Unafraid to run from a fight, much ado was made over the filmmaker’s comments at a New York City rally in October when he labelled policeman who kill unarmed black and Hispanic people ‘murderers.’ Consequently, there’s a police boycott on Tarantino’s upcoming film. Today in Los Angeles Tarantino speaks out – and in his usual style – isn’t concerned about political correctness – but only what he feels to be true.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE REACTION YOU RECEIVED BY THE US POLICE ABOUT YOUR COMMENTS?
Well it’s been a very interesting few weeks, not like any few weeks I’ve ever had in my life, frankly. That first week wasn’t so good, it was challenging but I felt very, very gratified by the second week and I felt even more gratified by the third week. I don’t feel like I need to clarify my statements anymore because actually, so many publications around the world have clarified exactly what I have said. A lot of them have stood behind me, and especially when it came to what I said and how I had a right to say it.
WHAT ABOUT THE OVERREACTION?
Well, the overreaction, whether it be Time Magazine or even all the way to the National Review have strangely enough backed me up, at least as far as what I said was concerned about. So, I like the fact that I have been smeared as a cop hater and I do know that I have a lot of policemen who are fans of my work. But do I like them walking around thinking that I hate them or I don’t understand the issues that they face every day? No, I don’t like that at all, however, I find myself being, very, very gratified standing up for these families who have lost loved ones in sometimes a very senseless and a totalitarian kind of way. And they respect what I am doing and they appreciate what I am doing and that actually gives me a good feeling.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR FORMATIVE YEARS BEFORE YOU WORKED IN A VIDEO STORE? WAS THERE A MOVIE THAT LED YOU INTO THE DIRECTION OF WANTING TO BE A FILM DIRECTOR? WAS THERE ONE FILM THAT STICKS OUT IN YOUR MIND?
Yeah, well in particular, I guess it would be three and I will run through them very quickly. Rocky was a very important movie to me when I saw it at 12 or 13. It didn’t make me want to be a filmmaker but it made me want to be involved in film. And Stallone’s whole story of writing the screenplay of Rocky was very influential to me. He was like a people’s champion as far as I was concerned and I remember rooting for him at the Academy Awards. He was like somebody who had snuck into Hollywood. And in a way when I did Pulp Fiction I kind of felt a similar way, like I had somehow gotten across the wall or something. But in particular, the movies that got me thinking cinematically was Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in The West, and Mario Bava’s movie Black Sabbath.