Tarantino hasn’t been to many new movies in the last year while working on his opus The Hateful Eight, but he offers, along with the wine, snapshot reactions about one or two recent films and a few auteurs. The last current movie he saw was Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E: “The first half was really funny and terrific but in the whole second half I’m like ‘Oh wait a minute, we were supposed to care about the bomb? What the fuck is going on here? I was supposed to pay attention to the stupid story?’ Henry Cavill was fantastic but I didn’t like the girl at all.” (He notes fairly that he hasn’t seen Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina where a very different actress is on display.) Pixar’s Inside Out? “Haven’t seen it yet but Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece and was my favorite movie of that year.” David Fincher? “I’m excited to go see every movie David Fincher does. Even when I don’t like them I walk around thinking about them for a week or so.” Wes Anderson? “I loved Bottle Rocket but I never thought Rushmore was as funny as everybody else did because I didn’t like Max. The Grand Budapest Hotel is not really the thing I would think I’d love but I kind of loved it. The fact that I wasn’t a diehard Anderson 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.” On Godard now: “He gave me rock-star excitement and he took me to so many places I needed to go but I feel I’ve outgrown him drastically. I’ve outgrown everything I thought was so sexy about his work.” On Hitchcock: “I’m not the biggest Hitchcock fan and I actually don’t like Vertigo and his 1950s movies—they have the stink of the 50s which is similar to the stink of the 80s. People discover North by Northwest at 22 and think it’s wonderful when actually it’s a very mediocre movie. I’ve always felt that Hitchcock’s acolytes took his cinematic and story ideas further. I love Brian De Palma’s Hitchcock movies. I love Richard Franklin’s and Curtis Hanson’s Hitchcock meditations. I prefer those to actual Hitchcock.” And Tarantino also prefers—passionately defends—Gus Van Sant’s meta art-manque shot-by-shot remake of Psycho over the original Hitchcock film.
The unedited version of Bret Easton Ellis's piece on Quentin Tarantino from the NYTimes Style Magazine a while back is online.
What makes Tarantino such a refreshing figure is his unvarnished honesty in speaking about other movies. Generally it's considered unseemly to criticize the work of your peers, and so you don't hear much of it. Not publicly, at least.
That goes for more than just the arts world. It's understandable, but the conversations behind closed doors, over beers, or off the record is usually more useful. What do people say when you're not in the room? That's the damn truth. People who don't hold that back, like Steve Jobs, can attain some shaman-like power, but it's something more people could exercise if not for the strictures of decorum.
Tarantino genuinely doesn't give a damn, and given he can always find enough collaborators to make his movies, it really doesn't matter too much to his career.
I can't wait to see The Hateful Eight tomorrow, err, today?