Tarantino’s Latest Blockbuster Shown in “Exceptional Format”
By Emily Zoda
“The Hateful Eight” was presented by Roadshow to avid movie-goers and film fanatics in 70mm over Christmas weekend. Showing in a limited number of theaters across the nation, it allowed for a raw, longer version of the film complete with an intermission.
The City Cinemas Village East viewing was enormous, complete with a Broadway-esque balcony and mezzanine seating. The screen was significantly bigger than an average 2D movie screen to show the full movie entirely in 70mm.
Every patron received a Roadshow booklet for the history of Roadshow, a movie synopsis, character list, including fun facts about the movie and an exclusive character poster. The special viewing was 3 hours and 7 minutes, while the regular release was only 2 hours and 47 minutes.
The production starts with a musical overture as the lights dim in the theater. It’s a tradition Roadshow carries on when films in the 1950s and 60s used to be shown in grand exhibition.
This western tale takes place in the snow (ironically) as a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) travel to post-Civil War Wyoming to indict and execute his prisoner.
Along the way, they encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and an apparent sheriff-to-be (Walton Goggins) heading to the same city, Red Rock.
With heavy snow delaying their trip, they stop at a lodge where four other gunslinging passengers staying a few nights waiting for the weather to pass are added to the story line.
The story is told in an interesting linear fashion labeling each part of the movie using chapters along with heavy use of flashbacks. Jackson’s character tells a jaw-dropping story before the intermission, the scene is juxtaposed with old timey western intermission music, which begins to play after the traumatic scene.
After the intermission, Tarantino’s voice makes a narrating cameo brushing the audience up to speed on key points of the story and we continue on to the blood soaked second half of the movie.
This second half moved a lot quicker in pace than the first, which finally got to a climax point, but just not fast enough when it came to the last 20 minutes.
Some critics have said that Tarantino has become a political filmmaker, often citing his other big release “Django Unchained” to this post-Civil War western, which both profusely using the n-word.
The film was presented in the format Ultra Panavision 70 using anamorphic camera lenses, which made for an amazingly wider and detailed image. Movies are shot in ratios of either 1.85:1 or 2.39:1, but Panavision’s camera lenses shoot 70mm in a generous 2.76:1 ratio.
With 70mm film, which is film that’s about 2.7 inches long, it’s taken with one focal point at all times so the camera is constantly moving to get a close up of characters.
However, it’s best used for wide angle shots, being able to show all the characters in one frame or even great landscapes shots.
Sitting in a theatre balcony to watch a grotesque Western movie like any proper lady would, was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.