When the poster for “Hateful Eight” first went up in the lobby I asked myself, why “eight” ?…Tarantino has made a lot more than just eight movies since 1992’s “Reservoir Dogs”. When I looked up his screen credits i found he has been involved in forty-eight films in various functions as director, writer, producer, and actor. However the films that Tarentino has written and directed number only eight if “Kill Bill” vols. one and two are counted as one work. The eight films are Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill vols 1 & 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and Hateful Eight. Secondly, the title reminded me of the great John Sturges western, 1960″s The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. Coincidentally this film aired on KSPS Saturday Night Cinema just two days after I had been reminded of it.
That Tarentino is conscious of classic films of this era was further suggested to me by his quoting music from the soundtrack of “The Alamo” in the opening credits of “Inglourious Basterds” He has certainly taken inspiration from the landmark western that closed the decade of the 60’s, Sam Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch for the manner in which he depicts violence.
As well, Inglourious Basterds is a loosely-cloaked Western set in Second World War Europe.
In “Hateful Eight” Tarentino has brought back actors from his previous films- I think only Jennifer Jason Leigh and Channing Tatum are new to his films.
Although much of the action takes place indoors within the confines of a cabin the film uses the Panavision 70 film process – a rare film process that has not been used for 50 years despite the technical advantages it offers over current technology. It yields very wide screen images(wit an aspect ratio of 2.76 to 1) that was used in some films in the 1950’s and 1960’s . This film once again showcases the work of cinematographer Robert Richardson who earlier worked on the Kill Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained…garnering Oscar nominations for the last two.
I personally like the writing in Tarentino’s screenplays. Aside from the profanity it is at times articulate and funny. I think Christoph Waltz can credit a part of his two acting Oscars for Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained to the respective screenplays for those two films. Django Unchained also took the Screenplay Oscar.
On the subject of violence in his films, Tarentino has commented; “It’s a Tarentino movie…you don’t go to a Metallica concert and ask them to turn it down.” You just have to know when to blink or wince. To paraphrase a post from the Imdb webpage -” Often times the violence in his films is over-exagerrated and rooted in a darkly comic context.”
There…that is it for now.