Film director Quentin Tarantino, whose violent movie “Django Unchained” is currently in theaters, lashed out at critics who have been connecting media violence with the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, E! Online reports.
During an interview for NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Tarantino gave a heated response to a line of questions from host Terry Gross on the topic of violence in Tarantino’s films.
“When the host asked him whether the massacre of 26 people made his new film ‘less fun’ or whether he ‘lost his taste’ for movie violence following the tragedy, a touchy Tarantino dismissed the question,” the piece reports.
Tarantino initially replied tersely, saying, "Not for me."
“The auteur then appeared to take offense to Gross’ follow-up when she wondered whether he could separate real-life violence from his feelings about making or watching the sadistic characters he puts on screen,” E! reports.
Tarantino appeared perturbed by the question, the piece reports, shooting back: "Sadistic, I don’t know. I think you’re putting a judgment on it."
The director then added: "When you say, ‘After the tragedy,’ what do you mean by that exactly? Do you mean on that day, would I watch ‘The Wild Bunch’? Maybe not on that day."
Gross remained on point, asking: "Or in the next few days, like … while it’s still really fresh."
Tarantino’s response: "Would I watch a kung fu movie three days after the Sandy Hook massacre? Would I watch a kung fu movie? Maybe, because they have nothing to do with each other."
Gross: "You sound annoyed."
Tarantino: "Yeah, I’m really annoyed. I think it’s disrespectful to … the memory of the people who died to talk about the movies. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health."
The E! report adds: “The question of cinema violence and the video store clerk-turned-filmmaker’s adoration of it — some critics have accused him of even fetishizing brutality — has been a thorn in Tarantino’s side when it comes to the press for two decades now, ever since he burst into pop culture consciousness with his ultra-violent ‘Reservoir Dogs.’”
Tarantino summed up the criticism this way: "I’ve been asked this question for 20 years, about the effects of violence in movies related to violence in real life. My answer is the same as 20 years ago. It hasn’t changed one iota. Obviously, I don’t think one has to do with the other."