As arguably the most popular and well-known writer and director of the last 20 years, Quentin Tarantino is always going to court controversy. That’s before you even get into the fact that his films cover particularly controversial subjects, to start off with. One big talking point regarding Tarantino’s work is his use of a particular racial epithet that is a huge no-no across the entire globe. But Tarantino is fed up with the discussion, especially when it comes to his own skin color.
Quentin Tarantino, whose latest film The Hateful Eight is due out at the end of the year, opened up about his thoughts on this divisive subject during his New York Times interview with Bret Easton Ellis, which if you haven’t read it yet is certainly worth a look through just because it’s always interesting to see two creative and influential individuals bouncing off of each other. Speaking about how, after Django Unchained, he was criticized in some quarters for being white and having written a film that depicted racism and slavery in the Antebellum-era, Tarantino explained:
The bad taste that was left in my mouth had to do with this: It’s been a long time since the subject of a writer’s skin was mentioned as often as mine. You wouldn’t think the color of a writer’s skin should have any effect on the words themselves.
Rather than being angry or peeved that there are critics who have savagely attacked Quentin Tarantino because of his choice of dialogue in his projects, the filmmaker genuinely seems to be fine that this has helped to expand the conversation regarding race.
Is Tarantino’s use of racially sensitive language unnecessary and excessive? As a white Englishman, personally don’t feel that it’s in my place to get involved in such a debate. All that I will say is that with Django Unchained, this sort of dialogue was needed because of the film’s setting and period. Maybe he went a little bit too far with it, in an exaggerated fashion, but in doing so he highlighted just how egregious and horrific that era was for African-Americans.
We can expect this debate to rage on even more when The Hateful Eight rolls out on Christmas Day. Set after the Civil War in Wyoming, Quentin Tarantino’s western revolves around eight strangers who have to take refuge in a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass during a blizzard.
Expect stylized violence, thrills, laughs, and controversy. But most of all, expect to be entertained. Because there isn’t a filmmaker out there in all of Hollywood who is better at keeping his audience glued to the edge of their chairs than QT. Agreed?