I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s a good idea to jump on everything people say. Outrage culture is a drag, most will agree. Political correctness threatens to strangle art. This we also know. But there is a reason why films about women and films directed by women hold little interest for the menfolk who rule Hollywood with their cocks out. Mostly they don’t deem stories about women to be interesting or of lasting value. Tarantino himself is great with female characters — well, not with Django Unchained but certainly with Inglorious Basterds, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. He’s saying what films he finds to be “Oscar bait.” He’s right to an extent. As Hollywood has moved away from making films for adults it has created its own separate genre specifically FOR Oscar voters and anyone still left out there who likes watching those kinds of movies — straight up dramas that revolve around characters. Real people with real problems. There is nothing flashy about them but they move the group of Oscar voters for whom they are tailor-made. The frustrating part of his thinking, though, is the blunt disdain he seems to have for films about and by women – two of them directed by women but almost all revolving around female characters:

He’s probably not that excited about Carol: “The movies that used to be treated as independent movies, like the Sundance movies of the ’90s – those are the movies that are up for Oscars now. Stuff like The Kids Are All Right and The Fighter. They’re the mid-budget movies now, they just have bigger stars and bigger budgets. They’re good, but I don’t know if they have the staying power that some of the movies of the ’90s and the ’70s did. I don’t know if we’re going to be talking about The Town or The Kids Are All Right or An Education 20 or 30 years from now. Notes on a Scandal is another one. Philomena. Half of these Cate Blanchett movies – they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. But The Fighter or American Hustle – those will be watched in 30 years.”

First he says The Fighter might not have staying power and then he flips it around and says it will. So if you take if you take out The Fighter you’re left with The Town and then everything else about women. He’s wrong about The Town, I have to say. It’s Ben Affleck’s best film and people will be watching it for decades to come. Though he’s right that they’re all gorgeous.

“I really liked The Town, which also came out in 2010. It was a good crime film. However, next to The Fighter, it just couldn’t hold up, because everybody in The Town is beyond gorgeous. Ben Affleck is the one who gets away with it, because his Boston accent is so good. But the crook is absolutely gorgeous. The bank teller is absolutely gorgeous. The FBI guy is absolutely gorgeous. The town whore, Blake Lively, is absolutely gorgeous. Jeremy Renner is the least gorgeous guy, and he’s pretty f—ing good-looking. Then, if you look at The Fighter, and you look at those sisters, they’re just so magnificent. When you see David O. Russell cast those sisters, and you see Ben Affleck cast Blake Lively, you can’t compare the two movies. One just shows how phony the other is.

The bigger idea here, other than deeply ingrained sexist impulses that can’t be helped, is that none of us can really know which films will still be watched in 50 years because we don’t yet know the fate of the filmmakers or the talent involved. For instance, James Dean died way too young. That meant his films were destined to be watched forever, whether or not they were good. (And, as it happens, all three are classics in their own right.) Lisa Cholodenko, who wrote and directed The Kids Are All Right might find her way out of television and direct some kind of crazy masterpiece and thus people will watch her work forever (I know, wishful thinking there). Even Clueless, the film I complained about last week as not deserving to sit atop a list of the 100 best films directed by women, might find its place in film history 50 years from now. We just can’t know these things.

Still, Tarantino is kind of right in that there is a genre for these kinds of films and that genre is what we like to see around here on Oscar Island. Oscar Island is the reason many films get made at all. Were it not for the Oscar race they would be sent (and some even still are) straight to VOD. Occasionally you have a year where all of the films in the race are huge blockbusters and films that bleed into the social fabric of our country and even manage to make a big splash internationally. But those aren’t the films Tarantino is talking about. He’s talking about movies that can barely get made and do so only because they have a chance at awards buzz to use as leverage. It’s hard out there for a pimp.

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  • Steven Kane

    You’re right about his comments being wishy washy. Goes from one end to the other and back again. I think The Town and Notes on a Scandal will be remembered for years to come. He does bring up a so so point on the casting of The Town and The Fighter but the flaw is with The Town Tarantino only focused on the main characters and not the side characters, or just-above-an-extra. With The Fighter he only pointed out the just-above-an-extra characters and didn’t note the gorgeousness of Wahlberg or Amy Adams. Affleck, to his credit, did cast real Bostonians in Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I’d even say O. Russell looked at Gone Baby Gone and realized how authentic he could go by casting the same type of people in small roles. Tarantino said, “The leads in The Town are gorgeous compared to the side characters in The Fighter.” Saying “The leads in The Fighter are gorgeous compared to the side characters in The Town” and it’d be the exact same argument.

  • I love Tarantino and of course I agree with him here. I own THE TOWN and I haven’t watched it in a long while. I think what we’re talking about is movies that are rewatchable and I said that AMERICAN HUSTLE was one of those back when it was nominated and it is that kind of movie. Those become the “Classics” not some fancy pants movie everyone watches because they’re supposed to but they only respected it. They never loved it. Those won’t be classics and they won’t be rewatched. They might be award winners and that’s sad because award winners used to be classics. What I miss about the Oscars is that it used to seem that, like us, in the not too distant past how the movies would hold up over time used to mean something to the voters. I think they took that into consideration when they voted even a decade ago. You know, being on the right side of history. That sort of thing.

    At this point, I don’t know what the voters are thinking. They don’t think en masse, but it does seem like popular fare is almost getting disqualified from being a Best Picture type movie in their eyes and that’s a shame. I’d like to see something like THE GIFT show up on their radar. Not a blockbuster, but I’ll be rewatching the hell out of it. But it didn’t go the festival route, so it’s not important enough right?

    About his mention of CAROL. It looks like FAR FROM HEAVEN Todd Haynes, not VELVET GOLDMINE Todd Haynes. We all thought FAR FROM HEAVEN was great and it got some accolades but have we rewatched it? Now I personally have watched VELVET GOLDMINE 50 times at least. Is that because it’s centered on men? Or is it because it’s a more rewatchable movie that will eventually be a classic? I don’t know. One of my other favorite directors has consistently made instant classics that must be rewatched but Christopher Nolan can’t get arrested as far as Oscar is concerned. Maybe people who like Christopher Nolan movies aren’t good enough to understand what an Oscar picture is. But if INCEPTION and INTERSTELLAR aren’t viewed as classics 20 years from now, I’ll eat my hat. THE DARK KNIGHT already is.

    My favorite movie off all time happens to be a Cate Blanchett movie that is centered around a group of men. So do I hate my gender or not? Or do I just think it’s the best because it’s of the best quality and my favorite? Could be anything, but I think as the Academy continues to be completely out of step with the public, who deem movies “Classics” in the end, their importance wanes. It seems apparent that they don’t care. As their awards extravaganza becomes nothing more than a fashion show, they will probably tell themselves that their taste in films is far superior to the plebes who actually tune in to the telecast. As long as the ratings are still there they can keep believing that. But most of us who love movies know how messed up they’ve become.

  • Maybe the days of Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Death Proof all featuring female leads were all just part of one big accident where he felt comfortable writing stories about women. He was too busy trying to find places to fit words other than ‘nigger’ into his Django Unchained script to acknowledge the existence of 50% of the population, but hey sure, there’s Kerry Washington getting dragged out of a box in the ground with her pussy out! Hooray for equality, dickheads!

    Half of these Cate Blanchett movies – they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life.

    Goes some way toward explaining why Quentin Tarantino largely seems to have ditched the notion of making arty movies and is instead focusing on churning out slickly-produced dreck these days.

    We all thought FAR FROM HEAVEN was great and it got some accolades but have we rewatched it? Now I personally have watched VELVET GOLDMINE 50 times at least. Is that because it’s centered on men? Or is it because it’s a more rewatchable movie that will eventually be a classic? I don’t know.

    Antoinette, you don’t wanna ask that question here. You rly think the AD faithful haven’t all rewatched Far from Heaven more times than we’ve seen our own dicks? You know now!

    I think what we’re talking about is movies that are rewatchable and I said that AMERICAN HUSTLE was one of those back when it was nominated and it is that kind of movie.

    I would lol but I can’t bring myself to. We’re not talking about movies that are rewatchable. That’s what Quentin Tarantino was trying to talk about, until he (or everybody else) found himself dragging female-focused cinema. You’re missing the point, he’s missing the point, fml fml fml what is wrong with the world. Stare inequality in the face and then tell me that it’s not the single greatest threat to the human race that any of us will ever confront. And it’s not the Cate Blanchetts of the world that we should be most worried about, it’s the dozens, even hundreds of female actors who’ll never get a shot at the types of role she gets first dibs on because Mr. Tarantino and Mr. Russell and Mr. Affleck cba making movies about them (the first two each with their select exceptions). And even then, you wanna ask Cate how she feels about the situation? You wanna know her opinion? Maybe the reason she’s stuck doing these arty movies with no shelf lives, by no-name directors like Steven Soderbergh and Woody Allen and Sally Potter and Jim Jarmusch and Todd Haynes and Wes Anderson is because the closest she gets to doing something Django-sized is a bit-part in a movie about hairy-footed nerd surrogates!

  • I watched THE TOWN again last year or the year before. It’s painstakingly unremarkable on a repeat viewing. I’d still recommend it to my civilian friends should they have never seen it. GONE BABY GONE is his best film.

  • The thing is Tarantino is a very lousy interview, why people pay so much attention is beyond me. The man makes great movies but his taste is abysmal.

  • Murtaza

    I agree with Sasha. The Town is the best Ben Affleck movie. The extended edition is even better.
    Did Tarantino ever ask himself why he took all the good looking actors in Basterds?
    Melanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger and I certainly don’t think
    Christoph Waltz is that ugly. Maybe Bruhl was the one not so good looking, but some people will argue
    to that even. He has been voted as the sexiest actor alive twice by Glamour magazine.
    Well guess what, taking the ugliest bunch of actors or casting completely unknown actors is not the
    only way to make films look realistic.
    Furthermore, in defense of The Town, Ben Affleck did cast some not so good looking actors.
    Remember the gang of four robbers, well the other two weren’t famous actors. Neither were they
    good looking. And guess what, their roles were as significant as Wahlberg’s sisters.
    And how realistic was Django Unchained? Laughably realistic and totally crap.

  • Roger MD

    “none of us can really know which films will still be watched in 50 years”

    If true, that contradicts the previous paragraph where you write: “He’s wrong about The Town, I have to say. It’s Ben Affleck’s best film and people will be watching it for decades to come. “

  • If true, that contradicts the previous paragraph where you write: “He’s wrong about The Town, I have to say. It’s Ben Affleck’s best film and people will be watching it for decades to come. “

    The purpose of this post is to offer another angle in contrast to Tarantino’s attitude in the Vulture interview. Best way to do that is by voicing another opinion.

    Nobody is telling Tarantino to keep his feelings to himself. Likewise, everyone of us has our own ideas about which movies will endure.

    Sasha follows her opinion by reminding us that “nobody knows anything.” The Vulture interviewer raises an eyebrow at Tarantino and he concedes that he’s not Nostradamus.

  • phantom

    OK, I am ready to admit that I may not get his point but other than that I think he is full of shit here. The “sisters” in The Fighter were authentically average-looking because they were basically extras with around two lines for the five of them and of course, a screamingyellinghairpulling catfight (what else could female characters possibly do, right?). When David O. Russell casts the actual “speaking” parts for women, he always casts the babes : uberhot 21-year old Jennifer Lawrence played the craycray widow (who was supposed to be in her early forties) in Silver Linings Playbook. Then uberhot 22-year old Jennifer Lawrence played the craycray divorcee slash “bitchfirstwife” of 40-year old Christian Bale (clearly, because any fortysomething fat, bald husband just couldn’t wait to cheat on his wife who looks like a 22-year old Jennifer Lawrence). Long story short, if “beautiful” – what Tarantino seems to belittle – wouldn’t have been a major factor when making these casting choices, the roles wouldn’t have gone to these actresses. So no, Tarantino, no, do not praise David O. Russell’s casting choices when he got shit for them for a reason. Not to mention don’t play the “uhh, Affleck casts pretty women, how inauthentic” game, when your much-suffered Holocaust survivor was Melanie Laurent and your much-suffered slave was Kerry Washington.

    Also :

    “Half of these Cate Blanchett movies – they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. But The Fighter or American Hustle – those will be watched in 30 years.”

    LOL. My highly arguable personal opinion, no doubt, but if I had to guess the only thing The Fighter and American Hustle will be remembered for in 30 years, is how atrociously overrated both were at their time. And since when is “arty” a bad thing ? He does know that not everyone is interested in funding/writing/directing/watching exclusively, violent bloodbaths with 100M budgets, right ? And he does know, that with the exception of a select few (maybe 10), most of the directors would never ever come close to the kind of budget he gets, no questions asked, on a regular basis ? My point is that when nobody wants to fund your eleventh shootout in your film, your best chance may just be to do the unthinkable…you know “the arty things”.

    P.S. I cannot WAIT for Carol.

  • “That’s what Quentin Tarantino was trying to talk about, until he (or everybody else) found himself dragging female-focused cinema.”

    Actually no he wasn’t. You read that because you wanted to. It wasn’t there. He was only talking about staying power. He didn’t say any of those movies were bad. So when I started saying we were talking about “rewatchable” movies that was the whole point of that thread of the conversation. He said he didn’t think that type of Cate Blanchett movie would have staying power but he didn’t know for sure. And that makes him the huge asshole everyone wishes he was, right? Go after real bad guys. There are more than enough of them.

  • Dragon

    The Town? I don’t get this world. My gosh that was a dragging bore if there ever was one.

  • Rob Y.

    Why is casting pretty people a “thing”? Seriously? While I do love me some John Waters, I don’t want every film I see to be a Waters film.

  • James

    Love the guy, but yea that is disappointing to hear. There was just one too many female driven pictures that he mentioned though I do recall Bright Star being one of his favorites from 2009.

    Actually the thing that sticks out for me is American Hustle. Really….Lawrence was authentic. I’d say Russell did go for authenticity in The Fighter, but that might have been more of a Wahlberg decision since he was producing. Nothing authentic about Silver Linings…that’s for sure. But man oh man, for a guy who loves Scorsese I’m surprised he didn’t think “This sucks” when watching American Hustle. What an empty mess that was. Not even an entertaining mess. Just kind of meanders and no critic will ever be able to convince me that it’s meandering plot is the film’s strength and goal. Hustle does not stand the test of time. Barely hold up for 2 months before oscar voters realized they might have overdone it with the nominations.

  • JoeS

    Well, with the possible exception of KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, every one of those movies QT gives a backhand compliment to is better than anything he’s ever made.

  • Justin

    I don’t know. His own personal taste aside, nearly half his movies are about women. Kill Bill and Jackie Brown are about
    women. Death Proof was mostly about the two groups of women.
    Also, the part of the interview that everyone’s kind of glossing over is he could have easily cast Jennifer Lawrence instead but he went with an actress that’s over 50. And i’ll bet if there’s any acting nominations for Hateful Eight, it’s going to be for Jennifer Jason Leigh.

  • GONE BABY GONE is easily, by a mile, Affleck’s best film. And THE FIGHTER might indeed hold up over time. In fact, I think it has a much better shot than AMERICAN HUSTLE, though I quite liked that movie and still do. I have to say, while I think QT’s opinion here is rather elusive and puzzling, I DO agree that THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, PHILOMENA and NOTES ON A SCANDAL don’t feel like canon films destined to last forever. AN EDUCATION and THE TOWN, however? Those just might be. Here are some other female driven films or films directed by women that I think will stand the test of time as well (from recent years):

    the BEFORE SUNRISE trilogy (while these movies are about both of them, Delpy’s character is so strong and indeed so dominant I consider these to be female driven films)

  • m1

    Argo is Affleck’s best movie.

    That is all.

  • Okay but the most important part of his interview is that he says The Newsroom has great writing and that it’s one of HBO’s best shows.

  • Stergios

    I love the dude, I seriously think of Quentin Tarantino as a genius filmmaker and there’s no denying the man is a living legend of modern cinema. That being said, though, I can’t help but disagree with him on a couple of things here, mainly the laziness and the disappointingly close-minded views he displays in his judgment of Cate Blanchett’s awe-inspiring career choices. Diminishing thought-provoking character pieces like Carol or Notes on a scandal, providing an actress of Cate Blanchett’s towering acting abilities with widlly complex roles, as “arty” is flat-out ridiculous. Using terms as overused as “arty” is even worse. Also, reading another part of the interview where he uses the term “boring” for the first season of True Detective while admitting he’s never seen a full episode is also disappointing. Yes, I also feel that a film like Notes on a scandal, for example, doesn’t share the cinematic power and probably longevity of an instant classic like Inflourious Basterds. This doesn’t mean though I don’t acknowledge the former as a riveting and fascinatingly complex character drama, anchored by two powerhouse performances from two acting godesses like Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Does he really think a female role has to be literally kick-ass to be truly memorable? I clearly see where he’s coming from, the man was shaped by the B-movies and the exploitation genre and managed to put it in good use for a truly revolutionary way of filmmaking. I just hope he can see the difference between “complex” and “arty”, “gritty” and “boring”, Patrick Marber’s or Lisa Cholodenko’s depth and highly literate writing from artistic or intellectual pretensions.

  • Chris138

    Well, I had a pretty good laugh at Tarantino saying that American Hustle is anything special. I’d watch Philomena again before I’d even consider another viewing of that overrated bore.

    Also, I’ll throw my weight behind The Town. Easily the best thing Affleck has directed so far in his career.

  • Scott (the other one)

    “Disinterested” does not mean “uninterested”. It means impartial.

    The quality of being disinterested is a GOOD thing: a judge, for instance, should be disinterested, in the sense that he or she should not have an interest in the matter before him that would affect his or her objectivity in deciding it.

    Sorry, this is just one of my linguistic pet peeves. I read your article with interest, however!

    Lesson now over. 🙂

  • Pingback: Quentin Tarantino’s Vulture Interview–And Its Context | Flavorwire()

  • Just because Tarantino dislikes some female-centric films doesn’t mean men in general do, too. I myself am a big fan of Notes on a Scandal and The Kids Are All Right. It’s just his taste in movies. No biggie.

  • Joseph

    One thing he’s right about: True Detective IS boring as hell. And rather than try to over intellectualize it, he just comes out and says that it’s boring. No explanation needed. It’s slow and boring. Period.

  • Ella

    All I’ll say is that I’ll absolutely be watching An Education in 30 years, it’s one of the best films of that year, and one of my favourites of all time.

  • GoOnNow

    Cate Blanchett can take her body of work

    (Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Terrence Malick, Ridley Scott, Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wes Anderson, Anthony Minghella, Jim Jarmusch)

    and bitch-slap the ignoramus out of Quentin Tarantino, whose post-Kill Bill work, by the way, is not impressive. He’s also presumptuous enough to have TOP 10 charts, Nice Try lists and so on. He placed DRIVE (one of the best films ever made) on his Nice Try chart… no more shall I say.

  • Quentin Tarantino

    Very interesting take on what I said. I have to say, it gave me pause when I read it. And taken at face
    value from the article, right on sista. But let me clarify something, that seems to either have gotten
    lost in what I said, or Lane didn’t position it clearly. My point was, that a lot of the movies of the past
    eight years are forgettable. And I doubt they will have any strong agency 30 years from now. Yes, most of the movies I chose were female driven movies. Some by female film makers. I never said I didn’t like these movies. I didn’t chose a single film I had a problem with, or thought was overrated. I chose
    movies I liked. In fact if you look at some of my top tens, you’ll see a few of those titles in there, The Town, and the kids are alright particularly . Also I agree with you, The Town is Bens best film. It’s a real good crime picture. It’s the casting of the Mad Men guy and Blake Lively especially in comparison with The Fighter that my point was about. My point about the other films is while their good, I don’t think
    their that memorable a few years on . And as I made my point about unmemorable films, I reached in my ass and pulled out a few titles that I could remember. And yes, they were female led, so make whatever hay you want about that. But a lot of the male or female led films in this decade are enjoyable and entertaining, but I believe will be unremarkable in the pages of film history. The 2000’s aren’t a
    horrible film decade, like The 50’s or The 80’s , just a unremarkable one.

  • Quentin Tarantino

    One final thing, I did say in the article, even though it didn’t make the cut, that it was a screening of The Kids Are All right that prompted Obama to say to his wife in regards to gay marriage, “We gotta do something about this” .

  • Kevin

    “Tarantino himself is great with female characters — well, not with Django Unchained but certainly with Inglorious Basterds, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.”

    DEATH PROOF! All-female, girl power film! Loved it.

  • To Quentin — hey thanks for the your response. We’re totally blown away you would comment! You’re right about the way people look in The Town and how their beauty kind of takes you out of it. I noticed that with Rebecca Hall in particular. Always a pet peeve when people cast people who are TOO PRETTY to be believable in that context. But thanks – that clarifies it a lot.

  • Terri

    So a pretty woman is not believable as a bank worker who gets held to ransom etc?

  • Quentin ignore my comment — we worship you!


  • Quentin, don’t ignore my comment. Just please notice that I rethought a couple of wrong words and removed them from my first draft. (Some jerk leaked what I wrote before I was ready for everyone else to see it.)


    Honestly and truly, if you dropped by to clarify, to win hearts and minds, then you succeeded in winning mine.

  • Sasha you are right on to be excited if it’s him, and to re-tweet this. Heck, I was excited a year ago when he merely “liked” a facebook comment I made (on a mutual friend’s post) – so excited that I almost mentioned it in tweet conversation with Mark Harris an hour ago (who seemed sheepishly embarrassed to re-tweet QT’s well-deserved praise of his book). I didn’t say it to Mark cause I don’t know him, but Sasha of course this is home, so…YES. If it’s him, attention from QT is cool. And the fact that this isn’t some snark-battle but a mutual respect thing is even cooler.

    I kind of love that QT seems to be coming up for air from the HF8 editing room and dazzling all of Hollywood with this Vulture piece and then following up on some of the ripple effects, like your piece. It’s hard to imagine Billy Wilder or John Lennon paying this much attention to the internet, if they’d lived this long. So thanks QT for not going all Howard Hughesy.

    My 2013 book was about the revolution of the Hoffman-Nicholson-Pacino generation in defining what’s realistic in acting, so…I love this discussion. Not sure I have much to add to what you’ve been saying, but I love this being an active tension in 2015, when you might have thought that the pretty boys – say, Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling – had exclusive keys to the kingdom. Let’s hope not. Let’s hope Oscar Island gets bigger, let’s hope the sandbox can accommodate more diverse and deviant visions and QT too.

    And Kevin is right about Death Proof, and it’s reductive to claim that based on this article QT is somehow anti-Cate Blanchett. I’m sure he wants her films to be lasting ones.

    We need more women-centered films; Jackie Brown and Kill Bill are already taught all over the place (including where I teach); we can’t ask QT to do more than he’s done.

  • Bebe

    I’m so impressed that Quentin Tarantino defended his point of view on this site! I myself believe he’s one of a kind, not just for the amazing movies themselves but for the clear affection he has for his characters. It doesn’t seem like it would ever enter his head to throw in a token ethnic type or a token women. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons actors love being in his movies – you not only get a shitload of amazing dialog to say – you get an actual part, with lot of different shades and more than one dimension. How often do women or people of color get to play that in movies? Unless it’s a Tarantino movie, the answer is: rarely. Because there’s no room in the minds of the navel-gazing white (and usually straight) males who make and greenlight films for anyone they don’t relate to, so we’re all just wallpaper. I hope Tarantino never stops making films and never dies.

  • Brian Susbielles

    I believe QT is a modern day Francois Truffaut. Part-filmmaker, part-film critic. Truffaut (and Jean-Luc Godard) read everything and responded to everything; so does QT now. Speak and clarify.

  • I always thought Rebecca Hall was normal pretty, not super gorgeous. Eye of the beholder, I guess. She’s the lead in THE GIFT for anyone who still has yet to see it. I don’t know if it’s marketed that way but she’s the center of the film. Truly a film not to be missed.

    btw, some of you guys are real phonies. You know who you are and so do I. 😛

  • Q Mark

    As an aside, what will it mean in this modern era for a movie to be “remembered”? For my generation, a film could be rediscovered (or have a second life) thanks to repeated cable TV airings, VHS or DVD rentals, etc. There was also the rise of the internet itself, which was a treasure trove for any “hey, did anyone else love this hidden gem?” kind of discussion. Those things would seem alien to kids here in 2015 — now we have Netflix, and the choice there is varied enough that it’ll be hard a single movie to become a cult hit. The internet of 2015 is now so different than the internet of, say, 1996 that virtually every film goes through the social media opinion ringer instantly and never shifts too far beyond the initial impression.

    “The Town,” in my mind, was a terrible movie. Looked good, competently made…but a laughably generic story that wasn’t helped by mostly mediocre performances. Affleck casting himself as the “cool guy, heart of gold criminal who all the ladies love” was such an ego move it’s ridiculous.

    Also, if that’s really Quentin Tarantino, then holy crap! Your movies are awesome! Even if I have to disagree that this recent crop of Oscar nominees is necessarily any more or less memorable than any other era. In fact, so far the 2010’s look like the 1970’s — a solid-to-excellent list of actual winners, though the losing nominees leave something to be desired. People aren’t exactly “still talking about” the likes of Nicholas & Alexandra, Emigrants, A Touch Of Class, Heaven Can Wait, Goodbye Girl, etc. (Also, with 8-10 Best Picture nominees every year now, there’s bound to be more ‘unmemorable’ movies that sneak into the running.)

  • Q Mark

    How many times has any one of us left a theatre with our mind completely blown and thinking “that was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and I’m going to love it forever.” Then, a few years…one year…a few months….hell, maybe even the next day, you start thinking more critically about the film your opinion softens. Or, maybe you just watch the film again and it doesn’t hold up on a second viewing. There’s nothing harder than gauging ‘the test of time’ since who knows how your opinion will shift or how a critical consensus about a movie will shift. For instance, Vertigo has gained steam in the last few years in the ‘best movie ever’ discussion for no perceptible reason. Why Vertigo? Why not another Hitchcock picture? Citizen Kane itself kind of disappeared from the discussion until its genius was rediscovered in the 1950’s.

    It strikes me that about 75% of all Best Picture winners, by the way, fit that description of “hey, that was quite good the first time!….but after a while, uh, well, it definitely has some flaws and any of these other 6-7 movies should’ve won instead.”

  • Rob Y.

    How could anyone click “Dislike” on Tarantino’s comments? I have a love/hate relationship with his films, but he gets MAJOR boost of my respect for coming on here and clarifying his stance.

  • Mac

    There’s a large part of the vocal, movie criticizing public (like, 75% of all current critics) that adore Tarantino, and have loved him since his Pulp Fiction/Reservoir Dogs days. He started a trend that feeds itself – cherish his movies and find a job in which you get to support him and his knockoffs. It happened with Spielberg and Lucas, too, much to the lament of actresses everywhere.

    It’s been a very long time since there have been prolific “women’s” directors like Cukor, Wyler, or Hitchcock and it will probably be a very long time until we get one. There is some hope with David O. Russell, as his films are usually stocked with numerous, interesting females, but as it turns out, Joy will be his first feature with a female protagonist. He just as likely to go back to what got him this far – that is, stories about guys with great supporting roles for women.

    So yes, some of what Tarantino says is true, but he has only managed to feed this beast that finds “women’s films” boring. If a big star like Jennifer Lawrence or Melissa McCarthy can latch onto a prolific, “genius” director and churn out the films, the tide may turn. There could be a resurgence of female cinematic protagonists. People can re-discover The Wizard of Oz, All About Eve, The Heiress, Now Voyager, Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, Ninotchka – films that seem to have fallen down or off the “Best of” lists as of late, in favor of the likes of The Wild Bunch, The Magnificent Seven or Dirty Harry (no doubt Tarantino faves).

    In the meantime, we all will just have to weather this drought and pray for the rains to come. Just watch TCM and enjoy that content as much as possible. Or foreign cinema.

  • Phantom

    Well, if that was Tarantino, kudos for showing up and defending his take. However it won’t suddenly change my mind about a thing, my opinion remains the same. I can disagree with someone and still have great respect for him at the same time, no problem.

  • <<< Still the most famous person on here

  • Great article Sasha, and what’s more remarkable is that it prompted Quentin to post a comment for clarification – which I definitely appreciate.
    I knew he enjoyed The Town, but you also can like something and call it out on the strategic cosmetic aesthetics of the film.

  • JPNS Viewer

    To Quentin,

    Thank you for taking your time and energy to clarify the context of what you’ve said during the interviews (I understand that there were two sessions and they both were condensed into one. Either way, I enjoyed reading the final version, your ideas and comments during the interview(s).)

    I’ve said it before and the AD editors could track back to a few of my previous comments that among other beautiful minds (in filmmaking context) such as Woody Allen, *Cameron Crowe (et al), you are my favorite writer/director, as well. (*I guess I’m still dwelling upon the olden days of Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous [lol].)
    To begin with, you have a unique way that makes verbosity and rough street language relatively fascinating as part of an art form by means of filmmaking (writing). […]

    A proud owner of the film on copyrighted DVD, I love Pulp Fiction. It is such a unique cinematic experience. (I initially saw it at least 3 or 4 times in theater.) Unlike [I assume] many other moviegoers, the out-of-order storytelling was not necessarily particularly what fascinated me; rather, among others, the way your spicy and delicious dialogues kept going in tandem with your characters’ activities (performed by the sublime cast members) and everything that happened around them, all making it a piece of artwork and such a unique experience. […]

    – – – –

    Anyway, re The Town and Blake Lively, I’m torn between The Town and Gone Baby Gone. But for now (at least for now), I would go for Gone Baby Gone (so far) as Ben Affleck’s best film partially for [spoilers alert] one of the final sequences that got me thinking, where the detective (Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie) was greeted with a rude awakening as he volunteered to baby-sit the little girl . . . . As for Blake Lively, in my opinion, she was all right in the film and, as her film character was supposed to portray an image of a somewhat stereotypical fly girl, I personally find nothing wrong casting a pretty woman who could also more or less act such as herself — especially when, in real life, working-class people could happen to be good-looking as well. While I’m not a native speaker of the English language, for good measure I would venture that I still find the character — as portrayed by Blake Lively — somehow ably convey the working-class mannerisms in general, too. So, as far as it goes for Blake Lively or anyone (any of other actresses) for that matter as pretty as she is, to have been cast for that role, it is good enough at least for me. Same goes for the British (?) lady in the bank-teller role; in my opinion, the casting director did a good job in finding for that role someone pretty enough as a heroine or main supporting character (in case of the female bank teller) but not comically perfectly gorgeous who at the same time also could act well.

    – – – –

    Last but not least, given that The Hateful Eight is supposedly your eighth piece, please do not retire in the wake of the tenth film (as you reportedly have said somewhere else). Please keep on doing what you love on the big screen and in Ultra Panavision regardless.

  • I truly hope that really was Quentin and everybody here isn’t getting excited about some phony. If it was him, I guess I understand a bit better what he was going for and I basically agree about many of the films he mentioned (as I stated above). I still think it is quite possible that The Town and An Education in particular could have a long shelf life. My main point of contention now is that I dispute that the 2000’s were an unremarkable film decade. I found it to be a vastly superior decade to the 80’s and probably the 50’s as well (since those are the comparisons he brought up). Sure, the 70’s and 90’s may be better (along with the 30’s), but the 2000’s are easily on the level of the 60’s (and may be better, honestly). What I’m trying to say is that the 2000’s may be the 4th greatest film decade in the history of cinema so far. I could rattle off a massive list of stone cold classics that I don’t think Quentin would disagree with to help prove my point, but I think if anyone here did a little research and reminded themselves of the work that was done the point would be made crystal clear.

  • So what did I miss? Who?!

    I agree with Chris Price – the 2000’s was not a forgettable decade at all. Like every decade before it, it was full of memorable films that will remain so, even more that aren’t worth remembering, and a few many thought were memorable, but will not last.

    BTW, QT, the 50s wasn’t a terrible decade. It had a number of lasting classics that the 90s will be lucky to equal in 50 years. The 80s, I’ll agree with you, though.

  • JPNS Viewer

    Chris Price wrote: “I truly hope that really was Quentin and everybody here isn’t getting excited about some phony. (If it was him, I guess I understand a bit better . . . ) . . . . ”

    I can’t speak for other readers. Naturally, I was initially somewhat skeptical as well. (In fact, I hadn’t known about QT’s comments until I spotted Simone’s post.) Then, I skimmed the whole panel of comments and spotted the site owner and editor Sasha (Stone) apparently responding to and acknowledging that username as the real QT.

    My initial perception was that as the site owner and editor Sasha (and possibly Ryan [Adams] to an extent) was supposed to know what happened behind the scene: e-mail addresses, the URL, the locations (it could be deduced, in one way or another from an editor’s point of view, I guess), and other pieces of vital info). And I ventured that, following a bout of fact-checking, she had made up her mind that this username with a certain e-mail address was at least derived from QT’s fount, if not QT himself), given the privileged information she had as an editor. (Or perhaps Sasha would even go further and checked to make sure that the username was really QT.)

    The bottom line is that I don’t believe that Sasha would be too gullible to give the username a shout-out if she was not at least certain enough that the link and/or the e-mail address, coupled with other pieces of info from her own circles of friends (if any), was unique to QT’s clan.

    I trusted (trust) Sasha (and Ryan). So, yes, I happily followed the herd. Baaah . . . . : )

  • Regardless of the truth, which is over-rated, this is a complete buzz. Jessica Chastain favorited a few of my tweets but she is yet to comment on my site – ha. Speaking of truth, if Quentin is lurking, tell us what was in the fucking suitcase! And cast Jessica Chastain in your next movie. God bless you.

  • Al Robinson

    Robin, I think it was gold in the suitcase. It was so shiny.

  • I almost agree with Al. I always thought it was the Holy Grail. Not the movie, the real one. Because it was shiny and it was instantly recognizable.

  • Jesus Alonso

    I’m going to mention the only truly great films that won Best Picture since 00.

    – Chicago (2002) – (“Bowling for Columbine” was my personal pick for Best Picture)
    – Return of the King (2003) – (“Lost in Translation” is now my personal pick for Best Picture)
    – No Country for Old Men (2007) – (“Hairspray” is my personal pick for Best Picture)
    – The King’s Speech (2010) – my pick, also
    – 12 Years a Slave (2013) – my pick, also

    Those are the only ones I think were masterpieces. Then, there’s a little pack of great films, some of them were just the best of the nominees of the year.

    – Gladiator (2000)
    – The Departed (2006)
    – The Hurt Locker (2009) – even thought I have serious problems with this film
    – The Artist (2011)

    The rest of the BP winners… well, “unspecial” and “completely unworthy” are my thoughts about them… it’s specially embarrassing with “A Beautiful Mind”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Crash” or “Argo”, which are a poker of truly remarkably bad films, that succeeded pretending to be good.

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  • Kyle J.

    A little off-topic, but does anybody know if Quentin Tarantino will be doing his Best of 2015 film list later this year? Did it do one for last year?

    I’m always really fascinated by his choices!

  • Miles Ridding

    Give me Cate Blanchett over Quentin Tarantino any day. ‘Carol’ is my most anticipated film of the year whilst I couldn’t care less about Tarantino’s offering.

  • Jack Men

    Thanks guys, for sharing such informative data.

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