As far as I know, there’s only been one time Quentin Tarantino, the legendary filmmaker behind Pulp Fiction, was ever asked about his politics. His answer, out of context: “I guess I’m a liberal. Definitely not a conservative— I’m definitely not a Republican.”
“But Eric— what ‘context’ could possibly change that? He said he’s a Lefty!”
First— he said that back in the mid-90s… back when Bob Dole —obsessed with “proving” his Conservative credentials, when frankly he was an old-time Rockefeller type— saw fit to attack “violent films” pretty… liberally, pardon the pun. His singling out projects that Quentin had worked on understandably would’ve put some animosity between the filmmaker and the GOP brand.
Second— it’s worth noting that Quentin noticeably hesitated before giving that answer. I know— pauses could mean anything. However… a look at the interview’s transcript should put it in proper perspective. Quentin had just gone on a very understandable rant on how unions have way too much power— and how nowadays, they’re more harm than good. He noted that if Reservoir Dogs (his first film) had been forced to unionize… it wouldn’t have gotten made. The interviewer— seemingly smelling blood— promptly asked, “How would you describe your politics, Quentin?”
Third— following the “guess-I’m-a-liberal” quote, Tarantino followed up with this interesting line: “Most people, when they’re on one side or the other, don’t paint with a small brush. They paint with a (bleep-ing) roller and wipe everybody into pansy liberals or fascist dictators.”
What are we to make of this? Well… basically, Quentin actually considers himself center-Left, at worst— and he’s center-Right, at best. What we know of his politics is pretty nuanced: one moment, he vaguely invokes gun control— the next, he speaks in favor of defending your property with a gun. (Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground, anyone?) And as I said, he’s not too keen on unions— though they’re a central power player in the American Left.
But I’ve had a theory, for a while— and it applies to Quentin as well as Christopher Nolan, master behind the incomparable Dark Knight trilogy. You may remember my review of The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan himself noted he didn’t have any political agenda, making that film. And yet— frankly, the film has one of the most dramatic condemnations of the far Left we’ve ever seen in a Hollywood film. (I’ve heard tell that Christian Bale, aka Batman, was himself fascinated by the parallels with the Occupiers….)
Anyway— whether Nolan flat-out votes Conservative or not, I think that at the very least, like David Mamet (prior to the playwright/screenwriter’s “coming out”), his Conservatism is subconscious, yet active, showing itself in his work.
So… does this apply to Quentin? Well… put aside Andrew Klavan’s frankly unfair criticism of Tarantino’s WWII action flick, Inglourious (I-won’t-say-the-end-of-the-title-on-this-typically-family-friendly-site)… and let’s look at it for what it is. Here, we have Brad Pitt and Eli Roth, with the assistance of a baseball bat, put some Nazis through an enhanced interrogation that would make the Left-spun horror stories about Guantanamo Bay look like Ensure diets and water poured on the face. (Oh, wait…) The film’s theme? In time of war, you’ve got to get your hands dirty, and do whatever is necessary to win, and break the bad guys down. Sounds pretty “neo-con” to me. (Rachel Maddow, in her MSNBC-fantasy-world, seems to think the film’s an analogy for how Al-Qaeda terrorists are really “freedom-fighters”… or something. Quentin humored her, but noted that had not been his intent.)
Now… for Django Unchained. The great Ronald Rowe gives a general review, here, of this excellent, fun, thrilling film. For my part… is it a good film for Conservatives? Consider:
The “white folks” Django kills are either criminals, or slavers. Back in Civil War days… what party supported the slaves?
Oh… and the most contemptible character he fights is a “house slave,” who helps some of these white Democrats (led by Leonardo DeCaprio) run a certain plantation. It doesn’t exactly hurt my case that said villain, played by Samuel L. Jackson… bears a slight resemblance, in both appearance and paranoia, to a certain far-Left “civil rights” activist now working at MSNBC.
I know— that might be reading too much into it. Still, I’d imagine there’s a reason Breitbart’s boys (and Senator Marco Rubio) have long been admirers of Tarantino… as I am.
Stay film-friendly, my friends.