Quentin Tarantino has been Googling himself, and it's starting to become a problem. The filmmaker, whose eighth feature, Django Unchained, opens on Christmas Day, is famously an analog evangelist: He writes his scripts in longhand; he bans cellphones from his sets, and hasn't had one of his own in years; he's claimed that the day the film industry "evolves" and makes it impossible for him to shoot on celluloid will be the day he retires. He's also sworn that the New Beverly Cinema, the Los Angeles revival house that he rescued from certain death in 2010, will continue to project 35 mm film "as long as I'm alive, and as long as I'm rich."
"But I do have an iPad, and I have a lot of fun with it," Tarantino tells me. It's a rainy afternoon in late November, and the 49-year-old former video store clerk is sequestered in the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, nursing a healthy pour of pinot noir.
But because of that, I found myself Googling Django Unchained, seeing what people are saying, the articles that are out there," he admits. "That's been kind of fun for a while, but now I've got to get out of it. It's hard to not want to do that when you have easy access to that kind of shit. And I've never really had that before, so I'm gonna actually have to get rid of my iPad for a while."
By the time you read this, Django Unchained will have been widely screened for industry members and critics, with some suggesting that Tarantino's latest confection could have used more time in the oven, while others name it one of the best films of the year. But at the time of our interview, almost any "articles that are out there" about Django could only be speculative. Aside from Tarantino's collaborators and confidants, no one has actually seen the movie -- me included. There are few filmmakers I would agree to interview for a cover story without actually having seen their movie first: This year, the list starts and ends with Quentin Tarantino.