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"I Don't Want A 3-Hour 'Django Unchained' Either": Highlights Of Quentin Tarantino's Directors' Roundtable Chat

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 29, 2012 at 1:50PM

One thing that we're really, really looking forward to in the Christmas movie season is the return of Quentin Tarantino to the press circuit. Now that he's finished his eighth movie, "Django Unchained," (which starts screening for press over the weekend), the filmmaker can get on with the busy business of selling the movie. And love him or hate him, one can't deny Tarantino knows how to talk, and his colorful appearances on the press tour always make for interesting reading/viewing. He is, as you might expect, like a character from one of his movies come to life.
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THR director's roundtable
4. He calls digital projection "TV in public," but might actually be open to making something for the small screen.
Part of the reason Tarantino says he's moving towards potential retirement (which he says he'd use to write novels and film criticism) is that he hates digital, both to shoot and to project. "I can't stand all this digital stuff. This is not what I signed up for. Even the fact that digital presentation is the way it is right now -- I mean, it's television in public, it's just television in public. That's how I feel about it. I came into this for film." But that's not to say that he wouldn't be prepared to make something for TV. Indeed, he feels that, given the length of his scripts, they might actually be better suited to a small screen format, with the added running time that buys you. "If I'm gonna do TV in public," he continues. "I'd rather just write one of my big scripts and do it as a miniseries for HBO, and then I don't have the time pressure that I'm always under, and I get to actually use all the script. I always write these huge scripts that I have to kind of -- my scripts aren't like blueprints. They're not novels, but they're novels written with script format. And so I'm adapting the script into a movie every day. The one movie that I was actually able to use everything -- where you actually have the entire breadth of what I spent a year writing -- was the two 'Kill Bill' movies 'cause it's two movies. So if I'm gonna do another big epic thing again, it'll probably be like a six-hour miniseries or something."

Django Unchained
5. Tarantino wants to make sure his films keep the "dick hard" of future fans.
The other reason he's started talking about hanging up his viewfinder is that he's concerned about his legend, and the idea that he might end up making disappointing films towards the end of his career. "It's age, it's absolutely age," he says. "I'm really well versed on a lot of directors' careers, you know, and when you look at those last five films when they were past it, when they were too old, and they're really out of touch with the times, whether it be William Wyler and 'The Liberation of L.B. Jones' or Billy Wilder with 'Fedora' and then 'Buddy Buddy' or whatever the hell. To me, it's all about my filmography, and I want to go out with a terrific filmography. [2007's] 'Death Proof' has got to be the worst movie I ever make. And for a left-handed movie, that wasn't so bad, all right? -- so if that's the worst I ever get, I'm good. But I do think one of those out-of-touch, old, limp, flaccid-dick movies costs you three good movies as far as your rating is concerned. It's a grade-point average. I think I risk failure every single time with the movies I do, and I haven't fallen into failure. Risking failure is not what I'm afraid of. Failing is what I'm afraid of."

"I do think it's a young man's game. I really do. I discovered Howard Hawks when I was 15. I saw 'Rio Bravo' and thought it was fantastic," he continued. "Then I ended up going to some film festival, and I saw 'His Girl Friday.' Then all of a sudden I'm at home, and I notice that a movie called 'Barbary Coast' is being played, and it said in the TV Guide, 'Directed by Howard Hawks,' and so I watched that. Well, those three movies in a row really got me into that director. So I fantasize about another 12-year-old girl or boy, 20 years after I'm dead, seeing one of my movies, liking it. 'Who the hell did that?' Seeing another movie, and then whatever they choose from the pile -- 'cause they don't know what's good and what's bad, all right? -- I have to keep their dick hard! I have to keep them wanting to go back for more. They can't grab 'Buddy Buddy'! They can't grab 'Buddy Buddy'! It can't -- that can't happen!"

This article is related to: Features, Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained, David O. Russell


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