Quentin Tarantino, the director who has made us cover our eyes during the goriest sequences of his films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs is apparently a little squeamish himself when it comes to sound effects, especially those that are, as he puts it, "blood-curdling" and "pterodactyl-like".
That is one of the choicer turns of phrase in a lawsuit filed last week by Tarantino against his neighbour, who happens to be Alan Ball, the creator of the True Blood vampire series and the black comedy television show Six Feet Under. There are no ghouls, ghosts or shotgun-wielding madmen involved but just a few macaws.
The birds, it seems, belong to Mr Ball and his partner Peter Macdissi, and each day they are parked in an outdoor aviary in their garden where they are free to make the sounds that all macaws like to make. Charming for their owners, maddening for Tarantino who says the tropical cacophony has to stop.
"On a daily basis defendant's macaws ... emit blood-curdling screams at random intervals for 7 to 8 hours each day," the suit, filed on Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, contends. "Nearly every day, Mr Tarantino and others in his home are subjected to the macaws' obnoxious pterodactyl-like screams, which are not only startling, but have also seriously disrupted Mr Tarantino's ability to work as a writer in his home."
Being of a theatrical bent, Tarantino's lawyers quoted a line of Goethe at the start of the action. "He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home", it reads.
The defendants in the case, the suit then alleges, "have robbed Mr Tarantino of the ability to find peace in his home". Nor, the suits says, is the action coming out of the blue. Rather, it asserts, Tarantino has made repeated attempts to settle the Macaw Wars amicably but apparently without success.
Although the defendants "know that their birds issue blood-curdling, prehistoric sounding screams, they do not maintain the macaws in their residence, but place them in an outdoor aviary," the suit goes on. "Though one might assume that, as a fellow writer, Mr Ball would understand and respect a writer's need for peace and quiet while he is working, that assumption would be wrong."
No word yet from either Mr Ball or his partner. The macaws, we imagine, have already had plenty to say.
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