Quentin Tarantino

When not working on a new film, directors will generally, well, talk about their other films. The beauty of a retrospective discussion is that filmmakers tend to be less filtered, as they both have that project in their rearview and are not trying to sell it to audiences or critics. Coming off of The Hateful EightQuentin Tarantino recently sat down at the Jerusalem Film Festival this past weekend to discuss his career, including his attempts at genre breaking and namely Inglourious Basterds — as well as the film he was there to screen, Pulp Fiction.

In the candid chat (via Times of Israel and Screen Daily), he reiterated his adamancy of stopping filmmaking after his tenth film, which means he has two left, but that he may return at 75 with “another story to tell.” However, he states, this would be a “geriatric” film, and that it essentially shouldn’t really count as part of his canon. He also defends his own visual vocabulary, stating he “rarely” steals shots from other films — with the notable exception being a shot from Pulp Fiction that he took straight from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, as seen below. “I think that may be the only shot that I’ve taken from another movie exactly,” he says.

Lastly, he also discusses how Basterd’s Hans Landa is possibly the best character he’s ever written, and how hard the casting process was. He needed an authentic German, a linguistic genius, and, most obviously, a damn good actor. He almost shelved the project when he couldn’t find his Landa, giving himself a week to do so before pulling the plug. Then, a little-known Austrian actor (at least here in the U.S.) named Christoph Waltz came in: “It was obvious that he was the guy; he could do everything. He was amazing, he gave us our movie back.” He went on to talk about the qualities an actor needs, and how there is a moment where things can — but don’t always — click and they completely inhabit the character. “I’m looking for that take where an actor just kicks into something — actors describe it as flying. They’re not them anymore. It’s the reason they become actors.”

Do you agree Landa is Tarantino’s best-written character? Do think there’s any other shots the director has cribbed?

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