Why Quentin Tarantino Doesn't Like Netflix

Streaming has largely taken over the way we watch movies at home. Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime and many other outlets have helped institutions like video rental stores go the way of the do-do. But that doesn’t mean that physical media is without its ardent supporters, and one of them is fan favorite director Quentin Tarantino, who recently shared why he’s not a fan of this new way of viewing movies.

Tom Roston’s new book, I Lost it at the Video Store: A Filmmakers’ Oral History of a Vanished Era, was just released, collecting thoughts from movie industry players on what has now become a bygone age. Indiewire published an excerpt about the rise of streaming, and Tarantino shared his thoughts, saying:

I am not excited about streaming at all. I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can't watch a movie on a laptop. I don't use Netflix at all. I don't have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs.

For anyone familiar with Quentin Tarantino’s story—he worked at a video store for years, which is where he built up his encyclopedic knowledge of the medium—it isn’t a shock that he is still holding it down for physical media. He even goes on to reveal that he actually still tapes movies off the TV onto VHS tapes just so he can continue to bolster his collection.

This isn’t he only slowly disappearing medium that Tarantino has become the champion of in recent years. Not only is he a huge proponent of using actual film when making movies, his next movie, the grim, gritty western The Hateful Eight, is going to resurrect 70mm for the biggest release in that format in more than 20 years, retrofitting numerous theaters. The last big release we can think of was Ron Howard’s Far and Away starring the then-married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, which opened in 70mm in more than 1800 theaters. Though Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master did have a 70mm opening in 2012, it was only in 864 theaters.

Despite the fact that the corner video store, and even the likes of Blockbuster in most areas, have become a thing of the past, there are still those passionately keeping the faith. Though it’s a constant struggle, there are still places likes like Scarecrow Video in Seattle (the greatest destination a movie fan can ever visit, it’s seriously like a cinephile Mecca) and Vulcan Video in Austin are still holding on.

As much as I use various streaming platforms on a daily basis, I miss the weekend childhood ritual of going to the video store and finding something I’d never heard of but that looked awesome. That’s where I first really became a film fan, where I first encountered countless filmmakers, not to mention the endless parade of horror movies I watched at probably way too young an age. You can still get that experience, but it’s much less universal now than it used to be, and somehow aimlessly scrolling through a list of Netflix recommendations isn’t the same as aimlessly wandering through the aisles of a video store.

If you know what that feels like, take comfort in knowing that Quentin Tarantino has your back. The Hateful Eight opens on Christmas Day, and a new QT movie is always worth getting excited about.

Brent McKnight