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Quentin Tarantino Says 'Death Proof' Is The "Worst" Movie He's Made; Writing Books On Sergio Corbucci, George Roy Hill & Don Siegel

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 28, 2012 1:56 PM
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With Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" coming in at the wire -- Showbiz 411 reports that the sound is pretty much getting done as we speak -- and getting ready to screen for critics this weekend, he'll shortly be doing the rounds with press. He's already starting things off in a big way by taking part in THR's usually solid roundtable conversation series, and as usual, he remarks are highly quotable.

Among the many memorable moments, Tarantino was quite candid about the film that he believes is at the bottom of his body of work. Once again stating he wants to leave the game with a solid filmography, right now he knows which movie doesn't make the grade. "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," he said. "[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."

So once he walks away from the game, what will he do? He wants to write novels and film criticism, and he reveals he already has stuff he's working on about flimmakers Sergio Corbucci (director of the original "Django"), George Roy Hill ("Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid," "The Sting") and Don Siegel (check out our Essentials feature right here). Certainly, next to Martin Scorsese, Tarantino might be the most interesting and passionate person to talk about the film, so we're definitely eager to see what he pulls together.

Other highlights from this interview? Tarantino talks about "Kill Bill" briefly -- a picture he says was the only one where he was able to include everything from the "novel"-like scripts --  and says if he'd ever make a "big epic" again it would probably be a six-hour mini-series. His comments on film vs. digital are nearly scathing too. He says digital is part of the reason he wants to retire, and it's "not what I signed up for." The filmmaker clearly loathes digital projection, calls it "television in public" and says because of DP, "it's over."

Check out a clip followed by the full roundtable chat below with Gus Van Sant, Ang Lee, Ben Affleck, Tom Hoooper and David O. Russell

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  • gilles | August 3, 2014 6:06 PMReply

    Got to disagree with QT here. I still think that "Death Proof" (the "unrated" DVD version) is a better, more focus film than "Django Unchained", which always felt too long for his own good. Still a very entertaining picture, but his homage to exploitation cinema is better IMO.

  • nightgoat72 | December 2, 2012 9:04 PMReply

    David O. Russell does not seem to be a fan of Quentin Tarantino. It almost looks like he's constantly rolling his eyes while QT is talking. Interesting.

  • nightgoat72 | December 2, 2012 9:32 PM

    Guess I should have waited until the end to post the comment, haha.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | December 2, 2012 5:05 PMReply

    NOOOO!!! I love that fuckin' movie! A slasher film where said slasher uses a car instead of a knife/axe/chainsaw/bare hands? A killer stuntman? Brilliant! I own the "Grindhouse" DVD; I usually skip "Planet Terror." lmbao

  • tdmtpg | December 1, 2012 10:38 AMReply

    What's the deal with perpetually ripping off/remaking every goddamn move?
    What's the last original script QT has written from scratch? (And no, he didn't write
    PF -- avery wrote most of that).

    Didn't know Django was a copy...I mean, sure he puts his own glitter on it...but it's NOT his idea, story, vision. That's horseshit and one loses major points out of the gate for that.
    I'm gonna go write a novel called The Great Gatsby. Gonna' give them all Iphones
    And twitter accounts. Wish me luck!

  • mms. | November 30, 2012 2:46 PMReply

    I find it's odd that Tarantino mentions digital projection(and not photography) as being what he's displeased with - at least as he comes about it in the short clip above. To my eyes there's only one undisputable verdict of the typical 4K digital projection compared to 35mm ditto; the former wins, hands down. It's a cleaner, more color-true(yes, I mean it), more informative, and completely stable image compared to even mint 35mm copies, and moreover the sound quailty with digital projection(24-bit lossless vs. 16-bit compressed) is noticably better. The steps between the digitally scanned master of a 35mm negative and its eventual digital projection state are fewer and much less intrusive than had it been transferred to film. Unless Mr. Tarantino speaks of a subjective preference and "patina" with 35mm projection he simply favors for more personal reasons(if you will), which would certainly be fair enough, I just don't buy the nostalgic weeping over the loss of 35mm projection. However, digital vs film(i.e.: celluloid) photography is an aspect I'd be willing to fight for the survival of 35/65mm film, as I believe film stills holds an (objective) edge over digital, especially with regard to color fidelity, and as a principle I believe the filmmakers should be able to choose the filming format they prefer. But film projection? No. The images are often washed out compared to digital, certainly with more used copies, and I find film projection is not as good in revealing the source differences(be they film, digital, use of lenses, lighting, etc.).

  • AS | November 28, 2012 8:40 PMReply

    Well, I'm gonna have to agree to disagree with QT on Death Proof. I love all of his films, but I'd take Death Proof over Jackie Brown & Reservoir Dogs any day.

  • Daniel | November 28, 2012 8:50 PM

    I also love all his films, but Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown kick the shit out of Death Proof.

  • Ade | November 28, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    He's right about digital projection.

  • fantasyfern | November 28, 2012 3:23 PMReply

    Wow, I love Quentin. Somebody has to speak out about the B.S. that movies have become. And, " next to Martin Scorsese, Tarantino might be the most interesting and passionate person to talk about...": one can only hope that Tarantino doesn't make himself as annoying and omnipresent as Scorsese has, attaching his name to every old classic movie he can. Given that Scorsese is still making any movie that the studio throws at him every two years, I don't think Tarantino has in mind to follow his example...

  • Fern | November 28, 2012 5:11 PM

    Here's another instructive comparison between the two: while Tarantino says that he's ready to quit film because of digital projection, Scorsese is running the tech-convention circuit claiming that Taxi Driver would have been better in 3D... Grand Father of film, indeed.

  • Fern | November 28, 2012 5:07 PM

    @Yer: when Tarantino is canonized as the stately Grand Father of Film and when one of his execrable films is showered with Oscar laurels as a result (as was the case with Hugo), then we'll talk. But until then, Tarantino can put his name on any crappy asian film that he wants to. I'm sure none of us would know about The Red Shoes without Scorsese's patronage. Instead of obsessing about every film that was ever made, perhaps Scorsese should invest some of that time and energy into developing a decent script.

  • yer | November 28, 2012 4:11 PM

    You're joking right? Tarantino slaps his name on every Asian film that makes a crossover to the US regardless of any involvement he might have. At least Scorsese campaigns for film restoration and brings attention to films worth seeing.

  • Rich | November 28, 2012 2:12 PMReply

    He obviously hasn't watched Inglorious Bastards.

  • Pope | November 29, 2012 6:39 PM

    That would be Inglourious Basterds QT, not Death Proof.

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