Quentin Tarantino’s Friday night visit to “Real Time with Bill Maher” marked a meeting of two outspoken minds on the occasion of the forthcoming release of Tarantino’s novel version of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” During the wide-ranging conversation about everything from Tarantino’s career to his life living in Israel, Tarantino spoke candidly about his plans to retire after his next film, which he’s still sure will happen.
When asked by Bill Maher why he’d give up moviemaking while at “the top of your game,” Tarantino said, “That’s why I want to quit.” Tarantino has long affirmed he’d call it quits after his 10th movie.
He added, “I know film history, and from here on in, directors do not get better. I still have another one to go. I don’t have a reason that I would want to say out loud that’s going to win any argument in a court of public opinion or Supreme Court or anything like that. At the same time, working for 30 years doing as many movies as I’ve done, not as many as other people, that’s a long career. That’s a really long career. And I’ve given it everything I have. Every single solitary thing I have.”
Tarantino pointed to the career of “Dirty Harry,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” and “Escape from Alcatraz” director Don Siegel as a director who should’ve quit while he was ahead.
“Don Siegel, if he had quit his career in 1979, when he did ‘Escape from Alcatraz,’ what a final film! What a mic drop. But he dribbles away with two more other ones.” (Siegel’s last two films were the poorly received “Jinxed!” and “Rough Cut.”)
While Tarantino hasn’t announced what his final film will be, he did admit to considering a reboot of his 1992 feature directing debut “Reservoir Dogs” as his swan song.
“That’s kind of a ‘capture time in a moment’ kind of thing,” Tarantino said, while cautioning, “I won’t do it, internet. But I considered it.”
Maher went on to applaud Tarantino for standing his ground amid controversies hurled at his films, like the 2019 ado over Margot Robbie’s lack of robust speaking lines in her role as Sharon Tate.
“Ideology is more important than art,” Tarantino said. “Ideology trumps individual effort, Ideology trumps good, ideology trumps entertaining.” However, he did say that’s not an indelible situation. “Just looking at the ’40s, even though it was wartime, that was also when you had film noir. Even with the Hays Code! You had these dark, dark stories being told.”
During the segment, Tarantino also talked about his time living in Tel Aviv, Israel, with his wife and 15-month-old son. “I wouldn’t make a movie about the political climate,” Tarantino told Maher when asked if he’d want to shoot a film in the “revenge capital of the world.”
“Having said that, if you actually shoot a movie in Jerusalem, there’s no place you can put the camera that you’re not capturing something fantastic,” Tarantino said. “You have a rooftop restaurant scene, you just see this sea of domes, magnificent architecture, just going on for miles and miles and miles.”
Watch a clip from the conversation below.