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Good, Bad, He's the Guy with the Camera

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 17, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 17, 2010 |

I cannot decide if this is a great idea or a horrible one, but I am relatively certain that it is absolutely nowhere in between the two extremes.

The New York Daily News had a few words with Quentin Tarantino at a luncheon celebrating Oscar nominees, starting off with the speculation that he and Brad Pitt were high during the filming of Inglourious Basterds, a speculation that he adamantly insisted was untrue.

First, an Oscar luncheon? The very word conjures images of a tedious sales convention at the airport Hilton, sandwich bar and burnt coffee all around, everybody checking their Blackberries constantly in hopes of an excuse to miss the next interminable powerpoint. Second, you snag a few words with Quentin Fucking Tarantino and the question you lead with is “dude, were you high when you made your last movie?” Journalism isn’t just dying, its three week old zombiefied corpse is shuffling around Hollywood luncheons, probably starving to further death on the total lack of brains in the room.

In any case, Tarantino told the spunky young reporter: “I’d like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let’s shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it A Southern.

I can’t even tell if he’s serious, especially with that punchline of a title. It’s the sort of film that would either be a brilliantly insightful look into the way we construct race or it would actually start a race war. It really could go either way.

Look, everybody knows Nazis are bad. It’s okay to make fun of them. It’s okay to kill them in brutal and ingenious ways. That’s why Inglourious Basterds worked as an elaborate historical revenge fantasy. But a Hollywood filmmaker making a revenge fantasy of killing evil slave owners … yeah I can’t see how that could possibly spin out of control.

(source: New York Daily News)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.