Quentin Tarantino will cut off ears and bring out the gimp all day, but stops short of enjoying onscreen violence when it comes to animals.
Early on, Quentin Tarantino became a pariah for the level of violence depicted in movies – almost always from people who don’t understand how movie violence works, what the director intended with their usage and so on. And while his films have boasted some truly memorable scenes of it (from Reservoir Dogs’ ear scene to Rick Dalton taking a flamethrower to some home invaders in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Tarantino will never be down with violence towards animals.
During a conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (excerpts via Variety) – where Quentin Tarantino hosted a surprise special screening of John Flynn’s terrific Rolling Thunder (1977) – the writer/director/budding movie critic put a foot down when it came to watching animals be harmed onscreen. On that form of deliberate violence, Tarantino said, “I have a big thing about killing animals in movies. That’s a bridge I can’t cross…Insects too. Unless I’m paying to see some bizzarro documentary, I’m not paying to see real death. Part of the way that this all works is that it’s all just make believe. That’s why I can stand the violent scenes, cause we’re all just f*cking around.” He added, “Some animal, some dog, some llama, some fly, some rat, doesn’t give a f*ck about your movie…I’d kill a million rats, but I don’t necessarily want to kill one in a movie or see one killed in a movie, because I’m not paying to see real death.” Notably, Tarantino has played Cannibal Holocaust at his New Beverly Cinema, a movie infamous for its onscreen murders of turtles, monkeys, pigs, and more.
Tragically, a countless number of purposeful animal deaths have occurred onscreen, going back to at least 1903’s Electrocuting an Elephant, which isn’t exactly subtle in its title. Most, fortunately, are not deliberate. Tarantino himself – who has made use of horses in a number of pictures now, most recently in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – must be proud that no animals have been harmed in the making of his movies.
Adding to his views on animal violence, Tarantino said, “Almost always, it’s not just the violence that I have a problem with…There’s usually an incompetence factor in there.” Incompetency and mistreatment leading to deaths of animals on movie and television sets has been going on for decades and decades – what, you thought the Ben-Hur horses put on Icy Hot and trotted back home? Despite regulations put in place after 1980’s Heaven’s Gate, there have of course still been many animal deaths on sets, whether as a result of mistreatment or other circumstances. But we can’t just use CGI horses all the time!
Are you on the same page as Quentin Tarantino when it comes to animal violence? Do you purposely steer clear of movies that depict intentional mistreatment? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/quentin-tarantino-disgusted-by-onscreen-animal-violence/
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