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Listen to Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson Talk ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Anderson told Tarantino, "It's like the world's expert made a movie about the thing he knows the most about, which is the movies, this city, and the humanity of it."

Tarantino and Anderson

Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson at the Directors Guild of America in LA

Shane Karns

Talk about a meeting of the minds.

Lucky audiences at a recent Directors Guild of America membership screening in Los Angeles on August 18 were treated to a Q&A with movie masters Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, who sat down to discuss the making of Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” If you haven’t seen the film, beware the spoilers ahead in the 35-minute conversation.

The lively chat spanned an array of topics surrounding the making of Tarantino’s 1969 period piece set in Los Angeles during a period of immense cultural change — all with the black hole of the Manson family looming over Hollywood.

In the podcast embedded below, Anderson and Tarantino dive into everything from recreating the Spahn Ranch of the ’60s and the neon signs of Los Angeles at the time, to how Tarantino revised Hollywood history to put his own spin on the Sharon Tate murder that rocked the industry. Anderson and Tarantino also waxed about the masters that inspire them in film, music, and literature, such as Cormac McCarthy and Francis Ford Coppola.

Paul Thomas Anderson is obviously a huge fan of the film. “This is the most magnificent film. I have seen it four and a half times now,” he told the audience. “One of the things I love about this movie is how much joy there is in it, just pure joy. Your movies always have the joy of making the movie. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s like the world’s expert made a movie about the thing he knows the most about, which is the movies, this city, and the humanity of it.”

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has made more than $183 million worldwide to date, with repeated sold-out 35mm screenings at the New Beverly in Los Angeles, Tarantino’s Hollywood-based repertory theater.

Though “Phantom Thread” and “The Master” director Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t currently have a film project in the kiln, he recently helmed a bouncy new music video for the pop trio Haim, and the brain-bending Netflix short film “Anima” featuring new music from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

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