Tarantino’s Rant Makes Total Sense

January 13, 2013

in blowg

When Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy asks about the violence in Quentin Tarantino’s movies, the Django Unchained director erupts in rage. And it’s understandable. After all, it’s a really old, beaten-down question associating crime with art. It’s not like Picasso is not responsible for the Spanish Civil War just for painting Guernica. 

This interview is just a very good example of very bad journalism. Does Guru-Murthy not have access to the internet? Surely he realizes the number of times Quentin Tarantino has been asked questions of a similar nature. He wants a different answer? There isn’t one. It’s simply this:

Violence is good drama. We’ve known this since forever ago. Greek plays were violent, yet they weren’t responsible for the Trojan War. Tarantino is a weird man, but that doesn’t mean his appetite for violence isn’t purely fictional. So when buggered with questions like this, casually and indirectly laying blame for actual violent crimes, yeah, you might blow your lid, too.

The violence in a Tarantino film is actually supposed to be pretty unpleasant. I distinctly remember the cringes I made when watching Inglourious Basterds because it turned the Jews into Nazis – cruel, unflinching murderers that inflicted the same pain they felt. And that experience was something I’ve never felt before in cinema. Tarantino is one of the few people in Hollywood that still has that ability — challenging audiences to think and feel differently.

Rather than look for all the bad things, let’s look at the good. Quentin Tarantino isn’t just being his usual narcissistic bastard self when he says this – he really is creating a dialogue about slavery that hasn’t been present in 30 years, as the auteur addresses in the questions proceeding his rant. You might not see the full, uncut version of the interview as most everyone will likely focus on Tarantino’s outrage rather than his particularly poignant responses. His appraisal of Spike Lee is my personal favorite – he holds no grudge.

As a white young male, Django Unchained made me more interested in slavery than any of my African American Lit classes in college. I did a lot of research after leaving the theater. Spoiler: Yes, Alexendar Dumas was black, no, mandingo fighting does not exist. I felt there, in that time period and I felt the same pain slaves did and as anyone in the position of a slave would feel, I felt thirsty for revenge.

Vengeance in the real world is actually a pretty awful thing. I’m a huge advocate of turning the other cheek. But it’s OK to dream, to get those emotions out, to channel them into a creative force. It’s healthy, as the only extensive study done on movie violence correlation between violent crime, crafted by Berkeley University in 2007 proves. I remember reading about this in class. Maybe Google filters results like these for Mr. Guru-Murthy, too.

Here’s an interesting quote: “We show that exposure to violent movies has three main effects on violent crime: (i) it reduces significantly violent crime in the evening on the day of exposure; (ii) by an even larger percent, it reduces violent crime during the night hours following exposure; (iii) it has no significant impact in the days and weeks following the exposure.”

Mr. Guru-Murthy, it just makes you seem out of touch with reality, which is unlike you, judging from your other interviews. It’s amusing to watch you become so amused when you push Tarantino, because you think you’ve got him against a wall. In reality, you just look smug and unresearched. I disagree that you’re doing your job well if you haven’t done your homework. And it’s understandable why Tarantino would be upset when condescended like this. But in the end, I actually just want to thank Mr. Guru-Murthy, because even if he looks bad this time, he did it in a pretty funny way.

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