Fans of Quentin Tarantino are all too familiar with the “in-between” phase we’re currently in. Since Tarantino writes and directs his own material from the ground up instead of meeting with studios, fielding offers, etc., it takes some serious time for him to materialize his next piece of work (which could be an Aussie crime film, another Western, or maybe even Kill Bill 3) . During this interim, Tarantino normally recedes from the press, until one day we get a happy surprise in the form of an announcement that he’s finished a new screenplay. However, while Tarantino is certainly in the “in-between” stage at the moment in the wake of The Hateful Eight, the filmmaker recently made an appearance at the Jerusalem Film Festival where he addressed his long-promised retirement and revealed who he thinks is the best character he’s ever written.
Tarantino has been saying for some time now that after his 10th film, he’s going to retire from moviemaking and switch gears to writing film criticism and books. That means he only has two movies left, which is a depressing prospect given that he’s one of the most exciting and singular filmmakers around. However, speaking at the Jerusalem Film Festival (via ScreenDaily), Tarantino qualified his retirement by saying he reserves the right to return if he comes up with a story he can’t shake:
“I am planning to stop at 10 [films], but at 75 I might decide I have another story to do.”
Tarantino’s reason for retirement is his thinking that directors don’t get better as they get older, and he wants to get out before he risks making a stinker. While I understand his obsession with keeping his filmography pristine, it sure would be great to get more than two new Tarantino films for the rest of time, so it’s nice to hear he’s not wholly opposed to reversing his decision.
But Tarantino also did a bit of looking back at the festival, where he revealed that he thinks Christoph Waltz’s Oscar-winning Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds is the best character he’s ever written:
“Landa is the best character I’ve ever written and maybe the best I ever will write. I didn’t realize [when I was first writing him] that he was a linguistic genius. He’s probably one of the only Nazis in history who could speak perfect Yiddish.”
While the filmmaker has certainly crafted a number of memorable characters over the years—notably Jules from Pulp Fiction and The Bride from the Kill Bill films—it’s hard to argue with his statement about Landa. Basterds is a masterpiece, and Landa is the lynchpin that holds it all together.
What do you think, folks? Do you disagree with Tarantino’s choice? Does he have a better-written character than Hans Landa? Sound off in the comments below.