Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson Discuss Violence and Messing with the Audience

Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson Discuss Violence and Messing with the Audience

Nov 30, 2012

This is a great video. It's not a direct conversation between the two filmmakers (although I believe they're friends), but instead is a video comprised of two scenes -- one from Reservoir Dogs, the other from Boogie Nights -- with commentary from each director on the scene from their movie. Essentially we're talking about on-screen violence here, and the differences between working an audience and letting an audience work you. 

In QT's clip, from the famous ear-cutting scene, he talks about how much he gets off on consistently misdirecting the audience. One scene will be pure comedy, then he'll shock them with extreme violence and make them laugh at the same time. "I love playing with an audience and conducting an audience's response," he says. 

Meanwhile, PTA talks about the first time he watched Boogie Nights with an audience, and how their first reaction to the scene where William H. Macy kills himself completely screwed him up. Comprised entirely of college students, they started laughing and cheering when Macy's character killed his wife and her lover, forcing PTA to freak out a bit. "I sank in my seat and thought what have I done -- I really, really f**ked up," he says. "I've done something wrong in storytelling; I've guided this toward being a funny moment somehow and it's not what I intended. How did I do this? I really started to panic."

Anderson goes on to add that he realized it wasn't him, but the audience, and their reaction to the scene's finale helped him feel more comfortable with its overall effect on people. "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And now we hurt."

Watch the video below, courtesy of Cinephilia & Beyond

Follow along on Twitter @ErikDavis and @Moviesdotcom.


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