When Quentin Tarantino, America’s great auteur, put on a press conference to explain a short film festival he was putting on in Iceland, the Grapevine was grateful for the opportunity to cover the man who revitalized film and pumped up pop culture in the 1990s. When Quentin Tarantino, America’s great auteur, broke into an impression of black people in a movie theatre, to the amusement of a crowded all-white press conference, we discovered that the man who saved pop culture may just be a superficial, subliterate geek with a lust for the cliché. Here is the speech that demonstrated our hero was actually a sub-par 1980s stand-up comic.
From the question, put forward by a journalist from XFM:
– Why do you think these martial arts movies [being screened at the festival] have so much influence on popular culture? They influenced your filmmaking, they influenced the Wu Tang Clan, they influenced a whole genre of rap music, why do you think that is?
After two minutes of initial response, explaining how kung fu made it into the predominantly black theatres, he begins:
– When you play your films to a black audience in America, your film is either going to deliver, or it’s not. And you’re going to find out real fucking quick…If they’re rejecting it, you’re going to hear it.
(Arms out in pseudo rap dis.)
Ah man, this shit is bullshit, let’s get the fuck out of here. Yeah yeah yeah, motha’ fucka’, shut up. (Spoken in exaggerated black dialect.)
And there’s people complaining and talking in the theatre. When they’re into it, then they’re into it the same way. Then they’re talking at the screen, but they’re all talking in the direction of the movie.
That motha’ fucka’ gonna get killed.
That bitch, she gonna die.
Bitch, keep talking. That motha’ fucka’s goin’ ta kill you ass. You goin’ ta see.
Ah told you, told you my boy, that boy went up and killed her. (Laughter.)
As a filmmaker it’s great it’s like:
Hey, he killed your boy, don’t forget that, man.
Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the man who made his reputation as a writer with a “Dead Nigger Storage” joke would actually be a man whose humour, and perhaps his art, revolves entirely around taking pleasure in not being the person he’s talking about or portraying. But then, the Icelandic nation should not have been surprised when their honoured visitor turned to easy stereotypes to describe them to the rest of the world.