Django Unchained was released on Christmas Day and since then the film has since shocked and delighted audiences with a take on the spaghetti western that only Tarantino could deliver. NPR’s Terry Gross sits down with Quentin for a half hour discussion on memories of his youth, the making of Django, and his inspirations as a filmmaker.
In the interview Tarantino speaks on Westerns as a barometer of American culture.
“One of the things that’s interesting about Westerns in particular is [that] there’s no other genre that reflects the decade that they were made or the morals and the feelings of Americans during that decade [more] than Westerns. Westerns are always a magnifying glass as far as that’s concerned.
“The Westerns of the ’50s definitely have an Eisenhower, birth of suburbia and plentiful times aspect to them. America started little by little catching up with its racist past by the ’50s, at the very, very beginning of [that decade], and that started being reflected in Westerns. Consequently, the late ’60s have a very Vietnam vibe to the Westerns, leading into the ’70s. And by the mid-’70s, you know, most of the Westerns literally could be called ‘Watergate Westerns,’ because it was about disillusionment and tearing down the myths that we have spent so much time building up.”