Quentin Tarantino has developed a global reputation for his brand of arthouse action in which he uses the cynicism of violence to deconstruct the integrity of the cinematic medium. Known for his ultra-cool and stylishly violent flicks like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Tarantino has won a lot of fans for his unique vision but he has also attracted the attention of hyper-conservative critics.
Tarantino has faced backlash for his cinematic violence since he released Reservoir Dogs but he has always been defended by other filmmakers such as Brian De Palma. “I was going through my scrapbook,” Tarantino said, in an iconic meeting between the two. “Brian’s been dealing with violence for the last 15 years… As a filmmaker, when you deal in violence, you’re actually penalised for doing a good job.”
“I know people who could’ve seen Reservoir Dogs and could’ve been fine with it,” Tarantino maintained. “But when they hear ‘violence, violence, violence’… they talked about Reservoir Dogs as the most violent movie ever made. Now, someday, I may make the most violent movie ever made and I wouldn’t mind people saying it. But I didn’t.”
These criticisms multiplied in subsequent years, especially when he came out with Kill Bill. During one particular interview, the interviewer asked Tarantino whether this film was appropriate for children. The director said: “It’s an R-rated movie. If their parents take them to go see it, they will have a blast. I actually think, from 12 up, is a really good audience; they will love Kill Bill. Girls will love it because they will be empowered.”
Adding, “It empowers girls [because of] the fact that Uma Thurman is a female warrior. She is a female avenger. Revenge is one of the classic staples in drama. This is about women, they’re not about cute girls going ‘hehehe’ with their butts and their T-shirts [stopping] below their belly buttons, asking permission to kick ass. These girls just kick ass, they are warriors. They live by a code of honour and they die by that code of honour too.”
However, the interviewer kept asking annoyingly moralising questions about the use of violence in Tarantino’s films. She pushed too far when she repeatedly asked Tarantino why he likes cinematic violence, to which he replied: “BECAUSE IT’S SO MUCH FUN, JAN!… You know what, Jan? I don’t think I made it for you.”
See the clip, below.