Quentin Tarantino clashed with Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy during a fractious interview ahead of the London premiere of his new film, Django Unchained.
The Oscar-winning film-maker repeatedly refused to offer an opinion on the link between screen violence and true-life violence and at one point told Guru-Murthy: "I'm shutting your butt down."
Last month's school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, have focused attention on current US gun control laws and reignited the debate about the depiction of violence in mainstream American cinema. Earlier this week, vice president Joe Biden summoned film lobbyists to discuss the issue at the White House.
Django Unchained charts the fortunes of a black slave turned bounty hunter in the American deep south. The film's supporting characters find themselves variously shot in the face, bludgeoned with a hammer, and torn apart by dogs. Django Unchained's US premiere was promptly cancelled in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
Interviewed by Channel 4 News on Thursday night, Tarantino admitted that he relished making violent films but insisted: "It's a movie, it's a fantasy. It's not real life." When asked how he could be sure that there was no link between enjoying screen violence and enjoying real violence, however, the director refused to respond. "I'm not answering your question," he said. "I'm not your slave and you're not my master ... It's none of your damn business what I think about that."
Tarantino insisted that he had discussed the issue on numerous occasions, stretching all the way back to his 1992 debut Reservoir Dogs. "The reason I don't want to talk about it is because I've already talked about it ... I'm already on the record," he said. "I have explained this many times in the last 20 years."
In an interview with the US radio network NPR last week, the director claimed there was no link between movie violence and real violence and that the issue was a distraction from the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. "I think it's disrespectful to the memory of the people who died to talk about movies," he said. "Obviously the issue is gun control and mental health."
Following the Channel 4 interview, Guru-Murthy tweeted that Tarantino had "slightly lost it", while his colleague Jon Snow described the director as "very shirty". Django Unchained opens in the UK on 18 January.
Watch the interview in the video below: