain for Digital, Exciting Filmmakers, and Much More

by     Posted 210 days ago

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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.

quentin-tarantino-the-hateful-eightThough 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 knew as cinema is dead.”

quentin-tarantino-death-proofHe went on to say that he hopes the next generation will resurrect the glory of film:

“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.”

quentin-tarantino-kill-billTarantino also said he enjoys rewatching his own movies, adding that he doesn’t understand filmmakers who don’t like watching their own work:

“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.




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  • Taragor

    I really like what he said about filmmakers who won’t watch their own movies….he has a great point there. I don’t see him as being someone who thinks his s$#t doesn’t stink when it comes to his own movies, I think he just loves what he does and is proud of his work. Why shouldn’t he be??? I never thought of his point about a composer, but he makes a good argument there as well. If you are as intimate about the film you’re making as he is (writing, directing, acting in) then you are the one who most understands the music you are looking for. What I think he’s eluding to is that he’s not a composer, nor does he pretend to be.

    • the king of comedy

      Sometimes Tarantino seems kind of a douche in his interviews but I actually liked the points that he made here, an artist must love what he does and the point he made about using a composer was interesting, I guess using a composer can be a risk when not everyone understands the soul of the movie or has the capacity to create something truly original, but sometimes an original score can work beautifully for a movie, there are plenty of movies that live longer because of the amazing music that acompanied it, wich will always live in the mind of moviegoers and whenever they listen to it they will remember this particular film.

      • Cjv95

        There’s a huge difference between being extremely proud of what you’ve accomplished and just being a dick about it. I can’t think of a scenario where he’s fallen into the latter. He almost always has a comprehensible angle on a certain subject.

      • ACallCreative

        I’d like to make a film one day. That said, I’d compare his composer quote to hiring a company to make a trailer for your film. This happens all the time, and every so often you’ll hear of a filmmaker or studio that’s not happy with a trailer because the company they hired to make it gave away some big reveal or important monster. Unlike a composer, who most likely gets to watch the film as much as they like to match up the music, trailer companies probably only get sizzle reels or a set of clips. It’s crazy to me to have someone else cut a trailer for your film.

    • justkiddingnobutseriously

      I think he should be a bit more open minded about a composer. Not all composers come in at the 11th hour and, regardless, there are a good number of composers that do phenomenal work. He should give it a shot!

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        Ennio Morricone, Tarantino’s very favorite composer, was intended to do most of the music for Inglourious Basterds, but backed out due to a scheduling conflict. For Django Unchained, Morricone actually did contribute a track (Ancora Qui), and then slammed Tarantino for using music “without coherence” and saying Tarantino didn’t give him enough time to work. (A bit of an odd thing to say, considering Morricone wrote the score for Once Upon a Time in the West after merely reading the screenplay.) “I wouldn’t like to work with him again, on anything,” Morricone said.

        So, if Tarantino can’t even get along with his very favorite composer, what are the odds he finds anyone else to work with?

      • junierizzle

        He did let Robert Rodriguez score some music for Volume 2.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        True. And RZA did a couple of tracks, too. But no way he’d let them do a whole movie.

      • justkiddingnobutseriously

        Knew Ennio did some tracks but didn’t know about this mini-feud. Very interesting and it sounds like classic Tarantino. I feel like most directors would love the opportunity to work with Morricone. Thanks for the info!

    • justkiddingnobutseriously

      I think he should be a bit more open minded about a composer. Not all composers come in at the 11th hour and, regardless, there are a good number of composers that do phenomenal work. He should give it a shot!

    • LEM

      Alluding.

  • Taragor

    I really like what he said about filmmakers who won’t watch their own movies….he has a great point there. I don’t see him as being someone who thinks his s$#t doesn’t stink when it comes to his own movies, I think he just loves what he does and is proud of his work. Why shouldn’t he be??? I never thought of his point about a composer, but he makes a good argument there as well. If you are as intimate about the film you’re making as he is (writing, directing, acting in) then you are the one who most understands the music you are looking for. What I think he’s eluding to is that he’s not a composer, nor does he pretend to be.

  • jay

    listened to this earlier today, regardless of what anybody thinks of him i always enjoy hearing him talk because he loves cinema. i consider myself lucky to still live in a city that still has 35mm and 70mm film projection. The fact that its gone(essientially) is heart breaking.

  • jay

    listened to this earlier today, regardless of what anybody thinks of him i always enjoy hearing him talk because he loves cinema. i consider myself lucky to still live in a city that still has 35mm and 70mm film projection. The fact that its gone(essientially) is heart breaking.

  • person

    You really grabbed me with that first sentence. “A decade 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.” So a decade is 20 years? And how many pecks in a year? How many months in a bushel? What the fuck?

    • Bo

      Yea, I noticed that right away too. Instead of commenting on it I waited to see if anyone else would. And you did. And you made me laugh. Thanks. Also, it was just a mistake that got by the guy so no big deal.

    • Bo

      Yea, I noticed that right away too. Instead of commenting on it I waited to see if anyone else would. And you did. And you made me laugh. Thanks. Also, it was just a mistake that got by the guy so no big deal.

  • Bo

    Not a big fan of Tarantino as he is too much of a motor mouth meglomaniac for me. Of course he watched his own movies. Big surprise for chrissake! However, I sure do agree with him about the whole digital thing and this generation of poop movie makers. I’m glad he still shoots on films; it’s just a bummer that I don’t much care for his films. How’s that for irony! Also, gotta mention it. Valhalla Rising is one of my all time favorite films now and god damn if it wasn’t shot digital. And it is beautifully shot too. Oh well…

    • Person

      Digital is pushed by the studios just because it’s cheaper. It’s got nothing to do with crappy new filmmakers, it’s just that these new young guys don’t have the clout to put their foot down and demand to shoot on film. That’s why only the big boys like QT, Scorsese and Spielberg (among others) are allowed to do that. I honestly don’t mind digital, but he kind of implies that a movie can automatically only be so good if it’s shot digitally, and that’s simply not true. In the past few years, some of the best films of the year, aesthetically and overall, have been shot digitally. I love QT’s work, but he’s kind of a prick, and he needs to get off his high horse on this one.

  • Bo

    Not a big fan of Tarantino as he is too much of a motor mouth meglomaniac for me. Of course he watched his own movies. Big surprise for chrissake! However, I sure do agree with him about the whole digital thing and this generation of poop movie makers. I’m glad he still shoots on films; it’s just a bummer that I don’t much care for his films. How’s that for irony! Also, gotta mention it. Valhalla Rising is one of my all time favorite films now and god damn if it wasn’t shot digital. And it is beautifully shot too. Oh well…

  • Fabdex

    I kinda love/hate Quentin. I love how smart he is but, goddamn… he’s such an annoying character, most of the time. I love film but I embrace digital. The amount of crap it brings to our eyes is unbearable. But if you hose it down, you discover some pretty nice jewels.

  • Fabdex

    I kinda love/hate Quentin. I love how smart he is but, goddamn… he’s such an annoying character, most of the time. I love film but I embrace digital. The amount of crap it brings to our eyes is unbearable. But if you hose it down, you discover some pretty nice jewels.

  • Hollywood Anarchism

    What people see as douchy-ness I think is really just passion. Why the f*ck should he talk all professional and neuter how he really feels just to come across sounding diplomatic or politically correct. Most of Hollywood is bullshit. Like a bunch of fraternity-type, rich white snobs. Tarantino is more talented than the majority of them and has never sold out to be who he is.

    Imagine how f*cking annoying it must be to have to go to these premieres and award ceremonies around these untalented, overpaid, over-celebrated f*cks.

    Tarantino is an outcast. I can relate to that. F*ck the mainstream. Swim against the current when river flows with sh*t.

    • Wallysan

      Agreed. To the point that there is just so much pomp and circumstance about making films in Hollywood, and saying the ‘right things’ to have more of your work produced. What I always find magnetizing about QT and his interviews, is how much fun he seems to be having, even if a couple of cringe-worthy soundbites come out of the mix. The man has fun, and that’s why his movies are fun.

  • Hugo

    A genius , a rare true auteur like not may others in Hollywood right now. When i watch a Quentin Tarantino movie i watch CInema. The rest of the time is trying to relax and have mindless fun with the eventual summer blockbuster.

  • http://www.discogs.com/ AdamShitwood

    About half this interview is stuff he has already answered several times.

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