I now hate Quentin Tarantino and his films even more


After seeing Pulp Fiction I swore never to watch any more of Quentin Tarantino’s films, seeing them as vehicles for him to indulge his personal fantasies of violence and the use of racist language, especially the N-word. However I am aware of many fans of his who claimed that he was some kind of genius filmmaker and that I was just not getting it. One of these was a highly respected professor of film at my university. When I wrote about his films five years ago, some readers of this blog tried to explain to me why he was good. I was not convinced.

Now new disclosures about him by Uma Thurman that he placed her life in danger by having her do an unsafe car stunt that caused her to crash have brought to light other ugly things about him

The director also responded to suggestions that he personally performed some of the more controversial and violent actions in his films, including spitting on Thurman’s face and choking her with a chain, by explaining that it was a matter of “taking responsibility” for tricky shots. He detailed an incident during the filming of Inglourious Basterds in which he asked actor Diana Kruger whether he could personally strangle her in order to get the right shot.

“That was an issue of me asking the actress, can we do this to get a realistic effect,” he said. “And she agreed with it, she knew it would look good and she trusted me to do it. I would ask a guy the same thing. In fact, I would probably be more insistent with a guy.”

‘Taking responsibility’? That’s what he calls it? To me it looks like he enjoys abusing women.

He even defended Roman Polanski from the undeniable charge of rape, saying that having sex with a 13-year old, as Polanski has admitted to doing, did not in his mind constitute rape because it was not violently done. He also gave a weasely reason as to why he did not do anything about his collaborator Harvey Weinstein’s abuses.

These things confirm my initial impression that he is some kind of sociopath and being a film director enables him to indulge his fantasies. This repost of a cartoon captures my feelings about him.

Comments

  1. says

    There is currently talk of having Tarantino do one of the next Star Trek movies – which, I utterly fail to understand. It’d be like asking the Coen Brothers to do Home Alone or something like that. Can’t you just picture Tarantino’s bridge crew cursing eachother constantly and crawling around in ludicrous pools of blood? I saw Hateful Eight, finally, the other day, and it was an incoherent jumble of endless threat-posturing and cursing, and – naturally – loads of violence against women and race-baiting.

    My take is that Tarantino is a race-hipster: one of those doucheguzzlers who uses racism as a way of being “edgy” as a substitute for thoughtful and provocative plot. In Tarantino’s hand, race (and racial invective) loses all of its meaning, like the blood does, because it’s overused and splashed all over the place.

    When I read the story about Weinstein abusing Salma Hayek while making Frida Kahlo I remembered that horrible piece of crap movie Tarantino did From Dusk Till Dawn which, at the time, I thought “this was made to get Salma Hayek to strip.” She looks pissed off the whole time and probably for good reason; I’m sure there is a story there that’s not being told.

    Kill Bill was garbage; I know I’m biased because I grew up watching actual martial arts movies where the actors actually know how to look like they are using a sword properly, etc. The stuff in Kill Bill was just more spouting blood and stupid, and some excuses to beat Uma Thurman up.

    Tarantino has been pretty quiet about the whole Weinstein thing; it’s like he’s crouching somewhere where the searchlight won’t land on him or something.

  2. Mano Singham says

    For those unfamiliar with what happened to Salma Hayek during the making of Frida that Marcus is referring to, this story appeared a couple of months ago.

  3. says

    A minor point, perhaps, but I was annoyed by the attempts at an homage to Bruce Lee in Kill Bill. Lee strove for a certain degree of credibility in his martial arts movies and absolutely hated the kind of violence-for-violence’s-sake bloodfest that Tarantino made. I doubt he understands Star Trek any better than he understands Bruce Lee.

  4. suttkus says

    At least I can explain the craving foods that are “bad” for you thing! (Feel free to ignore what follows, because it is entirely irrelevant to the main point of the post, just a mini-rant I’ve written many times because it comes up a lot in evolution/creation circles.)

    Simply put, there’s no such thing as “bad for you” in foods, outside of stuff that’s actually toxic. Everything is a matter of degrees. Too many calories is bad for you, but that doesn’t make any particular high-calorie food bad, just hard to fit into a balanced diet. I think trying to label things as “good” and “bad” is part of what’s wrong with so many diets, because it simply isn’t very reflective of the situation.

    So, to rephrase the question, why do we crave foods that are high in calories? Simple, because we evolved in an environment where high-calorie foods were hard to get.

    The two kinds of food that are relatively high in calories that exist in the natural world are fruits and meat. Fruit is often high in trees (and we moved away from tree climbing a long while back), and, at best, quite seasonal. You can’t get it all the time. Meat… generally objects to you eating it in nature.

    But, and this is the thing that labeling high calorie foods bad confuses, back then high calorie foods were great for you. In part, because of their limited supply, it was harder to overdose on them. But getting enough calories to get an animal through the day takes work. Pure herbivores have to eat nearly all the time to get enough calories to keep them going. Having pigged out on a fruit supply earlier in the year can be the difference between survival and starvation when winter comes.

    But being a pure herbivore is easy. If we were attracted to all foods equally, why would we make an effort to turn dangerous wild animals into meat? Why would we travel to find fruit trees in season to pig out on them? Why not just hang around eating grass? So, evolution caused us to FAVOR the harder foods. Still, our ancestors were mostly eating vegetables, because they were easy to get, but the strong desire for meat and fruit drove us to take extra steps to get some. There was no need to evolve a special craving for vegetables because they were easier and so always going to be part of the diet.

    Then we screw things up by getting smart. Our cravings are balanced for a world where fruit is limited, meat is hard, and sugar is otherwise basically unavailable. So, what did we do? Made meat really easy to get, bred plants to have ridiculous levels of sugar, and grow bananas year round. When we got the power to modify our world, we followed our cravings, which were balanced for a world we weren’t powerful in.

    Sadly, for us, intelligence works a lot faster than evolution, and our cravings aren’t changing nearly fast enough to adapt to the world we’re remaking.

  5. EigenSprocketUK says

    Tarantino is no genius film maker, though he is more than fine at the craft. Before he dies I hope he realises that no-one will ever make a film which is a homage to to him, because they will unwittingly be making a homage to everyone to whom Tarantino was paying homage.
    Though, now that I think about it, perhaps the way to do a homage to Tarantino is to make a film in which you pay homage to all the greats, no matter whether the story or characters justify it, just because your fans want you to.

  6. EigenSprocketUK says

    Sorry. Ignore what I said a moment ago about Tarantino being “more than fine at his craft”. I based that on the end result (even though those films are not my choice). Having now been reading about how he made last-minute changes to a 40-mph drive down a winding, tree-lined, track in a classic car which wasn’t mechanically up to the job, and insisted on doing it at that speed unrehearsed by the star and without substituting a stunt driver … that’s the hallmark of a dangerously arrogant director. A decent crew would have planned for the inevitable unexpected problems and delays and the changing of the light. It’s part of why film making is so expensive: it’s always cheaper to waste money on over-planning than it is to injur the star / put the film in jeopardy / fail to make the deadline / whatever.
    A trustworthy crew would have stood up to him, and they should share the blame.

  7. Mikebend says

    Interesting to hear you say that, because my reaction to Pulp Fiction was exactly the same: this guy is a d*ckhead and I’m never watching his films again. PF seemed designed to make people feel “cool” and “hip” about laughing at violence. The over-touted scrambled chronology is no innovation and comes right out of Wm. Faulkner’s novels. PF was so pretentious, so rarefied and ugly, that it turned me off from QT forever.

  8. Dunc says

    PF seemed designed to make people feel “cool” and “hip” about laughing at violence.

    I’ve always interpreted Tarantino’s work as a commentary on how violence is portrayed in Hollywood, but I’m prepared to accept that I may be giving him too much credit there…

  9. mnb0 says

    Since five years ago I have seen Pulp Fiction too. It hasn’t changed my opinion of QT.
    Quite a few directors are/were total pieces of shit on the set. It’s not a sufficient reason for me not to watch their movies or we must boycott Hitchcock and Kubrick as well. So I wonder how consistent MS is?
    Mind you, I do not advocate hiding sick behavior of artists. The entire world should know. But alas evil people are totally capable of making great art. It’s not an excuse, but their art remains great. From that angle QT is a kind of easy target. Criticizing and even boycotting his movies is easy.

  10. Mano Singham says

    mnb0,

    You are missing my point. I hated Tarantino’s films long before I knew anything about him personally. The recent revelations about him have just added to my distaste for his films but were not the source for it.

  11. John Morales says

    Sign of the times:

    https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/quentin-tarantino-apologizes-to-roman-polanski-rape-victim.html

    In a statement to IndieWire, Tarantino said:

    … Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. I incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative. I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration, and for that, I am truly sorry. So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant and insensitive, and above all, incorrect.

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