Director Quentin Tarantino often shoots his mouth off like a character in one of his hyper-violent films.
The man behind "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" is working the publicity circuit on behalf of "Django Unchained," his popular mashup of spaghetti westerns and blaxploitation films.
Last week, he popped off on iconic director John Ford, the man behind classic fare like "The Searchers," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
One of my American Western heroes is not John Ford, obviously. To say the least, I hate him. Forget about faceless Indians he killed like zombies. It really is people like that that kept alive this idea of Anglo-Saxon humanity compared to everybody else's humanity — and the idea that that's hogwash is a very new idea in relative terms. And you can see it in the cinema in the '30s and '40s — it's still there. And even in the '50s.
Bob Birchard, editor of the AFI (American Film Institute) Catalog, says Tarantino's harangue is likely more about generating publicity than anything else.
"Ford was certainly fond of Native Americans, and they were fond of him," Birchard tells Breitbart News. "He brought work to them in Southern Utah, and they gave him an Indian name."
Ford's films don't reflect a uniform distaste for Native Americans but rather his interest in telling a variety of tales, Birchard argues.
"The Indians in his film ranged from being anonymous terrorists in 'Stagechoach' to being sympathetic characters in 'Cheyenne Autumn,'" he says. "It had more to do with the story he was telling than any prejudice at the time."
Ford's films more likely reflected attitudes of the era rather than merely the director's own values, he adds.