We're five months away from the release of Quentin Tarantino's new movie, The Hateful Eight, and he sat down with Vulture to talk about it (among other things). Set in a post-Civil War world, his eighth movie tells the story of two bounty hunters (played by Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson) and their counterparts who try to find shelter in a blizzard on their way to their respective destinations. (Obviously, things gets a little complicated.) In the interview, Tarantino talks about the themes of white supremacy and racial injustice in his movie, and how stoked he is that America seems to be finally paying attention to those issues in real life.
From Vulture (heads up, it's really long):
So what is Hateful Eight saying about the 2010s?
I’m not trying to make Hateful Eight contemporary in any way, shape, or form. I’m just trying to tell my story. It gets to be a little too much when you try to do that, when you try to make a hippie Western or try to make a counterculture Western.
Hateful Eight uses the Civil War as a backdrop, sort of like how The Good, the Bad and the Ugly does.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly doesn’t get into the racial conflicts of the Civil War; it’s just a thing that’s happening. My movie is about the country being torn apart by it, and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later.
That’s going to make this movie feel contemporary. Everybody’s talking about race right now.
I know. I’m very excited by that.
Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about.
How did what’s happening in Baltimore and Ferguson find its way into The Hateful Eight?
It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now.
For me, one of the coolest things about this interview is how Tarantino admits he's not trying to make a hyper-relevant, contemporary, zeitgeist-y film (whether or not you believe him is another story), but how he's still really excited and hopeful about this moment in history anyway. And if his movie resonates with activists who are paying attention to black deaths in America and race, then that's pretty exciting, too.
The Hateful Eight premieres on Christmas Day, 2015.