Quentin Tarantino can be counted on to take as long as he needs to finish a movie, and to hand in something longer than the two-hour industry norm when he absolutely has to five months from now–he is always questing for perfection. He did take some time out to do some advance PR and talks about finishing “The Hateful Eight,” why he likes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aaron Sorkin, Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell, what’s wrong with “True Detective” and Cate Blanchett’s “arty” movies, why he writes scripts by hand and a whole lot more in his (already) controversial Lane Brown interview.
Herewith, some highlights:
One thing that’s always been true is that there’s no real film genre that better reflects the values and the problems of a given decade than the Westerns made during that specific decade. The Westerns of the ’50s reflected Eisenhower America better than any other films of the day. The Westerns of the ’30s reflected the ’30s ideal. And actually, the Westerns of the ’40s did, too, because there was a whole strain of almost noirish Westerns that, all of a sudden, had dark themes. The ’70s Westerns were pretty much anti-myth Westerns — Watergate Westerns. Everything was about the anti-heroes, everything had a hippie mentality or a nihilistic mentality. Movies came out about Jesse James and the Minnesota raid, where Jesse James is a homicidal maniac. In Dirty Little Billy, Billy the Kid is portrayed as a cute little punk killer. Wyatt Earp is shown for who he is in the movie Doc, by Frank Perry. In the ’70s, it was about ripping the scabs off and showing who these people really were. Consequently, the big Western that came out in the ’80s was Silverado, which was trying to be rah-rah again — that was very much a Reagan Western…
On what’s wrong with the movie industry:
If you go out and see a lot of movies in a given year, it’s really hard to come up with a top ten, because you saw a lot of stuff that you liked. A top 20 is easier. You probably get one masterpiece a year, and I don’t think you should expect more than one masterpiece a year, except in a really great year…The movies that used to be treated as independent movies, like the Sundance movies of the ’90s — those are the movies that are up for Oscars now. Stuff like The Kids Are All Right and The Fighter. They’re the mid-budget movies now, they just have bigger stars and bigger budgets. They’re good, but I don’t know if they have the staying power that some of the movies of the ’90s and the ’70s did. I don’t know if we’re going to be talking about The Town or The Kids Are All Right or An Education 20 or 30 years from now. Notes on a Scandal is another one. Philomena. Half of these Cate Blanchett movies — they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. But The Fighter or American Hustle — those will be watched in 30 years…
On casting Jennifer Jason Leigh:
I’ve always really liked her. I thought in the back of my mind that Hateful Eight was sort of like a Western Reservoir Dogs, and I thought there was something very apropos about that for where I am in my career — there was a full-circle quality. To me, something screamed ’90s about this movie, and so I thought that this should have some of the really cool ’90s actors, but now: pretty boy Mike Madsen from the ’90s, but now. Pretty boy Tim Roth, with his blond hair, but now. And Snake Plissken [Russell], but now. So when I was looking for [the character] Daisy, I could have seen Jennifer Lawrence doing a good job with the role. I’m a very big fan of hers. I think she could end up being another little Bette Davis if she keeps on going the way she’s going. I think her work with David O. Russell is very reminiscent of William Wyler and Bette Davis’s.
Having said that, though, Daisy should be a little older. She should fit in with the guys. Jennifer Jason Leigh came in and was really good. She went for a couple of things that other people just kind of playacted. She had to act like she got shot, and she just screamed bloody murder. I kept remembering Jennifer’s bloodcurdling scream. If it had happened in a house, somebody would have called the cops…
On favorite 2015 movies:
I didn’t see anything this year. I’ve been making this movie for so long. I loved Kingsman. I really liked It Follows…It was the best premise I’ve seen in a horror film in a long, long, long time. It’s one of those movies that’s so good you get mad at it for not being great…He could have kept his mythology straight. He broke his mythology left, right, and center…
On “True Detective”:
I tried to watch the first episode of season one, and I didn’t get into it at all. I thought it was really boring. And season two looks awful. Just the trailer — all these handsome actors trying to not be handsome and walking around looking like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. It’s so serious, and they’re so tortured, trying to look miserable with their mustaches and grungy clothes.
Now, the HBO show I loved was Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. That was the only show that I literally watched three times. I would watch it at seven o’clock on Sunday, when the new one would come on. Then after it was over, I’d watch it all over again. Then I would usually end up watching it once during the week, just so I could listen to the dialogue one more time…
On TV critics:
Who the fuck reads TV reviews? Jesus fucking Christ. TV critics review the pilot. Pilots of shows suck. Why would it be surprising that I like the best dialogue writer in the business?
On winning Oscars:
…I would have liked to have won Best Director for Inglourious Basterds, but I’ve got time. And I’m very, very happy with my writing Oscars. I will brag about this: I’m one of five people who have won two Original Screenplay Oscars. The other four are Woody Allen, Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and Paddy Chayefsky. I actually didn’t know that until somebody wrote it on a website. I went, “Holy shit!” Those are the greatest writers in the history of Hollywood. Now, Woody Allen has us all beat. He’s won three, so if I win three, I’ll tie with Woody.
On making ‘Kill Bill 3’:
No, it’s not off the table, but we’ll see.
The rest of the article is here.