Music is very, very important in my movies. In some ways the most important stage, whether it ends up being in the movie or not, is just when I come up with the idea itself before I have actually sat down and started writing. I go into my record room... I have a big vinyl collection and I have a room kind of set up like a used record store and I just dive into my music, whether it be rock music, or lyric music, or my soundtrack collection. What I'm looking for is the spirit of the movie, the beat that the movie will play with.
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You're not going to have the police force representing the black and brown community, if they've spent the last 30 years busting every son and daughter and father and mother for every piddling drug offense that they've ever done, thus creating a mistrust in the community. But at the same time, you should be able to talk about abuses of power, and you should be able to talk about police brutality and what, in some cases, is as far as I'm concerned, outright murder and outright loss of justice without the police organization targeting you in the way that they have done me.
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There's another aspect about the Seventies. Blazing Saddles, as wonderful as it was, sort of hurt the Western. It made such fun of them, that you almost couldn't take them seriously from that point on. That's why only Westerns that had the stink of Watergate or Vietnam could be taken seriously. There were so few Westerns made since then, from the Eighties on, that the few directors who did were so pleased with themselves and so happy to have the opportunity that they got lost in visuals, they got lost in the vistas and the pretty scenery.
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I would've written this story [Django] if [Barack] Obama were president or if he never existed. For one, I think it's time to tell a story that deals with this subject America has avoided for so long. Most countries have been forced to deal with the atrocities of their past that still affect them to this day. But America has been pretty slippery in the way that it has avoided looking slavery in the eye. I believe that's a problem.
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For those regarded as warriors... When engaged in combat, the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.
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I felt no obligation to bow to any 21st Century political correctness. What I did feel an obligation to do was to take the 21stCentury viewers and physically transport them back to the ante bellum South in 1858, in Mississippi, and have them look at America for what it was back then. And I wanted it to be shocking.
Frankly, Django is an American story that needs to be told, when you think of slavery existing in this country for 245 years. In slave narratives there were all types of tales and drama and heroism and pain and love that happened during that time. That's rich material for drama! Everyone complains that there are no new stories left to tell. Not true, there are a whole bunch of them, and they're all American with a capital A.
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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides By the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, Shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger Those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.
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I steal from every single movie ever made. I love it - if my work has anything it's that I'm taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together. If people don't like that, then tough titty, don't go and see it, all right? I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don't do homages.
Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race.
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If you're a film fan, collecting video is sort of like marijuana. Laser discs, they're definitely cocaine. Film prints are heroin, all right? You're shooting smack when you start collecting film prints. So, I kinda got into it in a big way, and I've got a pretty nice collection I'm real proud of.
Sometimes things need to get really bad before they can ever get better. Really bad can become untenable if enough people get sick of it. That was a big thing about why I ended up taking part in that rally [against police brutality] and ended up voicing my opinion and declaring what side I was standing on.
Between men and women, all the time there is tension. I feel it. A woman walks down the street, and I'm going back, and suddenly there is this tension. I just walk down the street, we were just on the way. And she thinks I'm a rapist. And now I feel guilty, even though I'm a damn poor did not.
I shot the way I wanted to shoot [in The Hateful Eight]. The only real disadvantage I felt at the time, but I don't feel now, was that we weren't able to get a zoom lens, and I had really gotten used to using a zoom lens for that little zoom creep. But it was also a nice thing to be forced to not use all the tools that you've gotten used to, from time to time, and to be able to work in a different way.
When I'm writing in my bedroom, in a bar, at my kitchen table or wherever, I'm conjuring it all up on the page. That's all well and good, but it is going to be a limited perspective at that point and time. Occasionally, what I write might read really well initially, but then you change your mind while hunting for locations when you discover settings which offer even better opportunities for drama or dramatic staging.
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You should be able to criticize civil servants for what you think is wrongdoing without being painted as a cop-hater. I don't feel the police are all corrupt, however I do feel they are suffering from institutional racism and there needs to be a top-to-bottom examination of the way they practice and the way they criminalize young black and brown males. The fact that they seem to have backed off from it seems to suggest they realize they overreacted on me and it looks bad.
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If it's too much for people, if audiences don't accept it, well I guess that's just the way it is. I'm not being cavalier when it comes to my financial partners, but I think I've earned the right to do my thing my way. While I really want it to do well and it would be lovely if it's popular, movies are for a long time. I'm really proud of the piece. If it ends up not connecting with audiences, I won't be heartbroken. I'll be a little disappointed, but I won't be heartbroken.
I like a much more Japanese style of blood, where it's red and it almost has a paint kind of quality to it. You can put it on metal, and it has this vividness. Because, normally, what they use in Hollywood is this stuff that looks like strawberry pancake syrup or raspberry pancake syrup.
In polite society, there is such a thing as sensitivity to some issues, as time has gone on. There was a time when we weren't politically correct, at all, and we all wince at moments when we look to the past and see that. I don't really know what the answer is, as far as that is concerned. However, me, as an artist, I don't really think about it, at all. It actually is not my job to think about that, especially in terms of me, as a writer, but also as a filmmaker. I'm not worried about the filmmaking part because, if I'm writing it, that's what I'm going to do.
I remember when it was reported that I was going to do the film in this format, people were actually speculating, and I guess I understand it. They were like, "Yeah, okay, that all sounds really great, but why would he do it for a thing that's so set bound?" That's not very profound thinking when it comes to 65mm. It's not just for shooting travelogues, mountain scenery and nature.
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I don't have any one way to tell a story. I don't have any rule book of how it's supposed to be done. But I've always said that if a story would be more emotionally involving told, beginning, middle, and end, I'll tell it that way. I won't jigsaw it, just to show what a clever boy I am. I don't do anything in my script just to be clever.
I was writing a film criticism book on Sergio Corbucci, the director who did the original Django. So, I was kind of getting immersed in his world. Towards the end of the Inglourious Basterds press tour I was in Japan. Spaghetti Westerns are really popular there, so I picked up a bunch of soundtracks and spent my day off listening to all these scores. And all of a sudden the opening scene [Django] just came to me.
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