Quentin Tarantino is his usual irascible self in his New York Times interview with Bret Easton Ellis, sounding off on race, gender and filmmaking with his standard mix of brash honesty and an armful of disses disguised as compliments. Here are the four most notable moments:
When he told black critics that his race was irrelevant:
Boldly stating that “if you’ve made money being a critic in black culture in the last 20 years you have to deal with me,” Tarantino told Ellis that he wasn’t bothered by black critics who wrote negative reviews of “Django Unchained,” but he was frustrated by critics' motivations.
"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. In a lot of the more ugly pieces my motives were really brought to bear in the most negative way. It’s like I’m some supervillain coming up with this stuff.’’
When he suggested that it was “exciting” that a woman had made a good war film
Talking about the 2010 Oscars, when his "Inglourious Basterds" lost to "The Hurt Locker" in the categories of Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay, Tarantino honed in on director Kathryn Bigelow's gender as justification for the film's sweep.
‘‘It bugged me that Mark Boal won Best Screenplay for that movie,’’ Tarantino now admits. ‘‘The Kathryn Bigelow thing — I got it. Look, it was exciting that a woman had made such a good war film, and it was the first movie about the Iraq War that said something. And it wasn’t like I lost to something dreadful. It’s not like ‘E.T.’ losing to ‘Gandhi.’ ’’
When he tried to be positive about his fellow filmmakers:
Tarantino tries to be complimentary of some of his fellow filmmakers, but he can't help undermining his praise with some cutting jabs:
David Fincher? "Even when I don’t like his movies I walk around thinking about them for a week or so.’’
Wes Anderson? ‘‘ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is not really my thing, but I kind of loved it. The fact that I wasn’t a die-hard fan before made me even more happy that I could finally embrace him.’’
Judd Apatow? ‘‘His audience is getting smaller and smaller but I think he’s getting better and better.’’
When he seemed to suggest that “Selma” was basically a made-for TV movie
When Ellis asks Tarantino about the Oscars snubbing Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King biopic "Selma" this year, Tarantino comes in with another of his classic backhanded compliments:
Tarantino shrugs diplomatically: ‘‘She did a really good job on ‘Selma’ but ‘Selma’ deserved an Emmy."