In a wide-ranging interview with New York Magazine, director Quentin Tarantino talks about the rush to complete his eighth film, The Hateful Eight, and the inadvertent timeliness of westerns, among other topics.
As of the interview, “a little bit more than a hour” is complete and now the rush is on to meet the January release date. Tarantino says this nothing new for him:
Every movie I’ve ever done, there has always been some date we were trying to meet, whether it was with Reservoir Dogs, trying to meet the Sundance date, or Pulp Fiction, meeting the Cannes date. But we always pull it off. And this way you don’t have that situation where you finish the movie and then the people who paid to make it get to sit around and pick it to death.
Which I suppose is a good thing. The film concerns bounty hunters trying to find shelter during a blizzard and what the director calls “the racial aftermath [of the Civil War], six, seven, eight, ten years later.” With scars of the Civil War still not acknowledged and racial unrest on the rise, the film certainly hits some timely topics, but Tarantino says that was not his plan, adding “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.”
At the same time, he notes westerns tend to reflect the period in which they were made, with westerns of the 1930s containing that can-do attitude or the complete deconstruction of the genre during the 70s. He even notes, “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.” Which, might explain why I always found it so dull. Granted, any movie at the time that wasn’t Star Wars stuck me dull.
Tarantino also renews his support of President Obama, dismisses Spielberg and Lucas’s worry that blockbusters will kill filmmaking and other interesting topics. Sometimes, he can come off as a blowhard, but Tarantino at least sees the shape of history — even if its film history — and is capable of interesting thoughts. Just as long as he doesn’t play the character expressing those thoughts, it’s all good.
The Hateful Eight arrives in theaters January 8th, 2016.
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