Quentin Tarantino traveled to Cannes this week to promote a special screening of the grindhouse classic ‘Rolling Thunder’ and present the Grand Prix at the festival’s awards ceremony. He took the opportunity to reflect on his long history with the Cannes Film Festival, which helped lift him into the stratosphere when he won the Palme d’Or for “Pulp Fiction” in 1994.
Talking with ExpirationTarantino recalled the festival’s concerns about violence in “Reservoir Dogs,” which screened out of competition at Cannes in 1992. He says the festival added an unprecedented content warning to both “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction”—then he stopped using them when European filmmakers like Lars von Trier started to match Tarantino’s shock value.
“They came up with something for our screening that they’ve never done before, they put an orange sticker in the ticket that said, This movie might be too violent to watch,” she said. “And they had never done this before and ended up putting the same sticker ‘Pulp Fiction’ when it played here in 1994. And then at one point with Lars von Trier they stopped putting the sticker.
It remains to be seen if Tarantino’s next film finale, ‘The Movie Critic’, will be violent enough to warrant a warning. The director recently explained that the film will be a fictionalized story about a real-life film critic who read a pornographic magazine when he worked in an adult cinema.
“All the other stuff was too cheesy to read, but then there was this porn rag that had a really cool movie page,” Tarantino said. “He wrote about mainstream films and was the critic of the second series. I think he was a very good critic. He was cynical as hell. His reviews of him were a cross between the early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle might be if he were a film critic. He thinks of Travis’ journal entries.
She continued, “But the rag porn critic was very, very funny. He was very rude, you know. He swore. He used racial slurs. But shit about him was really funny. He was rude as hell. He wrote as if he were 55, but he was only in his mid-30s. He died in the late 1930s. It wasn’t clear for a while, but now I’ve done some more research and I think it was complications from alcoholism.”