“Hateful Eight” is a more classic western, set during the aftermath of the Civil War. Mr. Tarantino updates it with his usual unflinching violence and wry dialogue. Bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is transporting a wanted criminal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by stagecoach for her trial and hanging to the town of Red Rock. En route they pick up a former Union army officer (Samuel L. Jackson) and the supposed new sheriff (Walton Goggins). A blizzard forces them to bunk inside an isolated stopover inn and store, where Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and Demián Bichir already are unsavory guests. The movie has a whodunit aspect that has drawn allusions to Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “And Then There Were None.”
Mr. Tarantino has always admired the visual impact of snow in films like Andre de Toth’s bleak “Day of the Outlaw” (1959). He had his heroes travel to Mississippi by way of Wyoming, just so he could film the snowy Grand Tetons. Here, it’s a full-on blizzard: “The idea that you’d look out the window and there’d always be this fury, matching the slow, simmering boil that’s going on inside,” he says.
Some fans of Mr. Tarantino might prefer that he’d move to a new genre with every film, as he has done in the past. He suggests that “Hateful” didn’t get westerns out of his system: “I don’t think I’m quite done now with westerns.”
Any Quentin Tarantino fan will know that the filmmaker is a very vocal advocate when it comes to shooting on film and curbing the dominant march toward digital formats. And it’s just been announced that his latest film, The Hateful Eight, newly acquired by Roadshow Films in Australia, will premiere for a one week exclusive season in 70MM at selected cinemas around the country.
At the American Film Market earlier in the year, Tarantino talked about screening the film as a 70mm event. “We will remind people why this is something you can’t see on television and how this is an experience you can’t have when you watch movies in your apartment, your man cave or your iPhone or iPad,” Tarantino said. “You’ll see 24 frames per second play out, all these wonderfully painted pictures create the illusion of movement. I’m hoping it’s going to stop the momentum of the digital stuff, and that people will hopefully go, ‘Man, that is going to the movies, and that is worth saving, and we need to see more of that.”
Of the logistics, Tarantino continued: “We’re not doing the usual 70 mm, where you shoot 35 mm and blow it up. We’re shooting 65 mm which, when you turn it into a print, is 70 mm. Panavision is not only behind this movie, they look at it as a legacy. They are inventing a lot of the stuff we need, and this is being supervised by my three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Bob Richardson, who’s back with me after Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained… We are literally coming out with the biggest widescreen movie shot in the last 40 years.”
The film, of course, hit a major hurdle when the script was leaked, and it looked like Tarantino may walk away from the project. However, he subsequently announced that he was working on a second draft of the film.
The Hateful Eight will hit cinemas January 14, 2016