When the name Quentin Tarantino is mentioned… What comes to mind?
An innovative filmmaker, brilliant screen writer, immaculate film editor…. A cinema dynamo with a in-your-face bravado?
An abrasive out-of-line, often times divisive, gratuitous violence-loving, masterfully insensitive race-baiter who has absolutely ZERO CHILL (translation: no tact what-so-ever)?
This week T Magazine, as part of their Greats series, released the interview conducted with one of the most brash film directors of our time, Quentin Tarantino. Just the mere mention of his last name can sway moviegoers into getting their butts in the seats. His movies have even been components in Netflix & chill and it’s predecessor, Blockbuster & kick-it. To say it shortly, hate him or love him, Tarantino’s movies are apart of Americana.
In T magazine’s piece, Tarantino, discusses and provides insight on a multitude of films, cinema aspects, and the complexities of the industry in large. At times in the interview, he hits a home-run on his acute analysis of cinema structure and presence of some recent films, when he mentions:
“Selma should have won an Emmy.”
I personally couldn’t agree more there. #Kanyeshrug
However, it is his discussion on the criticism his racially-charged films have received that has the PR-meter in rachet-ousity (yes, I made that word up, it was appropriate and applicable for this post) imploding. To be frank, I was nodding my head in his often times blunt yet acute insight, until he began addressing (or better yet dismissing) the criticism of the racial insensitivity tone often perceived and felt from his movies. That’s when my face and inner voice did a “WHATTTTT, THIS DUDE TRIPPIN!?!?” **Russell Westbrook voice and expression**
Tarantino responds to the criticism with:
“If you’ve made money being a critic in black culture in the last 20 years you have to deal with me. You must have an opinion of me. You must deal with what I’m saying and deal with the consequences. If you sift through the criticism, you’ll see it’s pretty evenly divided between pros and cons. But when the black critics came out with savage think pieces about ‘Django,’ I couldn’t have cared less. If people don’t like my movies, they don’t like my movies, and if they don’t get it, it doesn’t matter. The bad taste that was left in my mouth had to do with this: It’s been a long time since the subject of a writer’s skin was mentioned as often as mine. You wouldn’t think the color of a writer’s skin should have any effect on the words themselves. In a lot of the more ugly pieces my motives were really brought to bear in the most negative way. It’s like I’m some super-villain coming up with this stuff.”
So I guess (let me try to discern this) instead of the film critique community (particularly Black critics) providing that valid criticism and Mr. Tarantino absorbing and re-evaluating his motives… These Black critics should maybe in fact provide Mr. Tarantino with a handkerchief and ask him if he’s ok….Lest their criticism on their community’s depiction in his films be too acidic for Mr. Tarantino to swallow.
(Maybe he can be soothed with an Antebellum-south styled handkerchief sown by a slave) I know I’m taking it there …… Another face is needed for this …. The #Shaqface
It kinda feels like Tarantino thinks he’s in a Spades game with the Black critics and he’s trying to play a card (White racism, pity, disregard) **YIKES**
Oh Tarantino… You probably think that your somewhat southern rearing (in Tennessee for in total of less than 4 years, I think) with your maybe black friends all probably saying the n word to each other makes it ok for you to, as an adult, push the racial envelope… enough already.
I loved his movies for the most part (Grindhouse, Reservoir Dogs BRILLIANT) However, if I was Mr. Tarantino’s manager, agent, publicist, life coach, therapist, WHATEVER… I would mention that these are some key quick points to prevent someone of your stature from being dragged by Black (and also) non-black media:
1. Race is not irrelevant
2. No sir, you can’t pull the racism against White people card (some of those Black savage critics may shred that card)
3. Django was a mockery of some real devastation (look up ‘buck breaking’ during slavery) and completely unrealistic. (Brunhilda would have been a ravished house slave probably while Django was forced to watch)
4. You being a White director, developing a movie with heavy racial tones is one small component and can be overlooked or invited when the film’s racial subject matter is dealt with unwavering grace and tone-deafness is eliminated (see Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’)
On a personal note, my only real problem with Mr. Tarantino, something that I noticed even in the early 2000s, was his complete and utter disregard of the sensitivity of racially-charged story matter and dynamics of his plots (all to which he pretty much admits in this interview). Hell, some of his characters just go off on a racist tangent that serves no purpose to the story or character….In my complex appreciation of Mr. Tarantino’s films and their bravado, I think Django was the turning point for me, that movie just tried to make a jovial, mocking matter out of something I don’t think any human being could or should ever giggle or smile about. EVER. Really, no film has ever purposely tried to make you laugh regarding the backdrop of the Jewish Holocaust. Well, maybe, a Tarantino film. Dammit dude again! **shakes head**
Lastly, I think he may be on the downward slope in brilliance rather recently. I saw an early trailer of Hateful 8… and I swear-to-GAWD this was my exactly reaction. #sorrynotsorry