Quentin Tarantino has been getting asked a lot about the link between movie violence and real-life violence lately, especially since his new film “Django Unchained” features an over-the-top massacre.
But, he finally lost it when a British TV interviewer attempted to broach the subject recently.
The director appeared on Britain’s Channel 4 this week with interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy to discuss his latest film.
Though Tarantino was happy to discuss the picture’s brutal look at slavery in America’s past (a topic he bragged he single-handedly brought back into the national discussion), he grew abruptly hostile when Guru-Murthy asked him why he was so certain there was no link between film violence and real-life violence.
“I refuse your question,” Tarantino said at first. When pressed as to why he wouldn’t discuss it, he grew more confrontational.
“I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.”
Finally, Tarantino expressed his reason for not wanting to talk about it: “The reason I don’t want to talk about it: Because I’ve said everything I have to say about it.”
Then he attacked the interviewer, saying, “I’m shutting your butt down” and dismissed the news show he was appearing on as a “commercial for my movie.”
Eventually Tarantino told the interviewer that he was willing to discuss the connection (or lack thereof) between film and real violence, but just not on the show he was appearing on, not to help their ratings.
Somehow, Guru-Murthy was able to get the interview back on track, asking one final question about aging film directors, before ending it.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph later, Guru-Murthy said, “I was surprised about his reaction to the questions, which were very gentle. I love a lot of his work — I wasn’t looking for a fight.”
“Django Unchained” appears on track to be Tarantino’s highest-grossing film ever, so far collecting $112 million at the domestic box office. It also picked up five Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture and one for original screenplay.
But with the film opening just over a week after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December, Tarantino has been asked quite a bit about the possible connection between film and real violence.
An interview with NPR’s Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” grew awkward when Tarantino said that he was becoming “annoyed” with the host’s questions about violence.
— Patrick Kevin Day