Quentin Tarantino isn’t afraid to make his films extremely violent — the torture scene from Reservoir Dogs and Vincent’s death in Pulp Fiction immediately come to mind. Still, it turns out that for Quentin Tarantino, there are lines that you just can’t cross for the sake of cinema.
Yes, he may be one of the best directors in Hollywood and responsible for some of the bloodiest and best movies of the last century. Still, Tarantino is emphatic that violence against animals in films is wrong.
“I have a big thing about killing animals in movies. That’s a bridge I can’t cross,” Tarantino explained during a panel at the Cannes Film Festival. “Insects too. Unless I’m paying to see some bizarro 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 fucking around.”
“Some animal, some dog, some llama, some fly, some rat, doesn’t give a fuck about your movie,” he continued. “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.”
Tarantino was also clear that while he “likes violent movies”, it needs to have a purpose beyond shock value. During the same panel where he voiced his disapproval of killing animals, he was clear that he didn’t like violence for the sake of violence.
The extreme levels of violence in his films have made Tarantino a controversial figure in Hollywood. However, he remains firm that movie violence does not encourage real-life violence.
You can watch the full panel below:
“Every ten years, there’s a book which comes along and says there’s violence in the streets, people are starving, anarchy brewing – blame the playmakers. It’s their fault,” he told the Observer in 1994. “To say that I get a big kick out of violence in movies and can enjoy violence in movies but find it totally abhorrent in real life.”
“I can feel totally justified and totally comfortable with that statement. I do not think that one is a contradiction of the other,” he continued. “Real-life violence is real-life violence. Movies are movies. I can watch a movie about the Hindenberg disaster and get into it as a movie, but I still feel it’s a horrible real-life tragedy. It’s not the same thing at all.”
If you’re a big fan of the man behind Pulp Fiction, then check out our list of the best Quentin Tarantino movies, or maybe you’ll want to check out our list of the best thriller movies. Not only that, we have an article explaining everything you need to know about The Film Critic release date.