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Tarantino Says He’ll Never Work w/ Spike Lee, Calls Him Contemptible + Says He Has 2 More Films Before Retirement

Tarantino Says He'll Never Work w/ Spike Lee, Calls Him Contemptible + Says He Has 2 More Films Before Retirement

Thanks to a couple of our readers in Brazil (specifically Salvador) for alerting me to this…

In short, courtesy of Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Quentin Tarantino and some of his “Hateful Eight” cast were in Sao Paulo promoting the upcoming film earlier today (it opens in Brazil on January 7, 2016). During the press conference, Tarantino was asked whether he would ever work with Spike Lee again (Spike directed Tarantino in “Girl 6”). The reasons why the journalist asked him that question aren’t given, nor is any context provided. I’m just going based on the translation from Portuguese to English that was provided for me, based on O Globo’s write-up. 

And in response, Tarantino, seemingly put off by the question, replied, “Never!” Apparently, he initially left it there, and moved on to field other questions, but returned to it, maybe to further explain his position, and then said, emphatically: “I have two more films to direct and I will not spend any of them working with that son of a bitch. He [Spike] would be very happy the day I accept to work with him. But it will not happen.”

Oh, the arrogance! I think Spike would have something to say about that. Does he even want to work with Tarantino?

The apparent feud between these 2 filmmakers has been well-documented over the years. In summary, Spike has always been vocal with his criticism of some of Tarantino’s choices, notably the repetitive use of the so-called “N” word by characters (black or white) in his movies.

I’d say that their feud likely went public after “Jackie Brown,” when Lee expressed his concern for the excessive use of the “N” word in the movie (something like 38 times I believe was the count). As Spike is reported as saying at the time: “Quentin is infatuated with that word… What does he want to be made—an honorary black man?”

Naturally Tarantino responded, stating: “As a writer, I demand the right to write any character in the world that I want to write. And to say that I can’t do that because I’m white… that is racist.”

There wasn’t much public beefing between the two after that, until “Django Unchained” was released 3 years ago. Lee vocalized his disapproval of Tarantino’s slave-revenge fantasy, and vowed he would never see the movie, calling it “disrespectful to my ancestors.”

As Lee said: “I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me… I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

Of course Lee faced much backlash from Tarantino fans.

Spike later tweeted, in response, verbatim: “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”

Tarantino was asked about Spike’s disapproval, but he chose not to address it – at least, not directly. Tarantino simply countered that he would not “waste time” responding to Lee.

Given Tarantino’s comments while pushing “Hateful Eight” in Brazil, it’s obvious that the feud has yet to be squashed. Although, this is still very much a business, and it wouldn’t at all shock me if, one day, both filmmakers do work on a project together, in some capacity. Imagine how talked-about that would be. The press (and fanboy/girl) coverage would be immense, given what has apparently been a long-standing, almost 20-year feud, as of today.

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the fact that Tarantino did say that he has just 2 more movies left in him, before he moves on to some other creative medium. As he told the press in Sao Paolo: “The ‘Hateful Eight'” is my eighth film. The next will be the ninth, and the next [after that] will be the last.”

“I have a mythological perspective with respect to myself and my career,” he said, adding that he’d likely devote his time to producing the work of others after ending his career as a director.

For the rest of the story, visit O Globo’s website, although it’s not in English.

Both filmmakers will seen new films released in theaters next month, and both will be talked about: Spike’s “Chi-Raq” has already inspired much debate (it’ll be out on December 4); and Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” (a less controversial film for him, it appears; it opens December 25).

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I think Samuel L. Jackson summed this up the best: " don’t think the word is offensive in the context of this film … Black artists think they are the only ones allowed to use the word. Well, that’s bull. Jackie Brown is a wonderful homage to black exploitation films. This is a good film, and Spike hasn’t made one of those in a few years." Ouch!


If I was a reaping benefits by stealing Black peoples’ culture, I would shun authentic Black culture keepers too. Tarantino is sleezy and everybody knows it! He loves black-exploitation and all its stereotypes. There is nothing stately or qualitative about Tarantino’s films.


Why would Spike who’s worked with Christopher Plummer, Michael Jordan etc and makes serious films such as 4 LittleGirls would be jealous of a hack who rips off Asian and other foreign movies, indulges his perverted fantasies such as feet and has ridiculous character names like "Perrier LaPadite" is preposterous


Rich, shut the f*ck up.


Actually QT is full of himself. I got two more films in me. Should I care? Imagine if Godard said that 30 years ago. Oh that’s right, you don’t like Godard QT.


What a pair of egotistical … oh wait, they’re male directors – a prerequisite in my experience. However I have enjoyed more Tarantino than I have Lee films


Fall back Rich. "Squashed" is perfectly acceptable. It’s a colloquialism – slang if you prefer. As in, "We had beef, but we squashed it- so now it’s all good." You feel me?
Where you from, Kansas?


Like someone already stated, they are both ridiculously full of themselves. Both need to have a seat.

Michael Gonzales

Tarantino is Truffaut to Lee’s afro Godard… forever they will fight, but cinema is all that matters.


You all got issues comparing QT to spike. Could the playlist visitors please vacate the premises?


"Oh, the arrogance! I think Spike would have something to say about that."
Not really. If it was considered possibly to analogize film careers to sports careers, QT has hit for a way higher average than Spike over their respective filmographies. Spike has a stellar season or two (DTRT, Malcolm X) in his career, but many, many forgettable duds. QT has generally hit for high average, commercial success, et al. consistently. It’s really no contest. On the matter of generational impact, it’s harder to compare: more like apples and oranges. Spike for social consciousness, race and politics in cinema, QT for formalism, remaking genre, technique and characterization,


I don’t believe they will work together due to their different cinematic visions and their egos. Both are fine filmmakers.

That being said, I wish "race man" Spike would get on the pulpit and support those courageous #BLM activists the way Tarantino has.

Quentin Barrintino

Malcolm X was a good TV movie.


I think Spike is probably more concerned with contemporary black issues. To Michiline: Both of them have their belts. Spike made Do the Right Thing or Malcolm X (take your pick). Quentin made Pulp Fiction. That’s hall of fame stuff. At minimum.


"I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is…"
At least he admits he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. :D

Considering Django Unchained didn’t hold back in showing some of the horrors of that time, I’m pretty sure Lees ancestors would at least appreciate the movie’s honesty.
Instead of making Steve McQueen style torture porn with wannabe Shakespeare dialogue. :)


I think someone is a little bit worried now if this was just A PRACTIVE ENCOUNTER THAT YOU TWO GUYS really should work together, but I think you should both be encouraged to be realistic and be "chums" !


They are both very good directors/film-makers. They should work together, maybe a film in two halves. One half directed by each director on the same subject and then we can all judge for ourselves.


Who’s Wheaties did Tarantino piss in?

Warner B

"The correct word is quashed not squashed" get over yourself "Rich" what are you a vocabulary Nazi? oh wait sorry I think I spelt that incorrectly. In modern terminology, "Squashed" is the word we use on this planet. Get over yourself for God sakes.


Tarantino needs to STFU! I can’t stand directors who pretend that they are for a cause only because they have a film coming out. All that BS about calling the police murderers is just a publicity stunt to get attention for his movie! Where was he when all these protests were happening last year and the year before that? Oh, he didn’t had a film to promote!


Hey Rich,

Squash is actually used correctly here as well. Quash is actually a synonym.

Mark and Darla

@ED Well Spielberg isn’t an extraterrestrial either, so I guess he can’t/shouldn’t be directing movies about Guess you can say the same thing about sharks.


I love Spike’s movies but he really does have a chip on his shoulder about his Blackness.


I agree Michiline’s comments, neither are as great as they proclaim to be. But QT does have a point. Considering Spike’s publicly gone after filmmakers like Spielberg for directing a movie like Amistad, just because Spielberg isn’t black. Well Spielberg isn’t an extraterrestrial either, so I guess he can’t/shouldn’t be directing movies about them. Spike’s attitude about who can make what is deeply sick. Where does he get the balls to tell people the kind of art they want to make. QT’s never talked about anyone like that.


I thought Tarantino already devoted his life to putting his name on the work of others. I remember when someone said to me "Why don’t you like QT? Did you see Hero? I think it’s his best film!" :/


Actually Spike your ancestors were sold not stolen…


Neither of them are as great as they think. They both need to si’down.


I really long for the day when QT stops making movies. They’re just visual masturbation of his 60’s widescreen fantasies. Meanwhile, Spike’s "Chiraq" looks fresh, edgy, and a possible artistic achievement.


It’s interesting that Spike Lee, his nationalism notwithstanding, has has never made a film about slavery. I suspect that part of his animous towards Tarantino is based on his inability to do so himself; pure jealousy.


The correct word is quashed not squashed. If the arguments ended and they get along it has been quashed because it has been ended. It cannot be squashed, because you cannot crush an argument.

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