CANNES, France – Quentin Tarantino said on Wednesday that he is obsessed with the story of American cult leader Charles Manson at the premiere of his latest movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at Cannes Film Festival.
The director described the fascination that Manson, whose followers committed nine murders in 1969, inspired as “incomprehensible.”
“How (Manson) was able to attract these young girls and boys to subdue them seems incomprehensible, because the more you learn from him, the more you know him, the darker he becomes,” Tarantino added.
“The impossibility of really understanding him is what causes fascination,” he added at a press conference alongside Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, who all star in the movie.
Tarantino said he carried out a lot of research on Manson, built a story about the memories of his childhood in the late sixties and a tribute to the time of free love and hippie movements that ended suddenly with the brutal murder of Sharon Tate.
The Manson Family looked like one of those hippy communities, as shown in the production.
They lived on a ranch, accompanied tourists on horseback rides and were friendly with people, but there was something “strange” about them, Tarantino said.
“When the Manson murders occurred it was the time of free love, there were new ideas, the cinema was changing, and those events, the tragic loss of Sharon and other people, was something that changed everything and even today we remember it with horror,” actor Brad Pitt said.
He added that it was “a tragic moment that underscored the dark side of human nature.”
Pitt said that in his opinion the film “treats this subject wonderfully well.”
Pitt plays Cliff Booth, the stunt double of Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), a television star who lives next to Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski.
Tate (Robbie) was beginning to emerge as an actress and was eight months pregnant when she was brutally murdered by members of Manson’s sect while Polanski was in London preparing a film.
Tarantino said he is an admirer of Polanski, especially “Seed of the Devil” but that he has never met the French-Polish director.
DiCaprio said he identified with his character because he also grew up in the film industry and knows what it is to fight to get an opportunity.
“I appreciate the position I have now,” the actor added.
It was the first collaboration between him and Pitt, an experience they both described as “very funny.”
DiCaprio described the movie as a “love letter to the industry” and a “declaration of love for the marginalized.”
He added: “I think everyone at this table has felt marginalized at some point.”
Asked if the late sixties are his favorite time as a director, Tarantino replied: “I prefer any time before mobile phones.”