Why Quentin Tarantino Doesn’t Like Netflix

Tarantino Netflix

Quentin Tarantino is clearly a cinephile, but don’t you dare ask him to stream movies. The Hateful Eight filmmaker has revealed his dislike for streaming services like Netflix in the past, and a newly unearthed interview provides even more insight into the Tarantino Netflix disdain. When will the Tarantino Netflix wars end?

Anyone who follows Quentin Tarantino is likely aware that he is not a fan of Netflix. In the past, the acclaimed director has gone so far as to say that he’d rather watch archaic VHS tapes than sample films via a streaming service. “I am not excited about streaming at all,” he said. “I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can’t watch a movie on a laptop. I don’t use Netflix at all. I don’t have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs. I have a bunch of DVDs and a bunch of videos, and I still tape movies off of television on video so I can keep my collection going.”

Now, a newly unearthed interview with Tarantino (via The Playlist) provides even more insight into the filmmaker’s anti-Netflix philosophy:

“I’m not on Netflix so I can’t even tell you exactly how that works. Even if you just have all the movie channels in your [cable] package, and that’s something I do have, you hit the guide, and you go down the list and you…watch something or you tape something and maybe you never get around to watching it or you actually do watch it, and then maybe you watch it for ten minutes or twenty minutes, and maybe you start doing something else, and [you decide], ‘Nah, I’m not really into this. That’s kind of where we’ve fallen into.”

One can’t help but think that some of Tarantino’s dislike for Netflix stems from a willful ignorance. After all, he freely admits here he’s not even on the platform, so he’s not 100% sure how it even works. Personally speaking, I think of Netflix as the 21st-century equivalent of the video store. Sure, the selection isn’t as great, but the principle is essentially the same: you browse titles until something strikes your fancy. But Tarantino isn’t having any of that. The director has an answer against the “21st-century video store” analogy as well:

“[T]here was a different quality to the video store. You looked around, you picked up boxes, you read the back of the boxes. You made a choice, and maybe you talked to the guy behind the counter, and maybe he pointed you toward something. And he didn’t just put something in your hand, he gave you a little bit of a sales pitch on it to some degree or another. And so the point being is, you were kind of invested, in a way that you’re not invested with electronic technology when it comes to the movies. Now, of course, we all rented three movies and didn’t get around to watching the third one, but there was more of a commitment to what you ended up getting.”

Tarantino goes on to say what’s really been lost is “commitment”, saying that when you partook in the products within a video store, “you rented it, so you actually wanted to try and watch it some degree or another. And that’s what’s really lost — in a weird way, what’s lost is commitment.”

On some level, I can see where Tarantino is coming from. I, too, miss the nostalgic factor of going to a video store (note: I’m old); the thrill of browsing through the shelves and finding something tangible. But I’m also a realist, and I know those days are over. The best solution would be for Netflix to purchase better classic titles instead of just focusing primarily on original content, which seems to be their main goal. But that doesn’t seem like it’s a possibility. Which is where a great streaming service like FilmStruck comes in – they have obscure classic films that Netflix would never touch. I guess what I’m saying is, I wish Tarantino would give streaming a chance. But I doubt that’ll happen any time soon.

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