Tel Aviv resident Quentin Tarantino has become a real Israeli — like nearly a third of the population, on Sunday he announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus and would not attend a screening of Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn, a film in which he starred with George Clooney, at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque that was scheduled for the evening of February 27.
Tarantino, the acclaimed writer/director of Pulp Fiction and many other movies, has been married to Israeli singer/model Daniella Pick since 2018 and has spent most of the pandemic in Tel Aviv, where their son, Leo, was born two years ago. The couple recently announced that Pick is pregnant with their second child.
Tarantino returned briefly to the US in June 2021 to promote his first novel, a novelization of his last film, Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood, the story of an actor and a stuntman who cross paths with the Manson family in the summer of 1969. He told Jimmy Kimmel on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, “Well look, I would rather not have been out of my own country against my will for a year. However, if I’m going to be in another country, the country that handled COVID the best is probably the best country to be in.”
Tarantino has been appearing at various cinematheques around the country since he moved here, taking part in an ongoing series about his movies at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and presenting films from his personal collection that were produced by the Cannon Group at the Jerusalem Film Festival last summer.
On Friday night, he attended a screening of Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and received a warm reception. But on Sunday, those who had purchased tickets for the screening of From Dusk Till Dawn received an email saying Tarantino could not attend because he had tested positive for the virus but that the screening would take place as planned. Audience members were invited to participate in a “Get Well Soon” video that would be sent to the director.
Perhaps being positive for COVID-19 will give him more time to practice his Hebrew, which he told Kimmel he was learning from watching children’s videos with his son. “I’m learning cat is ca-tool," he told Kimmel, stumbling slightly over the pronunciation of the Hebrew word for “cat." "Horse is soos and cow is para,” he informed American late-night audiences.