Don’t get me wrong, Harvey Weinstein is a POS. And this is not to make light of the fact that, according to actress Uma Thurman in an explosive new interview with The New York Times, Weinstein assaulted her.
But if you read the piece, which also details her troubling professional relationship with her Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill collaborator Quentin Tarantino…it’s not looking too good for the director.
As they say…not good optics.
In the piece, Thurman recounts how when she was filming Kill Bill, Tarantino wanted her to drive a stunt car that she felt was unsafe. She made her opinions really clear about the car, but the director overruled her:
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she says. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’” He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.” (Tarantino did not respond to requests for comment.)
What happened next gave her injuries she still deals with to this day:
“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me,” she says. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
For many years afterwards, Thurman fought with both the director and Miramax to see the footage of that crash. She only got it 15 years after it happened, and it’s embedded in the NYT article.
Now let’s fast-forward to the 2007 movie Death Proof, directed by Tarantino.
Death Proof used women being graphically injured by cars as its visual motif.
In particular, go watch the video of Thurman getting hurt in the stunt car, and then view the scene of the movie where Rose McGowan’s character gets brutalized in another stunt car. Go watch those two things, re-read Thurman’s account of her confrontation with Tarantino, and tell me that the Death Proof scene wasn’t a sadistic, childish “wink wink” by the director to the entire situation.
In fact…the entire movie Death Proof now seems to be one huge reference to the conflict with Thurman. I mean, the “star” of Death Proof is the deadly stunt car. Uma Thurman’s stunt double Zoe Bell is an actress in the movie. And the centerpieces of the film all involve women being gorily destroyed by cars.
Then if you add all the things Thurman says in the article about Tarantino’s relationship with Weinstein…and consider that the actress who played the character killed in the stunt car was ROSE McGOWAN—the person who started the ball rolling on publicly accusing Weinstein (and McGowan had a falling out with Weinstein years before)—what am I supposed to think Death Proof is really about?
Jesus Christ. As I’ve said…not good optics for Tarantino.