Quentin Tarantino – with his eight Oscar nominations and a $320 million box office for “Inglourious Basterds,” – has arrived critically and commercially.
Soon, he will arrive where many think he belongs: New York City.
“I have an apartment here in Greenwich Village,” Tarantino says, fresh from a power lunch at Michael’s with his executive producer, Harvey Weinstein.
“I’ve lived here for a year or two at a time, but I actually haven’t been here for five years, maybe four days at the most,” he says.
“Every time I come here, I’m reminded of how great my New York life is, and I just fall in love with it all over again. . . . There’s an intelligentsia here that’s very refreshing and very invigorating. This is a great place for me to write.
“When all this is over, I’m looking forward to relocating back to my apartment in New York.”
By “this,” Tarantino no doubt means the cameras being turned on him two weeks ago, when the Academy Award nominations were announced.
He has two – for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay – with his anti-Nazi fantasy come true, starring Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz, up for Best Picture and five other Oscars.
“I was on [MSNBC's] ‘Rachel Maddow [Show]‘ the other night and they were talking about filibustering and I thought they were going to ask me about it,” Tarantino says. “I don’t even respect my opinion on politics – why should anybody else?”
What people do respect Tarantino for is his filmmaking. Unlike most Hollywood directors, Tarantino neither sits in a trailer during filming, nor uses a TV monitor.
“I didn’t get into this business to sit in chairtown and watch TV. I want to compose every shot.
“We have these wonderful actors. When they perform, I’m right next to them. I want to inspire them.”
He has. Waltz, who’s up for Best Supporting Actor for “Inglourious,” has called him “the ultimate actors’ director. … He would never yell something critical at you across the set. He comes over and whispers it in your ear.”
A middle-school dropout who became a self-taught film encyclopedia, Tarantino, 46, always shows respect for his cinema ancestors, and now they love him back.
“At the Directors Guild of America breakfast recently, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came over and told me they’d watched ‘Inglourious Basterds’ together,” Tarantino says dreamily.
“I can’t stop running the home movie of them watching it in my head. They had asked me to speak about Roger Corman, and I looked out and saw Jack Nicholson and Ron Howard and John Rich, and I felt acceptance from the group.”
How does that feel?
“It feels wonderful.”
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