Quentin Tarantino's latest film "Django Unchained," nominated Thursday for three Oscars, bears the director's trademark: it is rife with violence. In an interview to promote the film, Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Britain's Channel 4 News attempts to ask Tarantino about what link there might be between violence in films and the proliferation of real-life violence -- and Tarantino wasn't having it.
"Why are you so sure that there's no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence?" Guru-Murthy asked Tarantino.
"Don't ask me a question like that -- I'm not biting," Tarantino responded. "I refuse your question."
"Because I refuse your question," Tarantino repeated. "I'm not your slave and you're not my master. You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey."
Ever persistent, Guru-Murthy pressed the issue, until Tarantino decided it was time to put an end to the line of questioning. "I'm here to sell my movie. This is a commercial for my movie, make no mistake. I don't want to talk about the implications of violence ... I've said everything I have to say about it. If anyone cares what I have to say they can Google me ... I haven't changed my opinion one iota ... and I am shutting your butt down!"
And yet Guru-Murthy still pressed on about the relationship between violence in films and in society. And again, Tarantino fought back.
"It's none of your damn business what I think about that!" he exclaimed. Guru-Murthy, again: "Well, it's my job to ask you why you think that because ..." And for the final time, Tarantino said, "And I'm saying no! And I'm shutting you down."
Before things got heated, however, Tarantino was very comfortable parsing out the types of violence he chose to portray in "Django Unchained."
"Why do you like making violent movies?" Guru-Murthy asked.
"It's like asking Judd Apatow 'Why do you like making comedies?' ... I think it's good cinema. I consider it good cinema," Tarantino said. "There's two types of violence (in 'Django'). There's the brutality of the violence in the day, put upon the slaves during the time, that hasn't been dealt with in America to the extent I deal with it. There was two holocausts in America, this is one of them. Then there's a cathartic violence of 'Django' paying back blood for blood."