Quentin Tarantino Draws the Line at Animal Cruelty: “That’s a Bridge I Can’t Cross”

"Unless I’m paying to see some bizzarro documentary, I’m not paying to see real death"

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Quentin Tarantino, photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, via Getty Images

    Quentin Tarantino might fancy himself a bit of a provocateur, but the guy does have some boundaries: Earlier this year, he explained why his films almost never include sex scenes, and more recently at Cannes, he said that on-screen animal cruelty is “a bridge [he] can’t cross.”

    “I have a big thing about killing animals in movies,” the filmmaker said (via Variety). “That’s a bridge I can’t cross… Insects too. Unless I’m paying to see some bizzarro documentary, I’m not paying to see real death. Part of the way that this all works is that it’s all just make believe. That’s why I can stand the violent scenes, cause we’re all just fucking around.”

    He continued: “Some animal, some dog, some llama, some fly, some rat, doesn’t give a fuck about your movie… I’d kill a million rats, but I don’t necessarily want to kill one in a movie or see one killed in a movie, because I’m not paying to see real death. Almost always, it’s not just the violence that I have a problem with. There’s usually an incompetence factor in there.”


    Whether it’s authentic or faked, anti-animal cruelty is a somewhat surprising stance coming from the guy who made some scenes in Kill Bill black-and-white in order to dodge an NC-17 rating. Some movies by more temperate filmmakers, like Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, have included bloody close-up shots of a dead cat or dog — which, depending how you spin it, can easily be a lot more unnerving than a knife fight, robbery at gunpoint, or even a fictionalization of the Manson murders. Maybe Tarantino, too, was traumatized by the tragedy of Bambi as a child.

    Tarantino is currently in the pre-pre-production stages of what he’s said will be his final filmThe Movie Critic. He’s on the hunt for “a new leading man” in the “35-year-old ballpark” to play its protagonist, a film reviewer who writes for porno magazines.

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