Although there are numerous pressing questions one could ask Quentin Tarantino about Django Unchained (for example, "What did Don Johnson's mustache feel like? Tickly?"), the post-Aurora-and-Newtown climate has made it far more important to ask him about movie violence, so journalists can make a difference. Unfortunately, Quentin Tarantino has already been asked some version of this question across two decades' worth of interviews, and no amount of timely rephrasing—nor even the added prestige of a British accent—will get him to answer it all over again in a thoughtful fashion, as Fresh Air's Terry Gross recently discovered, and as Channel 4 News' Krishnan Guru-Murthy found out anew when he attempted to press the issue during a recent TV interview.
Reminding Tarantino that he was on "a news program, not a film program, so we explore serious themes," Guru-Murthy very seriously asked Tarantino to explain seriously why he seriously feels there's no link between movie violence and actual violence, a serious question Guru-Murthy believed would provoke, at long last, some genuine soul-searching from Tarantino and/or a soundbite that could be held up as evidence of the film industry's refusal to take responsibility for all the deaths they've clearly caused. He got at least one of those things when Tarantino decided again that he'd had enough: "Don’t ask me a question like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question…. I’m not your slave and you’re not my master," Tarantino, who really has slavery on the brain these days, said. "You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey."
Rather than take that opportunity to then talk about monkeys, and maybe finally explore the link between monkey violence and photos of bananas, Guru-Murthy pressed onward, amid Tarantino's protests that he was just there to promote his movie. Their clash of obvious agendas eventually forced the director to exclaim things such as "It's none of your damn business what I think about that" and "I'm shutting your butt down," ending in an interview that was satisfying for no one, except those who enjoy the mental image of Quentin Tarantino shutting a butt down. And alas, we are no closer to solving the link between movie violence and actual violence, at least until someone asks Quentin Tarantino this question one more time. That next time should do it. [via IndieWire]
Here's the video. The good stuff starts around 4:30.
Send your Great Job, Internet tips to GJI@avclub.com