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CINEMA: Tarantino On Tarantino

TARANTINO CROPPED

 

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Speaking of genre, what is it about the Western for you? There aren’t many being made right now.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: There are a few coming out. Antoine Fuqua is doing Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington, so that’s one. Django did so well I’m surprised that there’s not even more.

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 hateful_eight_ver2_xxlghippie 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.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: So what is Hateful Eight saying about the 2010s?

QUENTIN TARANTINO: I’m not trying to make Hateful Eight contemporary in any way, shape, or form. I’m just trying to tell my story. It gets to be a little too much when you try to do that, when you try to make a hippie Western or try to make a counterculture Western.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Hateful Eight uses the Civil War as a backdrop, sort of like how The Good, the Bad and the Ugly does.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly doesn’t get into the racial conflicts of the Civil War; it’s just a thing that’s happening. My movie is about the country being torn apart by it, and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: That’s going to make this movie feel contemporary. Everybody’s talking about race right now.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: I know. I’m very excited by that.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Excited?

QUENTIN TARANTINO: Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: How did what’s happening in Baltimore and Ferguson find its way into The Hateful Eight?

QUENTIN TARANTINO: It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now. MORE

In Select Theaters on Christmas Day & Everywhere On January 8th, 2016

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