Maverick Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is at it again with more controversial comments that reinforce his image as a leftist bomb thrower. The outspoken director whose new flick “The Hateful Eight” is currently in theaters, compared the rebel flag to a Nazi swastika and called for the U.S. to own up to it’s “racist” past. Tarantino has come under much fire recently for his participation in several anti-cop rallies that triggered calls that his movies be boycotted – including one from the National Police Union. Reports were out that producer Harvey Weinstein was “furious” over Tarantino’s going rogue right before the opening of “The Hateful Eight” and the prospect at seeing millions in box office receipts swirling down the toilet. But the film did open and was running third at the box office during the holiday movie season – well behind the Star Wars franchise reboot.
The director’s latest comments were made in an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph and is reported by The Guardian in the article “Quentin Tarantino: ‘It’s about damn time’ US discussed racist past” from which I excerpt the following:
The film director Quentin Tarantino has said he considers the Confederate flag to be the American swastika, and that it’s “about damn time” people questioned its place in the American south.
His latest film, The Hateful Eight, is set a few years after the American civil war and puts the spotlight on strained race relations as a black Union soldier (Samuel L Jackson’s Maj Marquis Warren) is thrown together with former Confederate soldiers – Walton Goggins as a South Carolinian sheriff and Bruce Dern as a general.
Tarantino said: “All of a sudden, people started talking about the Confederacy in America in a way they haven’t before. I mean, I’ve always felt the rebel flag was some American swastika. And well, now, all of a sudden people are talking about it, and now they’re banning it, and now it’s not OK to have it on fucking licence plates, and coffee cups, and stuff.
“And people are starting to question about stuff like statues of Bedford Forrest [the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard] in parks. Well, it’s about damn time, if you ask me.”
The director also addressed his infamous interview with the Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy three years ago, when he lost his cool about a question suggesting a link between violence in his films and violence in real life. Tarantino’s films, including Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs and now The Hateful Eight, include high levels of violence and brutality.
“I wasn’t going to give it to him,” he said of Guru-Murthy. “But one of the things that backs up my point is that in the last 25 years, when it comes to industrial societies, hands down the most violent cinema that exists in any one country is Japan. Sometimes grotesquely so. And as we all know, they have the least violent society of all. It’s just right there.”
The problem with Mr. Tarantino on this is that one whose movies are saturated with negative racial dialogue – the word “nigger” was used over 100 times in “Django Unchained” and nearly as much in “The Hateful Eight”– is hardly one to act holier than thou given his history of playing the race card for profit. Come to think of it he should hardly be condemning violence of any sort given that the majority of his films are blood-soaked orgies of murder and mayhem. Hell, between “Django Unchained” and “Kill Bill” alone there was a larger body count than a small war and no matter how hard that Sir Quentin tries to blame all violence and racism on American society as the saying goes: “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
I have always found Tarantino to be vastly overrated although the media adores him largely because he is a mouthy and uncouth Hollywood liberal. His big breakthrough, the 1992 indie “Reservoir Dogs” was notable for Michael Madsen’s sadistic torture of a captured police officer but the only really good part was the classic opening scene and the profanity-saturated Madonna “Like a Virgin” breakfast conversation. I do have to admit that I really liked “Inglourious Basterds” once I was able to view it’s revisionist history like one of those WW II era Marvel comics stories where Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub Mariner kicked ass on Tojo and Hitler. I also enjoyed the “dead nigger storage” segment in “Pulp Fiction” but otherwise his stuff is just exploitative trash of the sort that Hollywood shits out into American culture on an industrial scale.
With the more unsavory elements of U.S. history aside, Mr. Tarantino would be well-served to look into the mirror when he wants to see what a purveyor of racism looks like.
Montage of “racist” language in Tarantino films – 18 minutes worth