Peter Suderman on Quentin Tarantino's Analog Cinema Throwback, The Hateful Eight


The Weinstein Company

I wrote about how Quentin Tarantino brought back a decades-old 70mm film format for a special "roadshow" version of his latest film, The Hateful Eight, for Vov this week.

Here's how it starts:

Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to revive an archaic, epic film format and use it to create one of the most intimate, theatrical movie experiences in years.

The Hateful Eight, his latest work, is a talky, stagey production, featuring a small cast and just a few cramped locations. The movie, a brutal neo-Western about bounty hunters and gunslingers in the aftermath of the Civil War, is set in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. But much of the dialogue takes place inside a cramped stagecoach, and the second half of the film is confined almost entirely within a single-room set that in both size and layout feels more like a theater stage than a traditional movie set.

Yes, there have been reports of problems with the aging projection technology, but in some ways that's part of the package. The roadshow version of the film is basically Tarantino's argument for the analog cinema experience—a love letter to cinema as a physical medium, flaws and all. 

Read the whole piece here


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  1. It’s ignorant to try to trick people into going to Vox by calling it Vov.

    1. No, it’s an error to do so, sloppy proof reading, whatever you want to call it. It’s faux-ignorant to pretend that it was intentional ignorance.

  2. If you do see Hateful Eight in 70mm, be sure to bring some friend along so you can ambush the film geeks in the bathroom and deliver the wedgies and swirlies they so richly deserve.

  3. Suderman writing for Vox? Why am I not surprised.

    Also Tarantino is far from the first guy to think that Widescreen will enhance a talky indoor movie.

    1. I haven’t seen it, but it seems like exactly the wrong kind of movie to show in 70mm, which is better suited for Dr. Zhivago type epics, not claustrophobic stage productions.

      1. Manhattan was a talky movie without a lot of indoor scenes, as is typical for Woody Allen, though it did include a lot of street scenes as well. And it was famously done in wide-screen Panavision. It was even one of the very first VHS releases in letterbox.

        Wide-screen is well-suited to epics, but it can work with small talky films, too, if it’s done right.

    2. It’s talky and indoor, but there are lots of outdoor shots too. But they’re all covered in snow so it’s mostly white. *shrug*

    3. It’s not entirely indoor. It starts off with an outdoor wagon ride through the snow in epic Western style.
      The widescreen is somewhat a stylistic aspect to remind the audience of old Westerns as well.

  4. Does Samuel L. Jackson even act? I might be mistaken, but I thought his character came from Louisiana, but he sounded exactly like every other character he’s ever played.

    1. What’s in your BAD MOTHER FUCKER wallet?

      1. Big Kahuna Burger coupons

    2. Oh come on! He’s every bit the actor as Idris Elba!

      1. Stringer Bell didn’t have a British accent!

      2. He was awesome in The Matrix.

    3. I am sick of these MOTHER FUCKIN cowboys on this MOTHER FUCKIN stagecoach!

  5. “…Tarantino’s argument for the analog cinema experience?a love letter to cinema as a physical medium, flaws and all.”

    So I can be a bit of a traditionalist on some things (though generally not a purist). And I can certainly appreciate an homage. But this is just nostalgia. Pure and simple. He remembers great experiences as kid watching movies. So do I! But guess what, now going to the movies is even more fun!

    But then again, I don’t go to “the cinema to watch films”. I GO TO THE FUCKING MOVIES! And a movie is better when the visual is clearer and crisper.

  6. I went to see it in Silver Spring in 70 mm for the roadshow. It had an overture and intermission. We also got collector programs. Then a motherfucker comes out and tells us that everyone that shows up the next day would get a strip of film from the production. Everyone was piiiiissssed. Fuck you. We just spent $20 a ticket for this shit and NOW you tell us that only people coming tomorrow will get their little collector’s item? Kinda ruined it.

    It was good, but it was definitely a Tarantino movie. I won’t spoil anything, but I recommend seeing it in the 70 mm format if possible.

  7. Seen it. I would say it is Tarantino’s best since Pulp Fiction. Loved it. Great dialogue, performances and a snapping good yarn. And that’s all a movie needs.

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