QT Talks to Primetime Monday
From The Quentin Tarantino Archives
QT: I remember my first time taking the bus into Hollywood, going into Hollywood for the first time - everything was star striking, just being in a town where All I cared about was movies! Just everything was about movies! Every store, every shop was part of the process. It was too exciting for words for me.
PTM: 15 years after that first trip to Hollywood, Tarantino was the hottest director in town and an Oscar winner. In 1994, Tarantino's Pulp Fiction became the most influential Hollywood movie in a generation.
John Travolta: He changed the direction of American Cinema for sure. When I did it (Pulp Fiction) I thought it was interesting, but when I saw it, it was fascinating.
PTM: The Oscar for Best Original Screenplay acknowledged a hip new dialogue that turned pop culture and junk food into a kind of movie poetry. Audiences werent used to seeing hired killers talk about burgers or enter dance contests. Pulp Fiction was not your fathers gangster movie.
QT: If I;m going to do a genre (movie), Im never going to play exactly by the rules- I'm gonna do my own crazy Quentin version of that genre. I'm making the movies Ive always wanted to see, but never have seen for one reason or another.
PTM: But would the movies he wanted to see appeal to anyone else? Pulp Fiction was the test, a chance for this former video store clerk to make it in Hollywood.
UMA: His whole life he didnt have anything - his whole life he was scrapping, selling scripts for nothing and getting in the door.
PTM: He tried breaking in any way he could: writing, directing, acting. When he scraped together the money for his first film he did all three. Reservoir Dogs was a heist movie that knocked THAT genre on its ear. It was the talk of the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. It had audiences laughing one moment and in shock the next.
QT: I dont think people goto the movies (I dont anyway) to have images glaze over them alright? I wanna have an experience. I wanna laugh, I wanna cry, I wanna be jerked around, I wanna be surprised, shocked, outraged. Ya know? Excited, turned on, and I think thats why people goto the movies. And I love jerking you around.
UMA: Finally, when I read the script (Pulp Fiction) and I got to the (Adrenaline needle scene), I threw the script across the room. I eventually got up and picked it up but I was like: This guy is CRAZY!
Sam: When I read it (Pulp) I was like: DAMN! This movie- I couldnt believe it. This movie struck me like: WHOA!
PTM: Audiences had the same reaction to this unique vision - it cost 8 million to bring to the screen and took in some 100 million. But more important to then 31 year old Tarantino - was the fact that this movie was up for the award that filmmakers consider the most prestigous in the world: The Palme D'Or is the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
QT: When I won the Palme D'Or the biggest dream that I couldve had happen, happened.
Travolta: I felt relief because I felt I had given back possibly what QT had given me. An opportunity to have a new career.
Sam: Quentin couldve done whatever he wanted at that point his options were limitless.
QT to PTM (walking on street): You read the (Kill Bill) script right? It was like what? 290 pages? (Laughs)
PTM (on street): Good reading!
QT (on street): Yeah! Good reading! alright? ya know? (laughs)
PTM: Its now less than a month until the release of Tarantino's latest film - It began as a little revenge story he and Uma Thurman mapped out on the set of Pulp Fiction then it grew and grew...and grew. It got SO big the decision was made to release Kill Bill as 2 movies: Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2. If you dont think Kill Bill is the souce of huge anticipation in Hollywood - you dont know much about movies or the town in which theyre made.
Daryl Hannah: I know theres alot of people waiting with baited breath for it.
Sam: Its an ass kicking movie, its got good looking women with swords ya know? (Sam throws up his hands)
PTM: Magazines are building the buzz. One magazine calls Kill Bill "The only movie you need to see this year". Another calls it "QUentin Taranmtinos Kung Fu Comeback". Which raises the question" Where had he been? Three years after the hyper success of Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's anxiously awaited follow up was as usual- unusual. Jackie Brown, a film Tarantino calls a small character study was conceieved as a role for then 47 year old Pam Grier. Jackie Brown got great reviews and good box office returns, but somehow it became shadowed in the false perception of failure.
Sam: The problem was - Quentin didnt make Pulp Fiction 2, he made Jackie Brown. Jackie Brown was a GREAT movie. Its just not a movie for the 18-25 year old crowd. Its a movie for older people because its about patience.
PTM: Tarantino left the limelight, some friends say we was depressed at Jackie Browns reception he says he was merely writing and recharging by watching movie after movie after movie.
QT: My whole thing is about movies that really mean something to me: His Girl Friday, Rio Bravo, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, which is a cinematic orgasm, Carrie...
PTM: Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein?
QT: Oh I LOVE Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. But, theres also Five Fingers of Death and Master of the Flying Guillotine which is one of the greatest kung fu movies of all time. Thats the whole thing - I'm made up of alot of different influences.
PTM: All that Hollywood input, everything Tarantino knows and loves about making movies wound up in one place and 2 volumes: Kill Bill.
PTM: When you read the script, you see theres comedy, theres subtle comedy, theres overt comedy, but all the way through this lady's kickin butt. Shes on a revenge tour.
QT: (laughs) a Revenge tour.
PTM: This seems like it could be one of the most violent movies of all time. Intentional?
QT: Oh yeah, no, its definitely - shes definitely kicking ass and takin names thats for sure.
PTM: Taking limbs!
QT: (laughs) Taken limbs! taking arms! Taking Arms and Legs! (laughs)
PTM: The overt violence is necessary to fuel what for you?
QT: Well, You call it violence, I call it action alright? Um, when its done great, its almost like its a movie working completely as a movie. Its not a play, Its not a recording album, its not literature, its not a painting alright? Its a MOVIE.
PTM: In the story: a samurai saavy bride out for revenge against the folks who killed the groom, Tarantinos taking on a fistful of genres.
Lucy Liu: Its a mix of everything that he loves, so the movie pays homage to Westerns, samurai movies, chinese kung fu movies, thats kind of great to be a part of ya know?
PTM: Central to the story is an outfit called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. A good looking gang in service to a man named: Bill. Sound a little like Charlies Angels?
Lucy Liu: Its completely different (laughs).
QT (on street): Well, ya know its MY version of a Charlies Angels movie alright? You see the 12 year old making the Charlies Angels episode he always wanted to see, but never saw.
Daryl Hannah: Hes like a big child, hes got this ridiculous amount of energy.
QT (walking on the street): Oh and I'm having such a good time directing!
Uma: Hes like Movie Man, hes completely in love with it!
PTM: What happens when this movie comes out? Is it good for Quentin?
Uma: Oh, its good for Quentin! Its good for Quentin because no matter what happens hes growing as an artist, and hes back at work and hes full of passion, and hes off his house on the hill and hes out of his screening room, and his own film is on the screen again.
QT: I still love Hollywood. I just like driving around town and being surrounded by movie stuff -Theres this lab over here (film processing lab) and theres Glen Glen Soundover there as your passing by, looking for whatever your looking for, a liquor store or whatever. Theres Hollywood Book and Poster, Musso and Franks..
PTM: When you drive by Manns Chinese Theater - do you wish someday...
QT: Oh yeah yeah for my footprints to be in the walk of fame, you better believe it! Thats one of my next big dreams to have my footprints in the ground at Manns.
PTM: So will this dream come true along Hollywood Boulevard? You'll have to wait for Quentin Tarantino's Volume 2.
Transcribed from TV by Pete R -2003