Dear Quentin Tarantino,
Before you think we're getting too carried away here, let's make it known right away that we don't do this for just anybody; it takes a special kind of affront for us to sit down and hammer out correspondence amid so much more compelling news of the day. (Like have you seen Michael Jackson recently? Holy shit, right?) But like your contemporary Paul Thomas Anderson, who so annoyed us by signing off on a There Will Be Blood DVD skimpy enough to have been a costume in Death Proof, your transgressions seem to require a little more direct attention than those of say, Brett Ratner or Uwe Boll. You're Quentin Tarantino, after all — QT! You
stole made Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction! You are a living legend, an artist among artists, and you deserve everything that's coming to you.
Which is why we think it's time to ask you directly: When will you and Harvey Weinstein stop inflating the world's interest in Inglorious Bastards?
Look, it's not like we don't want to see your riff on World War II actioners — your Dirty Dozen, your death-defying, ensemble mission flick. To the contrary, we'll probably be first in line (on the second or third Friday of its release, but whatever), and we'll probably enjoy it. You've always entertained us, and even as your returns diminish, you're one of the few filmmakers on whom we always bestow the benefit of the doubt.
But that benefit does not extend to your pandering on behalf of Inglorious Bastards. We know what you're thinking, and we don't wholly disagree: There's interest in you, and by extension, interest in the project. This much is obvious. So when you showed up in Provincetown last month to receive your "Filmmaker on the Edge" award — the one distributors pay for at festivals when they need some press, and fast — and pimp out your recently finished script, it made sense. That's the game, and you and Harvey have played it expertly (if not always profitably) for years.
We even tolerated you supposedly tipping Anne Thompson around the same time about the script's length and Harvey's patronage. The rest would follow like it always does: You'd get a blank check; recruit some hip, testosterrific cast of A-listers and has-beens; and we'd see you next year at Cannes. Alas, you elided a key point: Harvey isn't paying for it.
No one is, in fact. It'll probably be made, maybe even by your May 2009 deadline. Meanwhile, in a move pulled unusually early from the dogeared Weinstein Textbook, the press is doing your fundraising for you. We'd give you Provincetown if not for the embarrassing leaks that followed this week, one after another — the kickdowns to Nikki Finke ("Quentin Tarantino is talking to Brad Pitt"!) and now this Inglorious Basterds [sic] script over at Vulture, itself the venerated "basterd" offspring of your insolvent patron's public studio-shopping. Mission accomplished, we suppose, if overexposure is what you had in mind. The anonymous media saturation is supposed to come just before the release, not just before the money runs out.
So while we know it's a slow news month, and while we know you've got a deadline, really, QT — is this what it has come to? Is your loyalty to the Weinsteins worth suffocating your work in the crib or pulling the rug out from under your own persona? We always knew you loved exploitation, but come on. Dump those chumps and reclaim a little pride; you deserve it. And if you determine you don't, fine. Just quit bringing us down with you.
[Photo Credit: AFP]