One of the highlights of the just-wrapped Santa Barbara Film Festival was a matinee screening of the underrated 1975 feature Posse, produced and directed by its star, Kirk Douglas, who agreed to appear on stage with the film’s number-one fan, Quentin Tarantino, in what festival director Roger Durling dubbed a “Q&K.”
To everyone’s surprise, Douglas said, “I don’t want to talk about Posse. I want to talk about Inglourious Basterds.” And he did! He raved about Chrisoph Waltz and mentioned that his son Michael had recently met the film’s leading lady, Diane Kruger, and reported that she was even more beautiful in person than she was on screen.
Quentin gently prodded Kirk to discuss his anti-establishment film, which he dubbed a “Watergate Western.” Kirk confessed that he hadn’t revisited the 35-year-old film until that afternoon, and was duly impressed. In fact, he wondered why it cut short his directing career!
He also confessed that he didn’t remember much about the film, although he recalled tailoring the part of a small-town newspaper editor for James Stacy, who lost his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident two years earlier. He chose well in casting Bruce Dern as his onscreen adversary, although he remembered it being hard to get him to do a simple walk-by shot without embellishing the action.
Douglas may not have had much to say in particular about his film—which speaks quite well for itself—and was candid in admitting his impatience to get to a TV set where he could watch the Super Bowl, but he managed to charm the entire audience just the same. Tarantino was a perfect host, but more importantly, he reminded several hundred people (including me) of an entertaining movie that’s well worth a second look.
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