Quentin Tarantino 'Annoyed' By NPR Question About Sandy Hook

Quentin Tarantino NPR

The lessons of Quentin Tarantino's interview with Terry Gross on NPR?  He has a high tolerance for "viscera" and a low tolerance for questions that attempt to connect Sandy Hook and other incidents of actual violence to the kind found in movies. The Django Unchained director became audibly peeved when Gross asked him the question that every reporter feels compelled to ask filmmakers in the wake of the Connecticut shootings.

Here's NPR's transcript of the awkward, testy exchange. I've taken the liberty of putting Tarantino's comments about how linking Sandy Hook to violence in movies is "disrespectful" to those who died. I agree with Tarantino. Connecting the shooting to movie-making trivializes what happened in Connecticut, which, as Ross A. Lincoln pointed out in his post on The Hollywood Reporter's poll on media violence, doesn't bring this country any closer to figuring out how to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook and Aurora from happening.

GROSS: So I just have to ask you, is it any less fun after like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, like, do you ever go through a period where you lose your taste for movie violence? And movie violence is not real violence, I understand the difference. But still, are there times when it just is not a fun movie experience for you - either to be making it that way or to be in the audience for something like that?

TARANTINO: Not for me.

GROSS: So it's so completely separate, that the reality of violence doesn't affect at all your feelings about making or viewing very violent or sadistic...

TARANTINO: Sadistic? I don't know. I do know what, I don't know. I think, you know, you're putting a judgment on it.

GROSS: No, no, no...

TARANTINO: You're putting a judgment on it.

GROSS: The characters are sadistic. The characters are sadistic. I'm not talking about, you know, the filmmaker. I'm talking about the characters. I mean, the characters are undeniably sadistic.

TARANTINO: Mm-hmm. When you say after the tragedy, what do you mean by that exactly?

GROSS: Well, like...

TARANTINO: Do you mean like on that day would I watch "The Wild Bunch?" Maybe not on that day.

GROSS: Or in the next few days, like while it's still - while it's still really fresh in your - while the reality - yeah.

TARANTINO: Would I watch a kung fu movie three days after the Sandy Hook massacre? Would I watch a kung fu movie? Maybe, 'cause they have nothing to do with each other.

GROSS: You sound annoyed that I'm...


TARANTINO: Yeah, I am.

GROSS: I know you've been asked this a lot.

TARANTINO: Yeah, I'm really annoyed. I think it's disrespectful. I think it's disrespectful to their memory, actually.

GROSS: With whose memory?

TARANTINO: The memory of the people who died to talk about movies. I think it's totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health.

Although it's not in the transcript that NPR posted, at an earlier point in the interview, Tarantino explained that he did tone down some of the violence in Django Unchained. As Samuel L. Jackson mentioned during my interview with him in December, his favorite scene in the movie, which was cut, involved his character burning off the captured Django's nipples with a hot poker. The Playlist also points out that another scene that was briefly glimpsed in the trailer but excised from the movie, involved the rape of Broomhilda. (You can find these scenes in Tarantino's script for the movie, which the Weinstein Company has posted here.)

When Gross asked Tarantino, "What are your limits for..what's your sensibility for how much splatter, how much violence, how much sadism" in a movie "feels right, like it's part of the genre" and how much feels like "exploitation," the filmmaker replied: "I could handle a lot more than I put in this movie," adding: " I have a tolerance for viscera, more than the average person."   But, he explained that after screening earlier, more brutal cuts,  "I traumatized the audience" when his goal was to have them "cheering Django" at the movie's end.  "If you don't cheer at the end, I haven't done the job," he said.


Follow Frank DiGiacomo on Twitter.

Follow Movieline on Twitter. 



  • Megan says:

    I can see why QT is annoyed-first of all, it's unfair to make such a connection between real-life violence and film/media. Second, he's been asked this question incessantly since Django opened. Just stop with this, already.

    • Frank DiGiacomo says:

      I second your emotion. I liked the honesty of his annoyance.

      • Darry says:

        what Clifford answeredI cant believe that anyone able to

        profit $5017 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this at wow42.com

    • Darry says:

      what Clifford answeredI cant believe that anyone able to

      profit $5017 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this at wow42.com

  • mick white says:

    Tarantino is a scumbag. Look at the movies he makes.

    • matt says:

      What does that even mean? Why do the movies he makes make him a scumbag? because he's violent? because he uses profanity?

  • Gavin O'Brien says:

    He had a right to be honest, and I like that he came out and said he was annoyed rather than kind of simpering along. Indignation - honest indignation - is the way to respond to insinuations like the one she inadvertently made regarding the movie violence/real-life violence.

  • KevyB says:

    "The characters are sadistic!" Which characters? The BAD ones? The SLAVE-OWNING ones? Showing bad people doing violent things does not make people want to do violent things. Yes, there have been studies that show that violence in media can make people more likely to respond with violence in real life, but there are NO studies that show that violence against adults can make people go shoot little kids for no reason. What a moron.

  • forex says:

    If you are looking for a scam forex site, this is the place for you. Here you find all forex scammers!

  • Violet says:

    Thanks to my father who told me concerning this website, this website is in fact remarkable.

  • Private Universities are not operated by governments; there are 107 Private Universities in India. They are approved by the UGC and grant degrees but they are not allowed to have off-campus affiliated colleges.
    Michael Kors soldes http://www.golf-aubrac.fr/Michael-Kors-soldes/

  • olimila says:

    Love Jackie Brown. One of my favor. Check out this interview with Robert Forster on what was his favorite Quentin on set direction he was given: http://www.indiefilmhustle.com/ifh-002-oscar-nominee-legendary-actor-robert-forster/