While every Quentin Tarantino film to date has been something of a love letter to cinema and filmmaking--with his familiar music cues, twist on storytelling tropes, and homages galore--the filmmaker really seems to have outdone himself with his latest film, "Hateful Eight."
Tarantino has been one of the few big filmmakers out there lamenting the inevitable death of the film medium--not just the use of film in shooting the project, but in presentation as well. Rather than experience, the crisp, clean digital prints available at most theaters nowadays, he'd rather indulge in the flickering film projector, clarity be damned.
"To me [watching on a digital projection is] just HBO in public. We're just watching television in public," Tarantino has said on multiple occasions. To clarify, what he means is that if the projectionist in the theater just has to click a button to throw up the projector, that's little different than Little Timmy throwing up an image on his computer or TV screen. While TV definitely has its pluses, Tarantino seems to be all about the ritual of going to the theater and getting lost in a fantasyland.
The filmmaker has made his love for film perfectly clear over the years, and it all seems to be culminating in "Hateful Eight," a film that was shot on 65mm with Ultra Panavision lenses, and will be projected onto a limited number of screens in 70mm (by the way, there have only been ten other films to be shot in Ultra Panavision). This is something that he's been pushing in every one of the trailers so far, and the result is ultra widescreen. So unlike IMAX, which shows movies at a much taller dimension, Ultra Panavision will have you turning your head from side to side to see something on one end of the screen, and one thing on the other. The result, Tarantino hopes, is a more immersive cinematic experience.
Film snobs will undoubtedly be delighted.
"By shooting it in 65mm, I'm guaranteeing to some degree or another, that there will be 70mm film prints out there in the world screening for people who care. You know, 24 frames a second flickering through a projector, creating the illusion of movement."
What's more, Tarantino is putting "Hateful Eight" on a roadshow. Now, what's a roadshow? Tarantino likely assumed audiences would be questioning, so they put together a video explaining the whole thing.
The man, Samuel L. Jackson himself, puts it all very eloquently.
"Back in the day, a night at the movies was a big event. People even got dressed up. They call this a roadshow.
It was a limited theatrical engagement with reserved seating, a musical overture, an intermission, and they also gave you a program.
A few classics released this way were "Gone With the Wind," "El Cid," and "Ben Hur…"
We are doing that on Christmas day in glorious 70mm."
The hope here is that Tarantino gives people an extra reason to leave their homes and head to the movies. Because while theaters are still all kinds of awesome, it's hard to compete with the convenience and quality of a home theater these days.
"I think [Tarantino] is reminding people that the cinema is a place to be revered," actor Walton Goggins said.
If that's not enough to change your mind, remember, Tarantino's confirmed that his 70mm cut of "Hateful Eight" will be slightly different from the standard version. Not only is the roadshow version six minutes longer, but he's used different takes of different shots--takes that he believes play better in 70mm.
Call it pretentious, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day tickets go on sale for this bad boy so I can have that movie experience myself.
What about you? Are you looking forward to checking out "Hateful Eight" in 70mm, or will you simply wait for 35mm, or dare I say...Netflix?