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As a maker of violent movies, Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to controversy. Nearly every time a merciless killer causes a national tragedy, someone tries to put the blame on American movies because of the supposed glorification of violence therein. As a maker of unrepentantly violent movies, Tarantino's name is frequently pulled into the discussion. With his latest very violent movie opening just days after the horrendous tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, Django Unchained has drawn a lot of unfair criticism, especially considering the killer couldn't possibly have seen the film to be inspired to carnage by it.
Nonetheless, NPR's long form interview (Via THR) with the daring writer-director turned to the impact of movie violence on the real world. Clearly exasperated, Tarantino insisted one has nothing to do to the other, explaining:
“I'm really annoyed. I think it's disrespectful. I think it's disrespectful to their memory ... of the people who died to talk about movies. I think it's totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health.”
Tarantino could not be clearer where he stands on the societal causes of tragedies like Sandy Hook. But interestingly, "disrespectful" is a word that's been hurled at Django Unchained and Tarantino by Spike Lee, who has publically denounced the film, though he hasn't seen it. To briefly recap, Lee has said he has not watched the movie and will not because "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," and so watching Django Unchained would be "disrespectful" to his ancestors who suffered under the atrocity of slavery in the U.S.
While its violence and subject matter have sparked much outrage and accusations, that hasn't stopped Django Unchained from being a box office force.In fact, the spaghetti western, which is currently at the top of the box office, has already earned $82 million dollars, and is on track to be Tarantino's highest domestic-grossing effort yet.