Quentin Tarantino Poster

Quotes (80)

  • [at the MTV Movie Awards 1994 as he won Best Picture for Pulp Fiction (1994)] Pop quiz, hotshot: you go to the awards ceremonies all year long; you keep losing to Forrest Gump (1994)! It's really annoying the hell out of you - what do you do? You go to the MTV Awards!
  • [on "rival" director Guy Ritchie marrying Madonna] I guess I'll have to marry Elvis Presley to get even.
  • If I've made it a little easier for artists to work in violence, great! I've accomplished something.
  • When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, "No, I went to films".
  • [on using surfing music, when hating the surfing culture] It's like surf music, I've always like loved that but, for me, I don't know what surf music has to do with surf boards. To me, it just sounds like rock and roll, even Morricone music. It sounds like rock and roll Spaghetti Western music, so that's how I kind of laid it in.
  • Movies are my religion and God is my patron. I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I don't make movies to pay for my pool. When I make a movie, I want it to be everything to me; like I would die for it.
  • [on the comparison between Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)'s group fight and Neo vs. 100 Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded (2003)] First off, I've always thought of the black suits as mine, so I don't think of them as Agent Smiths, I think of them as Reservoir Dogs with less cool sunglasses. The similarities between the fight sequences never occurred to me until I had a director's screening and Luc Besson turned up with Keanu Reeves as his guest. I watched Keanu watching and suddenly I felt it.
  • [on media criticisms of violence in his movies] Sure, Kill Bill is a violent movie. But it's a Tarantino movie. You don't go to see Metallica and ask the fuckers to turn the music down.
  • [on media criticisms of violence in his movies] What if a kid goes to school after seeing Kill Bill and starts slicing up other kids? You know, I'll take that chance! Violent films don't turn children into violent people. They may turn them into violent filmmakers but that's another matter altogether.
  • [on collecting movies] If you're a film fan, collecting video is sort of like marijuana. Laser discs, they're definitely cocaine. Film prints are heroin, all right? You're shooting smack when you start collecting film prints. So I kinda got into it in a big way, and I've got a pretty nice collection I'm real proud of.
  • [on how to take the violence in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (The final duel with Lucy Liu)] It's supposed to be kind of amusing and poetic at the same time. And also just a teeny-tiny bit solemn. When you see her head, it's funny. And then her line, "That really was a Hattori Hanzo sword," that's funny. But then, the next shot is not funny, when she tips over and Meiko Kaji is singing about revenge on the soundtrack. So it's all together. Funny. Solemn. Beautiful. Gross. All at the same time.
  • [on becoming famous] Going into a video store and going through the videos, looking at every title they have, trying to find some old Spaghetti Western, that's gone.
  • I have an idea for a Godzilla movie that I've always wanted to do. The whole idea of Godzilla's role in Tokyo, where he's always battling these other monsters, saving humanity time and again - wouldn't Godzilla become God? It would be called Living Under the Rule of Godzilla. This is what society is like when a big fucking green lizard rules your world.
  • [on violence in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)] When I was on The View (1997), Barbara Walters was asking me about the blood and stuff, and I said, "Well, you know, that's a staple of Japanese cinema." And then she came back, "But this is America." And I go, "I don't make movies for America. I make movies for planet Earth.".
  • [on directing the ER (1994) episode "Motherhood"] When I was directing ER, I didn't want to stand out. Everyone else is wearing all that crap. I wanted to fit in. I didn't want to be the odd man out. I wanted to be inside, not on the outside. When I was directing the ER thing, the emergency room guys wore the green scrubs. I wore those for a few days. Then, I wore the blue scrubs, which were the surgeons', for a few days. When I wore the nurse's pink scrubs, though, that's when I became a hero on the set. The nurses didn't think I was going to throw in with them. I ended the episode, the last two days, wearing the nurses' scrubs. When I walked on the set all the nurses applauded me. They were like "Oh my God, he's so cool!".
  • [on Thriller - en grym film (1973) and its influences on Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)] And that is, of all the revenge movies I've ever seen, that is definitely the roughest. The roughest revenge movie ever made! There's never been anything as tough as that movie.
  • If you want to make a movie, make it. Don't wait for a grant, don't wait for the perfect circumstances, just make it. - Giving advice to young aspiring filmmakers at the 1994 Independent Spirit Awards.
  • I hope to give you at least 15 more years of movies. I'm not going to be this old guy that keeps cranking them out. My plan is to have a theater by that time in some small town and I will be the manager - this crazy old movie guy. (March 2005)
  • I will never do 'Pulp Fiction 2', but having said that, I could very well do other movies with these characters.
  • I've come to a point where I like Pauline Kael's reviews of Godard more than Godard's films.
  • [on making another "Kill Bill" movie] Oh yeah, initially I was thinking this would be my "Dollars Trilogy". I was going to do a new one every ten years. But I need at least fifteen years before I do this again. I've already got the whole mythology: Sofie Fatale will get all of Bill's money. She'll raise Nikki, who'll take on The Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as The Bride deserved hers. I might even shoot a couple of scenes for it now so I can get the actresses while they're this age.
  • I'm never going to be shy about anything, what I write about is what I know; it's more about my version of the truth as I know it. That's part of my talent, really - putting the way people really speak into the things I write. My only obligation is to my characters. And they came from where I have been.
  • The exploitation films were made in such an artless way with these big wide shots of Sunset Boulevard or of Arcadia or downtown L.A. or wherever. In mainstream films, especially in the 1980s, the Los Angeles you saw wasn't the real one; it was a character with this back-lot sort of atmosphere. They tried to luxuriate it. In exploitation films, you see what the place really looked like, you see the bars and mom-and-pop restaurants.
  • There's only one list that's more illustrious than the list of directors who won the Palme d'Or. It's the list of directors who didn't.
  • I don't believe in putting in music as a band aid to get you over some rough parts or bad film making. If it's there it's got to add to it or take it to another level.
  • When I give props to these movies, you have to understand - it's not like they were all good. There's an expression: You have to drink a lot of milk before you can appreciate cream. Well, with exploitation movies, you have to drink a lot of milk-gone-bad before you can even appreciate milk! That's what part of the love of these movies is - going through the rummage bin and finding the jewels.
  • [on the death of David Carradine] He was a dream to direct, a fantastic actor, a great character actor and really one of Hollywood's great mad geniuses.
  • [on how The Dirty Dozen (1967) could never be made today] Ernest Borgnine. Charles Bronson. Those guys were real men. They were a different breed. Many of them had been to war. Today's young actors are soft.
  • [on the Cannes Film Festival] I just like Cannes. It's like the whole planet is checking your movie out - boom! - at one time, and - bam! - it either works or it doesn't. And especially when I'm there - it's the closest thing to Muhammad Ali having a championship fight. It's just - bam! You're throwing it down.
  • I've had people write that I've seen too many movies. In what other art form would being an expert be considered a negative? If I were a poet, would I be criticized for knowing too much about Sappho? Or Aristotle?
  • Some people will like Inglourious Basterds (2009). Some people won't. But it was made with all the passion I've made everything with - except maybe my first film, which was probably made with more passion than I'll ever have again.
  • When you gotta go out and make a movie to pay for the kid's private school and for the three ex-wives, don't talk to me about your artistry. It's their job. It's not my job. It's my calling.
  • [on why his characters in Inglourious Basterds (2009) use Native American fighting tactics] I'm actually equating the Jews in this situation, in World War II, with the Indians. It's not nothing that they're doing Apache resistance. It's not about dying. It's about killing. They ambush their guys. They trick the enemy. It's not a straight-up fight. And then they go and they just completely desecrate the bodies to win a psychological war.
  • [on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993), when asked how he comes up with such good dialog] Well, not to be facetious or anything, but... I'm a good writer!
  • I think the opening chapter of Inglourious Basterds (2009) is one of the best things I've ever written - before that sequence my best piece of writing would be the Sicilian sequence in the True Romance (1993) script; that was the best thing I'd ever done in a beginning to end piece. And I think I finally matched it, or topped it with that sequence so I knew I couldn't just let it go. I would have been haunted by it and I wouldn't be able to move on to anything else until I had it out of the way.
  • CGI has fully ruined car crashes. Because how can you be impressed with them now? When you watch them in the '70s, it was real cars, real metal, real blasts. They're really doing it and risking their lives. But I knew CGI was gonna start taking over.
  • There's my realer-than-real movies like Reservoir Dogs (1992). And then there's my movie-movies. And Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) is definitely one of those. It's the movies that Jules and Vince (from Pulp Fiction (1994)) would go and see...I always thought of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) as my Apocalypse Now (1979) and that House of Blue Leaves is my 'Ride of the Valkyries' helicopter sequences.
  • When I first discovered Howard Hawks, I spent a year and a half reading the TV Guide and they played about 80 percent of his entire oeuvre on Los Angeles television. Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, Sergio Leone and Hawks were a huge influence on me.
  • [on Avatar (2009)] I'm not James Cameron and I could never think like that - I don't think he could think like me either - but if I could go into a time machine and think like that and be able to do what he could do, that would be great.
  • [on Inglourious Basterds (2009) being a catharsis and multi-layered] - I mean, it would be easy to just set up a situation where we just go oh, kill the Nazis, rah, rah. But I don't play it that easy. Like for instance, on the interrogation scene that you just saw, under any criteria of bravery in warfare, that German passes the test under any criteria. And, yes it would have been easy to make him a cringing coward and it would have been more rah, rah, rah in the audience. It would be like watching "Rocky". But you know, that's too easy for what I'm trying to do.
  • [on Inglourious Basterds (2009) being the modern strategic history of al-Qaeda] - Yes. ... Now, I've seen people who have seen the movie like three or four times and it never quite sinks into them. But that was never something that I necessarily set out to do. I wasn't trying to make a terrorist Iraq commentary with the film. It was just what made sense for the characters to do at that time. Yes they're strapping bombs on themselves. And they're walking into a theater crowded with evil civilians and they are prepared to blow it up. Even the character, Landa, the Jew hunter, the Nazi character in the film - he even makes a reference to it. He goes your mission - some would call it a terrorist plot - is kaput. It was funny. Again, I wasn't trying to necessarily make a political point in there. It literally was just the next step in the story as far as I was concerned. However, once I did it, the irony was not lost on me at all. But you know, that was one of the things that I actually thought that - it was one of the things that when I was all done. Because I think there are a lot of things like that - not about that issue, but there's a lot of things in this movie that are not used to seeing in other World War II movies. I thought that was one of the aspects that would actually make the movie not just seem like a World War II movie that it's like here and you're looking at it in the eyes of the past. I wanted the film sort of the way "Bonnie and Clyde" worked when it came out. It was an old genre took place in the '30s, but it was actually telling you something about the time today. And that was what I was trying to do with this in this genre.
  • [on Inglourious Basterds (2009) being not just a revenge fantasy about World War II, but a torture and terrorism fantasy] - Definitely. You took it right out of my mouth. Yes. I mean, basically what they're doing - you described it really, really well. To put in even shorter nutshell, they're actually doing literally the Apache resistance, but against the Nazis, against the Germans. And that was one of the things - one of the reasons I wanted to do something like that, other than for all the other reasons you said before about - it's a revenge fantasy and this and that. We've never seen it before. I was trying to do like a spaghetti western but using World War II iconography. So in my re-imagining of this whole thing, I kind of placed the Jews as the Indians in this scenario. And that is part of the whole thing. You know, when they say they ambush a German patrol of six guys and then they scalp them, maybe even take their shoes off, so when they are found there is even less dignity in the death - all these little things that they do.
  • [on the time spent watching old World War II movies that gave him the confidence to embark on Inglourious Basterds (2009)] - It wasn't that I needed permission. But what really struck me was that these were films made by directors who'd had to flee their country because of Hitler, and yet the movies they made weren't all terror or horror. In fact, while they definitely showed the Nazis and their cruelty, they were adventure films, whether you're talking about Hangmen Also Die! (1943) or Reunion in France (1942) or To Be or Not to Be (1942) or O.S.S. (1946), an Alan Ladd film that's like a prequel to The Good Shepherd (2006). They were fun and thrilling and exciting and, most amazingly, they had a lot of comedy in them, which really made an impact on me. I mean, for every movie with a sadistic Nazi, there's one with a Nazi who's more of a buffoon or a figure of ridicule.
  • Here's my problem with this whole influence thing. Instead of critics reviewing my movies, now what they're really doing is trying to match wits with me. Every time they review my movies, it's like they want to play chess with the mastermind and show off every reference they can find, even when half of it is all of their own making. It feels like the critics are IMDB-ing everything I do. It just rubs me the wrong way because they end up using it as a stick to beat me down with.
  • If there is something magic about the collaborations I have with actors it's because I put the character first.
  • [on the British film industry] When I first came here in 1992 with Reservoir Dogs (1992) the film industry was very dire. The movies were Enchanted April (1991) and crap like that. But that has changed, and this year has highlighted how it's changed. You guys actually have a genuine, honest-to-goodness, bona fide film industry again, and that is fantastic.
  • If I was doing Kill Bill all over again - I'd be tempted to do it in 3D, at least Volume I.
  • If I wasn't a filmmaker, I'd be a film critic. It's the only thing I'd be qualified to do.
  • [on the inspiration for Pulp Fiction (1994)] And so I thought the idea that would, in the case of Pulp Fiction, would be kind of cool, was to take three separate stories, and make them the oldest stories in the book, whether it be, um...Vincent's character, the hoodlum, has to go out with the boss's lady, but don't touch her! And there's the whole history of people who *have* touched her, and what happens. Well we've seen that before, a zillion times...and the case of the Bruce Willis story, that the boxer's supposed to throw the fight, and he doesn't, and now the mob's after him...we've seen that story a million times as well. And one of the things I thought about, like, the third story, was basically kind of the beginning of, at that time, almost every Joel Silver movie, which would start off with like a couple hit men showing up, boom boom, alright, 'you wanna witness something witness this!' (makes gun shooting noise, laughs). And then they shoot the guy and it cuts to Arnold Schwarzenegger walking through the forest and eventually he's gonna meet those guys. And so I thought, what happens if we hung out with them? All night long? Or...all day long? After they've killed the guy, what happens with the rest of their day? And so it was like taking these, these chestnuts and putting them together and then, actually having the characters kind of intertwine and it all kind of takes place in one...city, and it's an environment that they all live in, and characters kind of know each other, but you don't know that for a while. And we're just kind of hanging out with them for those two days.
  • [on once working at an adult movie theater] To me, the greatest job a person could ever have is being an usher at a movie theater. You get to go to a movie theater all day long, and then you get to see all the movies for free. Irony of ironies, I end up getting a job at a movie theater where I could care less about the movies and was totally bored by them.
  • If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.
  • [on Reservoir Dogs (1992)] This movie was never meant to be everything for everybody. And I don't mean that as a slam. I'm just saying I made this movie for myself and everybody else is invited.
  • [on Pulp Fiction (1994)] Three stories about one story.
  • [acceptance speech winning the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Pulp Fiction (1994)] Uh thanks! Uh, this has been a very strange year. I can definitely say that. Uh, you know what? I was trying to think...I think this is the only award I'm going to win here tonight, so I was trying to think, maybe I should say a whole lot of stuff, right here right now, just get it out of my system, you know, all year long, everything roiling up, and everything, just blow it all, just tonight, just say everything! But I'm not. Thanks.
  • [on what his most personal film is] Probably "Kill Bill".
  • I'm very happy with the way I write. I think I do it good. But I've never really considered myself a writer.
  • I've always considered myself a filmmaker who writes stuff for himself to do.
  • If I'm on an airplane, a Kate Hudson movie is what I'm looking for. I'll sit there and I'll cry... I think it's the altitude or something like that.
  • I've always actually thought of Pulp Fiction (1994) as a Rock 'n' Roll Spaghetti Western.
  • [on fan expectations] That's not a pressure I ever feel. That should always be there. I want people to expect a lot from me, I want people waiting with great anticipation for my next movie. Growing up I felt that way. The week before Scarface (1983) came out was Scarface week... That kind of excitement is what helps keep a filmmaker alive and vital.
  • As far as I'm concerned, digital projection is the end of cinema. The fact that most films aren't presented in 35 mm means that the world is lost. Digital projection is just television in cinema. I'm very hopeful that future generations will be much smarter than this generation and realize what they lost.
  • [in response to criticisms that Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) is overly brutal] Innocent people die along the way because, unfortunately that's the story of revenge. Revenge is messy. It never works out the way you want it to.
  • [on film violence vs real-life violence] All the movies I'm basing my movies on I saw as a kid and yes, kids go to a movie theater, they can tell the difference. Maybe you couldn't when you were a kid but I could.
  • I don't want to talk about the implications of violence. The reason I don't want to talk about it is because I've said everything I have to say about it. If anyone cares what I have to say about it they can Google me and they can look for twenty years what I have to say. I haven't changed my opinion one iota.
  • When people in America talk about the great writer-director auteurs, they don't talk about Pedro Almodóvar enough. For 30 years, he has dwarfed almost all of his American peers. He went through a slightly weak period around the time of Kika (1993) and Todo sobre mi madre (1999). I didn't get Los abrazos rotos (2009), but it was still okay. But the things he's been doing the last seven years, he's been on a magnificent roll. He's a fantastic director. His scripts are wonderful, and he's just money in the bank. And he's so specific, but as opposed to a lot of these specific art-film directors that you're going to get tired of, like Kar-Wai Wong, you never get tired of Almodóvar. Because as much as he has these recognizable elements, it never just seems like the same movie over and over again.
  • [on La piel que habito (2011)] That was [Pedro Almodóvar] doing a horror film, and it was fucking amazing. I totally got the impression that - and I'm fairly sure I'm right about this - Pedro was watching The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) and thinking, "You know, I know how to do this. I could do something really special with this." And that was La piel que habito (2011)
  • To me, Godard did to movies what Bob Dylan did to music - they both revolutionized their forms.
  • I think Kate Winslet is one of the best actresses that ever lived, so I would be honored to work with her.
  • My dialogue are not for everyone. Doesn't matter the quality of the actor, not everyone has timing or humor for the lines I wrote.
  • [November 23, 2015] I'd really love to work with Kate Winslet, I think she's amazing and does a great job.
  • [on Johnny Depp - The Playlist, December 30, 2012] We would love to work together. We've talked about it for years. Not that we get together and talk about it for years, but from time to time. We're obviously fans of each other. It just needs to be the right character. I just need to write the right character that I think Johnny would be the right guy to do it with. And if he agrees, then we'll do it. And then it'll be magical. I haven't written the perfect character for Johnny Depp as of yet. Maybe someday I will, maybe someday I won't. We'll see.
  • [in answer to film critic why his films were always extremely violent] Because it's so much fun, Jan!
  • [on Kodak's new Super 8 camera and film in general] On film, there's a special magic on a set when you say 'action' and to the point that the take runs until you say 'cut,' that's a sacred time. I've always believed in the magic of movies and to me the magic is connected to film. When you're filming something on film you aren't recording movement, you're taking a series of still pictures and when shown at 24 frames per second through a lightbulb, THAT creates the illusion of movement. That illusion is connected to the magic of making movies. The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift. [2016]
  • I'm not going to tell you how I believe, but yes, I do believe in God.
  • To me, one of the things about Rio Bravo (1959) that's so wonderful... well, there's all kinds of things that are really great about it. It's one of the greatest westerns, it's one of the greatest Howard Hawks films, it's one of the greatest John Wayne movies. But it also fits into another genre because I'm all about putting movies into sub-genres, and it's also one of the great "hang-out" movies. There are certain movies where you are hanging out with the characters so much that that it's like they actually become your friends, and it's a really rare quality to have in a film. Movies like that are usually quite long, and it's great to see them again and again. It's like you're just hanging out with John T. Chance, Dude, Stumpy and Feathers.
  • [1992] After I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) at Cannes, David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different. And you know, I loved him. I *loved* him.
  • [2009] When I'm doing a movie, I'm not doing anything else. It's all about the movie. I don't have a wife. I don't have a kid. Nothing can get in my way. The whole fucking world can go to hell and and burst into flames.
  • [on writing his sprawling screenplays for Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012)] I'd get to the third act. That, I try never to maneuver. By the time it gets to the end, I was open to the characters to drive it. What the characters dictated, that's what happened.
  • [on writing] I go where the character and scenario takes me. With Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) I started to write a female martial-arts revenge movie, but that's not what came out. With Reservoir Dogs (1992), I wanted to write the best heist film ever and you never saw the heist. With Inglourious Basterds (2009), I enjoy the war-mission subgenre but I want to forward it, make it bigger, broader, more artistic.
  • Hopefully, the way I define success when I finish my career, is that I'm considered one of the greatest filmmakers that ever lived. And going further, a great artist, not just filmmaker. [at the 2016 Adobe Max conference]