Quentin Tarantino has refused to answer a question about why his films are so violent, telling an interviewer for Channel 4 News: "I’m shutting your butt down."
Promoting his new film, Django Unchained, the controversial film director told broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy: "I refuse your question. I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey."
While the debate about the link between film violence and real-life atrocities rages in America, the man behind violent classics from Reservoir Dogs to Inglorious Basterds said: "I have explained this many times in the last 20 years.
"I just refuse to repeat myself over and over again because you want me to for you and your show. And your ratings."
Here (courtesy of Channel 4) is the transcript in full:
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Let me ask you about violence. You said, you know, everyone knows you make violent movies, you like violent movies. Why do you like making violent movies?
Quentin Tarantino: Erm… I don’t know. It’s like asking Judd Apatow: “Why do you like making comedies?”
KGM: You just get a kick out of it? Or you just enjoy it? Or…
QT: It's… It’s… It’s a… I think… I think it’s good cinema. I consider it good cinema. You know, it’s… You sit there in a movie theatre when these cathartic, violent scenes happen… I’m talking about the cathartic violence scenes.
..Then there’s the cathartic violence of Django paying back blood for blood.
KGM: Is that why you think people like watching violent movies – people who are not violent people or twisted people in any way, but why it’s OK to go into a movie and enjoy the violence?
QT: Yeah, well, it’s a movie. It’s a fantasy. It’s a fantasy – it’s not real life. It’s a fantasy. You go and you watch. You know, you watch a kung-fu movie and one guy takes on 100 people in a restaurant. That’s fun!
M: But why are you so sure that there’s no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence?
QT: I don’t… I’m going to tell you why I’m so sure? Don’t ask me a question like that – I’m not biting. I refuse your question.
QT: Because I refuse your question. I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.
KGM: I can’t make you answer anything. I’m asking you interesting questions.
QT: And I’m saying… and I’m saying I refuse.
KGM: OK. I was just asking you why. That’s fine. But you see, Jamie Foxx has said: “We can’t turn our back and say that violence in films, that anything that we do…
QT: Then you should talk to Jamie Foxx about that. And I think he’s actually here, so you can!
KGM: I’d love to, but, I mean, you know… It’s interesting that you have a different view, and I’m just trying to explore that.
QT: And I don’t want to! ‘Cause I’m here to sell my movie. This is a commercial for the movie – make no mistake.
KGM: So you don’t want to talk about anything serious?
QT: I don’t want to talk about what you want to talk about. I don’t want to talk about the implications of violence. I haven’t wanted… because… The reason I don’t want to talk about it: because I’ve said everything I have to say about it.
If anyone cares what I have to say about it, they can Google me and they can look for 20 years what I have to say. But I haven’t changed my opinion one iota.
KGM: No, but you haven’t fleshed it out.
QT: It’s not my job to flesh it out.
KGM: No, it’s my job to try and ask you to.
QT: And I’m shutting your butt down!
KGM: That’s entirely your… that’s entirely your right.
QT: This is a commercial for my movie.
KGM: No, but it’s my job to try and explore some serious themes as well.
QT: Well, I… I invite you to explore some serious themes, but not things that I haven’t already been on the record for talking about.
KGM: Well, violence is such a big part of all of your movies, and it’s, you know, it’s an enjoyable part of your movies for so many people.
And that’s why I’m talking about this, because, as you know, it’s a very sensitive time at the moment. I mean, the vice-president is talking to people in the movie industry today about violence in response to…
QT: And you know where I stand on it.
KGM: Which is that there’s no relationship.
KGM: But you haven’t said why you think there’s no relationship.
QT: It’s none of your damn business what I think about that!
KGM: Well, it’s my job to ask you why you think that because…
QT: And I’m saying no! And I’m shutting you down.
KGM: But you have a responsibility as a filmmaker, surely, to explain a little bit about…
QT: No, I don’t have any responsibility to you to explain anything I don’t want to.
KGM: Not to me but to your viewers, to your fans. You know, to people who care about what it is that you’re doing.
QT: They know, they know where I’m coming from. And I have explained it. And I have explained even what you’re talking about. I’m just not giving it to you.
QT: Because I don’t want to because I’ve done it already.
I have explained this many times in the last 20 years. I just refuse to repeat myself over and over again because you want me to for you and your show. And your ratings.
KGM: Well, no, it’s not about our ratings. It’s…
QT: No, no, it is. It’s about you want me to say it for you, for your show – this show, right here, right now.
KGM: Well, look, this is a news programme, it’s not a film programme, so we explore serious themes. That’s the difference.
QT: Exactly. But you want me to do what I’ve already done before and I am refusing.
KGM: Fine. That’s your right.