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Excerpts from
10/14/94 Charlie Rose interview
of Quentin Tarantino

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QUENTIN TARANTINO: Well, no, to me, actually- I actually think one of my strongest, my- one of my strengths is my storytelling-
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: More be- more the fact that I just like, you know, I like it when somebody tells me a story, and I actually really feel that that's becoming like a lost art in American cinema.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: You know, Europe was where you had character-based films, or mood-based films, but in America, we told a story. We're the worst at it now as far as I'm concerned. All right.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: Now, that's not a story. A story is something that constantly unfolds. And I'm not talking about like this quick left turn or a quick right turn or a big surprise. I'm talking about it unfolds, all right.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, but you don't believe in a linear-
QUENTIN TARANTINO: No.
CHARLIE ROSE: -storytelling.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: I'm- well, it's- No, it's just- it's not the fact that I'm like on this big crusade against linear storytelling, all right, but it's, the thing is it's not the only game in town.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: You would, you would never bring it up, all right, because it's like, it- a novel can do that, no problem. Novelists have always had just a complete freedom to pretty much tell their story any way they saw fit, all right. And that's kind of what I'm- you know, that's kind of what I'm trying to do. Now, the thing is for both novels and film 75 percent of the stories you're going to tell will work better on a dramatic basis, on a dramatically engaging basis to be told from a linear way. But there is that 25 percent out there that, you know, can be more resonant by telling it this way. And I think in the case of both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction it's- gains a lot more resonance being told in this kind of like wild way.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: You have to watch it. I, I ask for you to watch it. You can't like put this on video and like do The New York Times crossword puzzle and watch the movie.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, that's right.
QUENTIN TARANTINO: All right. All I ask is you put everything down-
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah.
QUENTIN TARANTINO: -and watch it.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: I, I think I do it good. All right, but the thing is, though, I've never really considered myself a writer
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CHARLIE ROSE: Wait. It needs to be on the stage because it is what's happening inside of you?
QUENTIN TARANTINO: Exactly. True.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: A writer, a writer- you know, you should have this little voice inside of you saying, 'Tell the truth.'
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: Well, you know what it ended up doing, which was very interesting, was the fact that- people ask me from time to time, 'Do you make a movie with an audience in mind?'
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah.
QUENTIN TARANTINO: And my answer is, 'Yes, I do.' All right, but the audience I have in mind isn't some faceless blobs that I'm trying to second-guess.
CHARLIE ROSE: Right, right, right.
QUENTIN TARANTINO: It's me!
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: You know, anything can be- you can make a joke out of anything. You name me any horrific thing, and I can make a joke out of it, all right, because you know, and a joke is a joke.
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: Violence was like another character in the room. It hung over the proceedings. You kept waiting for every conversation to break out into it. So even if it was funny, the audience might have laughed, but when they get out of the theater, they don't remember laughing.


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