Quentin Tarantino talks Inglourious Basterds - RT Interview

The maverick director talks exclusively to RT.

RT Interview: Quentin Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds
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Did you feel any pressure to get it ready for Cannes?

QT: There was definitely pressure! It's up to you to say, but I don't feel there was any quality loss in there, and there's nothing ragtag about what we did. Me and Sally, my editor, we can work fast. [laughs] I don't know if I really want to work this fast ever again, on this big a film, but we've always worked best under some sort of a deadline. This is not new to us. It was new to us in terms of how big the movie was and how little time we had, but we had a complete rush job to get Reservoir Dogs ready in time for Sundance, and we had a complete rush job to get Pulp Fiction done in time for Cannes, and we had a big rush job to get Jackie Brown ready in time for our Christmas release date. So we've always lived there. And we like there. We like not second-guessing things. You can fuck around with a movie too much. We like rushing the judgement. It's like, "We're going this way, and that's it." Bam!

During Cannes, the press reported that there was going to be a much shorter cut of the released movie...

QT: And, by the way, they published that before anyone had seen the movie! [laughs] That's BS. They also had the running time completely wrong. Everyone just assumed the movie would be 2hrs 40. Including me, alright! [laughs] Because we were rushing to make Cannes, there was only step that me and my editor Sally Menke hadn't done. and that was to watch the movie with an audience. And that's usually the last step: we watch the movie outside of California with people we don't know, and just gauge the audience. It's just a case of listening to them. Like, "OK, there's a laugh in that scene but we didn't realise it and we cut the scene too short." Or, "We extended that scene to get a laugh, but we didn't get it, so maybe we should think twice." I don't do cards, or talk to the audience about it, it's just about feeling. And then after we do that, we go back to the editing room, using little things that we felt after seeing the film in a giant room full of people. I wasn't going to use the Cannes audience for that. I can't judge it from that. I have to judge it from a normal, multiplex-y kind of theatre. And that's the last step. It's just a little bit of pruning. Like you'd prune a bush.

What happened to the scenes with Maggie Cheung, who plays the real manageress of Shosanna's cinema?

QT: Maggie was fantastic. She was terrific in the movie -- she's one of the best actresses on the planet and she doesn't need me to defend her. But it was literally a situation where we did the scene, and she was wonderful in the scene, but when we were cutting the movie together we realised we didn't need the scene. Not only wasn't it essential to chronicle Shosanna's first years in Paris before we see her again, it was kinda the opposite of what I would normally do. To describe how Shosanna survived is a movie unto itself. So I'd rather leave that to the viewer, for them to make that movie in their head. I've given you a little signpost, to how she could have done what she did, but I'd like to leave it open to your imagination. 'Cause you're either going to tell it or you're not going to tell it. Now, in the writing of the script I did feel it was necessary, in order for you follow the scenario on the page. But in the making of the movie it wasn't necessary. I've talked to Maggie, I'm going to show her the scene, and if she allows me to, I'll put it as a deleted scene on the DVD.

Inglourious Basterds
Christoph Waltz as Col Hans Landa, proud of his nickname, "The Jew Hunter."
All your films talk about cinema, but in this film, cinema is something more serious...

QT: The metaphor is not lost, you know, in that, via these film prints and via her cinema, Shosanna is intending to put the Nazis in an oven and create her own final solution. I must say, that's an aspect that most people don't talk about with regard to The Dirty Dozen, and to me it's one of the strongest aspects of that film. I don't know how much people contemplated that when the film came out. But now that we're so knowledgeable about the Holocaust, when you see that film now, you can't not see it: they create their own oven for the Nazis. And not just the Nazis: their wives, their girlfriends, all the collaborating-with-the-enemy bitches that are hanging out with them. They pile up those grenades and they douse them with gasoline, creating their own napalm, and they just burn 'em. [laughs] I mean, it's pretty fucked up!

So is this film about the power of cinema?

QT: Well, yeah. One of the things that's actually very interesting to me about that is that, one, nitrate stock can do that, so it's just a neat, cool, practical aspect. But I like the idea that it's the power of cinema that fights the Nazis. But not even as a metaphor - as a literal reality.

Inglourious Basterds is released in the UK on 19th August, in Australia on 20th August and in the US on 21st August.

Comments

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Good interview. Definitely looking forward to this flick.

Aug 11 - 03:33 AM

craig0ry

Craigory Raino

Stunningly good interview, and Quentin came across really well. I have never read that quote about him being too in love with minutia to create suspense - it makes sense in a way, but I don't agree with it.

The reviews have been mixed but I am still very excited to see this film. Even if he doesn't deliver a great movie, the man always delivers an interesting one.

Aug 11 - 05:34 AM

Big Freeze

Frank Fischer

After watching the worst film of the summer yesterday (yes, GI Joe is actually worse than Transformers 2), it will be so refreshing to see quailty movies like District 9 and then Inglourious Basterds.

It looks like Basterds won't be the "men on a grusome nazi killing mission" film that it was marketed as, but if it is anything like Reservoir and Pulp Fiction, then I'm all in.

Aug 11 - 07:41 AM

BUCK69

JIM GRONEFELD

Thanks for confirming what I'd already thought. I hadn't planned on seeing either Transfomers 2 or GI Joe. I guess sometimes that critics are right. On to better things: I wasn't expecting the Dirty Dozen, so I'm glad to hear that this is more akin to Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. After Death Proof I still have some reservations, but I'll be there on the 21st.

Aug 11 - 09:47 AM

Chris B.

Chris Bellew

no buddy. just no. g.i. joe was NOT worse than transformers 2.

Aug 11 - 02:44 PM

Auguman

Auguman .

Definitly looking forward to this film, Big fan of Tarantino movies, I would prefer that he had follow his idea of "a bunch of guys on a mission" movie, but I guess a Tarantino movies is awesome, no matter the plott,

GI Joe even worst that Transformers 2? WOW, that's LAME guess I won't see it on the theather.

Aug 11 - 08:33 AM

Buddy Holly

Lance Karasti

MUST SEE.

Aug 11 - 08:36 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry



YET without tarantino we wouldn't have Rolling Thunders' THE BEYOND, CANNIBAL FEROX, THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN, STREET FIGHTER, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

and if it weren't for Tarantino we would never hear STELVIO CIPRAINI or vintage ENNIO MORRICONE film-music in wide-release films.
I've gotta say:

THANK YOU GOD FOR QUINTIN TARANTINO
(and FANGORIA magazine and FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and CHAS. BALUN of DEEP RED Magazine. and Phil Hardy's Encyclopedia of Horror Films (1986))

without Quintin Tarantino, all the "silly" and "stupid" and "insipid" Italian and sundry low biudget movies I used to watch on video as a boy

(movies from Vestron Video, Lightining Video, Thorn EMI, Embassy Home Entertainment, Continental Video, Wizard Video) are "still alive" and being remastered today . . . "they've" even have been producing high-quality soundtracks for the aforemenentioned films on cd for the past 15 years (Shawn Smith at Blackest Heart Media; "The fellas who will never show The Omega Man" at EXHUMED FILMS; CINEVOX Record, Itlay; BEAT Record, Italy . and TARANTINO!!!!!

Quintin Tarantino's THE MAN (for RESTORING GLORY and HONOR and critical RESPECT to the old "schlunky" cropped-up [2.35:1 chopped-down to 1.33:2 aspect-ratio] VHS movies of my beloved youth.)

Aug 11 - 09:12 AM

The NewHampshire Database

Kirk McCarty

Gordon Franklin, what the hell did I tell you about not posting anymore? Don't forget again...

Aug 11 - 10:32 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

for sake of argument: "schlunky" means Schlock to me in plain English.

critics today would pinch their noses and say in (Brit.) English: "A-list Schlock" about Tarantino (THE MAN)

[well, even Sage Stallone and Sylvester Stallone digg Edgar Allan Poe/Argento/Fulci/Lenzi/Castarelli as well: THE MEN, we'll say]

hearing the theme from
Polizia Ha le Mani Legate (KILLER COP)
by Stelvio Cipriani

buzzing in a mainstream movie in a mainstream setting blew me away

Aug 11 - 09:40 AM

BUCK69

JIM GRONEFELD

Thanks for confirming what I'd already thought. I hadn't planned on seeing either Transfomers 2 or GI Joe. I guess sometimes that critics are right. On to better things: I wasn't expecting the Dirty Dozen, so I'm glad to hear that this is more akin to Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. After Death Proof I still have some reservations, but I'll be there on the 21st.

Aug 11 - 09:47 AM

The NewHampshire Database

Kirk McCarty

Gordon Franklin, what the hell did I tell you about not posting anymore? Don't forget again...

Aug 11 - 10:32 AM

blinkuldhc

a m

does Gordon Franklin have Asperger's?

Aug 11 - 10:39 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

concerning bad movies though;

as Gregory Peck alays said: Movies are not getting worse, they've always made bad movies; out of the thirty films being released each week there are only 3 or 4 good films released each year.

Aug 11 - 10:55 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Ultimatim:
ban me from Rotten Tomatoes then "New Hampshire Database;" if I am not banned by 11:00 PM EDT 8/11/09 New Hampshire is a totally weak and ignorant person not worthy of addressing. and you are a "total nothing" in terms of issuing empty threats


on calling movies bad and critisim: I've totally stopped reading comments with "Gordon" in them.

People will say mean things all the time.

Suppose somebody reads something I write and it benefits them in some way?

A "Konzentrationslager Dachau" survivor wouldn't read Mein Kempf for leisure, I imagine.
nor would a movie star read the national enquirer http://www.nationalenquirer.com/

So you guys are "seething" at Gordon and what Gordon is writing and stuff . . but Gordon is not thinking about you at all. In fact its totally ignorant to specifically target people to critize what they say because they may sound a little different from you.

nor would a movie star read the national enquirer http://www.nationalenquirer.com/

Aug 11 - 11:23 AM

Jack Waters

zachary leeman

Great interview. Can't wait for this film. Tarantino is one of the best directors working. Love him. Reservoir Dogs is definately in my Top Five. Him and Vincent Gallo are my favorite directors. Though not many would agree with me about the latter, at least we can all agree QT kicks some pretty harsh ***.

Aug 11 - 11:29 AM

Jack Waters

zachary leeman

Nazi *** that is.

Aug 11 - 11:30 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Gordon

Aug 11 - 11:30 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

If a comment with nought but the word "Gordon" is posted on a forum read by a guy who swears he will not read any posts containing the word Gordon, is it really there?

Aug 11 - 11:31 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry


blinkuldhc
"creator of an OJ SIMPSON videogame."
and something else called "SCARING THE BLACK FOLK" on youtube.com

is blinkuldhc kind or unkind? (in general)

basically, in order to "post" (and fit into New Hampshire's or blinkuldhc's paradigm of acceptability)

I'm only allowed to say: "Inglouus bastards sucks" or "movies suck" or "the idea sucks" like you?

I know I can rise above saying a mere two sentences about how everything "sucks" or how "the movie industry sucks"

I read the word "suck" so many times on Rotten Tomatoes It makes me wounder what people think about to make them say mean things about stars and how everything "sucks"

Aug 11 - 11:34 AM

frothy

D F

This is an exclusive interview? Does that mean it's the only interview he's doing, or it just happened that RT was the only one interviewing him (i.e., not a presser)?

I'm still very skeptical (or sceptical) about this film. Huge fan - have either really liked or strongly loved all QT's stuff so far, but I'm leery about this one. Maybe it'll all come together better than the trailers look. I don't know if I care for Brad Pitt's dopey accent or even the whole revenge motive. But we'll see.

Aug 11 - 11:41 AM

chez999

cody zimmerman

are you kidding me? All of quentin tarantino's movies have revenge.
Kill bill: uma thurman wants to get revenge on bill

Death proof: The girls kill kurt russell after he runs them off the road
jackie brown: samuel l jackson kills robert de niro in revenge

resevoir dogs: harvey kietle kills mr orange after he finds out he is a cop and set up the entire group

pulp fiction: Bruce willis is running away from marcellas becasue he didnt do wat he was suoppose to do by killing the guy who was suppose to win in a boxing match.

Aug 12 - 06:42 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

blinkuldhc (who may be named Alan and living in the Los Angeles). On Blinkuldhc's youtube channel there's a picture of an Asian kid and several links to items makking fun of black people. blinkuldhc is a minority making fun of other minorities and harrassing me.

http://www.youtube.com/user/blinkuldhc#play/all/uploads-all/2/m2T4f8ET32g

Aug 11 - 11:48 AM

Delyth A.

Delyth Angharad

"I'm only allowed to say: "Inglouus bastards sucks" or "movies suck" or "the idea sucks" like you?"

Nah, just... y'know... stay on topic :P

________

Nia Vardalos IS Barbarararelelelellla! Make Berburilla a MUST-SEE film by having NIA VARDALOS as SEXY, HOT BIRBURALLI!

It MAKES SENSE to have NIA - FONDA was a WHITE AMERICAN, MAJORITY group and NOW Barbrarillo MUST be PLAYED by a GREEK CANADIAN! YES!

CAN nia vardalos BE BARRIBALLa?

YES!

CAN vardalos ride DRAGONS?

YES!

IS NIA a LIBERAL, SEXY, INTELLIGENT, BEAUTIFUL lady?

YES!

_______________________

Ahem. Sorry, I got momentarily possessed by the spirit of Gordon. Fortunately I have a devil on my shoulder and Gordon is, of course, afraid of it.

Aug 11 - 12:13 PM

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