Interview Analysis – “Django Unchained”

Analysis of Krishnan Guru-Murthy interview with Film Director Quentin Tarantino – “Django Unchained” I will be analysing the Channel 4 interview between famous film director Quentin Tarantino, and British television presenter & journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, discussing the release of Mr. Tarantino’s highly controversial, new blockbuster movie – “Django Unchained”. From the beginning it is apparent this interview was conducted very traditionally, both the interviewer and interviewee where dressed appropriately, within a formal environment creating a professional atmosphere. Interviewing is an interactional communication process between two parties, at least one of whom has a predetermined and serious purpose that involves the asking and answering of questions” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 12). Mr. Guru-Murthy first attempts to establish a rapport, by congratulating Tarantino, on the making of this movie. Observing the opening techniques both “verbal and nonverbal signals that establish rapport and orient the interviewees” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 406) Mr.

Guru-Murthy is very aware of the importance body language, gestures, eye-contact and facial expression encompass when conducting a interview, ensuring to always makes eye-contact with Tarantino whenever questioning. Throughout the interview, Mr. Guru-Murthy noticeable journalistic background is demonstrated by his choice of question sequences “the strategic interconnection of questions” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 408). Firstly, asking “why would you want to make a movie, with slavery as a theme? to which Tarantino pauses to think about his response. Following, that question with “so you can’t be surprised by the controversy that’s accompanied the release of the movie? ” Indicating, directives approach “interviewer controls subject matter, length of answers, climate and formality” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 401) to this interview. The usage of this directive approach may be in the interest of time, or simply due to the amount of information Mr. Guru-Murthy is trying to gather on each topic introduced.

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However, midway through the eight-minute interview, the climate shifts becoming very defensive “a climate that appears threatening to one or both parties in an interview” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 401) when Tarantino is asked, “weather movie violence can lead to real life violence? ” The interview takes a nondirective approach “an interview in which the interviewee controls subject matter, length of answers, climate and formality” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 406). Tarantino responds very assertively “don’t ask me a question like that, I’m not biting. A term used to imply “Not taking the bait”, from fishing, meaning someone offered you a conversational opening (or an invitation to an argument) and you didn’t follow up” (Cello, 2011). Mr. Guru-Murthy tried to regain control of the interview by then asking Tarantino why he refused to answer the question regarding violence, to which Tarantino replied with what he thinks of his relationship with the media. Finishing, with the statement “I’m not your slave and you’re not my master… you can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey. I believed was a very interesting choice of words, especially with regards to the overall theme of the movie and main topic of this interview, an example of how truly displeased Tarantino was with that choice of question. Mr. Guru-Murthy, journalistic professionalism was again noticeable when he directed the interview away from the subject of Tarantino’s history of directing overtly violent film cinematography. By posing a closed question, “narrow in focus and restricts the respondent’s freedom to determine the amount and kind of information to offer” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 400) “are you getting better as you get older or worse? This question was taken from a previous interview Tarantino had with the iconic adult magazine, Playboy. To which, Tarantino chuckled and replied “I think I’m still in the sweet spot, that’s for everyone to decide… am I? ” Interestingly, this exposed a more vulnerable side to Tarantino, because by phrasing his answer as another question he exposed himself to criticism regarding whether or not Mr. Guru-Murthy believed he was getting worse due to his age. Responding, “I enjoy your movies, you probably wouldn’t believe that” implying regardless or not of their violent and controversial themes he is still a fan of Tarantino’s movies.

Adding, to the rapport between both the interviewer and interviewee, letting Tarantino summarise his thoughts with a metaphor “filmmakers are like boxers, they have their time… it’s all about knowing when to hang up the gloves” or in Tarantino’s case “the megaphone. ” Closing, “the portion of an interview that brings it to an end” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 400) simply by saying “Quentin Tarantino, thank you very much. ” As an interviewer, I feel Krishna Guru-Murthy was very professional throughout the duration of the interview, even at parts where he might have felt Tarantino was being dismissive, even confrontational.

He avoided some of the common question pitfalls “a slight alteration of questions, often unintentional, that change them from open to closed, primary to secondary, and natural to leading” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 407). Criticisms, being his choice of probing questions “the attempt to discover additional information and understanding” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 407) could have been less opinionated and antagonizing, I believe he was seeking an emotional reaction, appose to an informational response.

As an interviewee, I feel Quentin Tarantino was very dismissive regarding questions he did not feel comfortable answering, a problem he should have been more accustom to addressing, especially due to his controversial choice in filmmaking. Conveying, a clear attitude “relatively enduring combinations of beliefs that predisposed people to respond in particular ways to issues” (Stewart and Cash, Jr. 2011, p. 399). Preventing, Mr. Guru-Murthy from asking all the questions he had prepared and making a portion of the interview seem unprofessional, even childish.

In conclusion, after analysing this interview I learnt that regardless how prepared one party might be beforehand, an interview is a communication process between two parties therefore, it is fluid, and subject to change depending on the questions presented and the interviewee’s interpretation of the questions asked. Establishing, a positive rapport is vital to conducting a good interview, due to fact the more comfortable the parties feel the more information they would be willing to provide, making the communication aspect organic.

REFFERENCES Stewart, C. J. , & Cash, W. B. Jr. (2011). Interviewing: Principles and Practices, (13th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Guru-Murthy, K. (2013, January 11th) The Guardian. Film: Django Unchained Quentin Tarantino: ‘I’m shutting your butt down! ‘ Retrieved From: http://www. youtube. com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=GrsJDy8VjZk Monica Cello (2013) English Language & Usage, Inc Retrieved From: http://english. stackexchange. com/questions/31045/what-does-not-biting-mean

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