Quentin Tarantino Comments On Current Streaming Model For Movies: “What Even Is A Motion Picture Anymore? Is It Something That They Show On Apple?”
Director Quentin Tarantino recently made some pointed comments about the current streaming model as it pertains to movies and how the medium's influence has waned.
Director Quentin Tarantino recently made some pointed comments about the current streaming model as it pertains to movies and how the medium’s influence has waned.
Speaking with Baz Bambigboye for Deadline, Tarantino revealed his upcoming film The Movie Critic will be the last film in his filmography.
Not only did he reveal it would be his last film, but he explained why telling Bambigboye, “It’s just time. It’s just time to go out. I like the idea of going out on top. I like the idea of giving it my all for 30 years and then saying, ‘OK, that’s enough.’”
“And I don’t like working to diminishing returns. And I mean, now is a good time because I mean, what even is a motion picture anyway anymore? Is it just something that they show on Apple? That would be diminishing returns,” the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood director elaborated.
He then turned his attention to how he views the medium of film at large and why he plans to produce The Movie Critic with Sony, “Well, I’ve always thought that. And they eventually get to television. I saw a lot of them that way. I’m probably going to be doing the movie with Sony because they’re the last game in town that is just absolutely, utterly, committed to the theatrical experience.”
“It’s not about feeding their streaming network. They are committed to theatrical experience. They judge success by asses on seats. And they judge success by the movies entering the zeitgeist, not just making a big expensive movie and then putting it on your streaming platform. No one even knows it’s there,” he declares.
He went on to further explain his point about film’s no longer affecting the zeitgeist, “I mean, and I’m not picking on anybody, but apparently for Netflix, Ryan Reynolds has made $50 million on this movie and $50 million on that movie and $50 million on the next movie for them. I don’t know what any of those movies are. I’ve never seen them. Have you?”
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“I haven’t ever talked to Ryan Reynolds’ agent, but his agent is like, ‘Well, it cost $50 million.’ Well, good for him that he’s making so much money. But those movies don’t exist in the zeitgeist. It’s almost like they don’t even exist,” Tarantino posits.
While it might seem he’s being extremely cynical towards the new streaming model, Tarantino counters, “Well, I don’t think I’m that negative about it. I think it had been going that way and the pandemic hurried everything along.”
Interestingly, he admits that once he’s done with his filmography, he will more than likely be heading into streaming and “feeding that beast” as Bambigboye puts it.
However, he has his own critique of much of the current television streaming shows, “But I’ve got no ax to grind against television, per se, all right? I’ve got no axe to grind against television, but everyone watches all these shows, and they’re all just soap operas. It can be very entertaining while you’re watching it, but at the end of the day, it’s all a soap opera.”
“You learn about a bunch of characters, kind of know all their backstories, and then you watch them fight or hook up or this or that and the other. And it’s just a soap opera,” he reiterates.
He then admits, “It’s very engaging while you’re watching it. But when it’s over with, three weeks after I watch the last episode, I usually don’t have the same feelings that I have after I watch a good movie.”
“Yet, when I’m watching it, it’s compelling,” he repeats.
Rumors about Tarantino’s The Movie Critic film indicate it will be set in 1970s Los Angeles and will feature a female lead.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit also speculates the “story focuses on Pauline Kael, one of the most influential movie critics of all time. Kael, who died in 2001, was not just a critic but also an essayist and novelist. She was known for her pugnacious fights with editors as well as filmmakers.”
Kit adds, “In the late 1970s, Kael had a very brief tenure working as a consultant for Paramount, a position she accepted at the behest of actor Warren Beatty. The timing of that Paramount job seems to coincide with the setting of the script — and the filmmaker is known to have a deep respect for Kael, making the odds of her being the subject of the film more likely.”
What do you make of Tarantino’s comments about the current streaming model and how the medium of film may no longer hold sway over the zeitgeist as it once did?