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The Hateful Eight: The One Where I Hope Tarantino Leaked The Film Online‏

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There’s been an awful lot written about The Hateful Eight. On this site (5* poster quote, y’all!). On others. All as divisive as Tarantino would hope (read our interview with Quentin). All reminiscing over the first time they saw Reservoir Dogs in ’92 – and the obvious similarities with Eight. All debating whether Tarantino’s abrasive humour is because he’s still an enfant terrible, or because he genuinely finds the idea of Sam Jackson saying “big black johnson” humorous. Debating whether Tarantino realises the violence jars. Debating whether he’ll ever grow up. If he’ll ever live up to his potential.

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I don’t want to argue any of that. Others have done it far better. I’d ideally like to argue, that for me, in terms of tone, Eight is actual a perfect companion piece for From Dusk Til Dawn (think about it). But I won’t do that either. Instead, I want to dig a little into the idea of a Roadshow release. And why I hope others may follow suit.

In terms of all of the above? The violence? The use of violence against women as a punchline? The crude use of Sam Jackson cackling (“You’re starting to see pictures, ain’t ya?”) Tarantino is one step ahead. He knows that we know. And he wants us to know that he knows, we know. Tarantino, as ever, remains an absolute genius for me. And the botched, almost farcical release of Eight proves it.

The leaked script. The leaked screener. What if it was all part of a plan? A strategy to get people to do six hour round trips to Leicester Square to see the film the only way Tarantino would want you too?

It’s a release that has almost made the reviews of the film irrelevant for me. I’ve seen two stars. I’ve seen plenty of fives. It’s become moot when you look at the overall “point” of Hateful Eight. It’s much, much more than a film.

And that’s not to say Eight isn’t flawed. It absolutely is. I’d forgive anyone for finding the first half a bit ponderous. (Although anyone begrudging Kurt Russell his first serious lead time in far, far too long is no friend of mine). I’d forgive anyone for finding the last ninety distasteful and grating. I’d even forgive anyone for finding its attitude towards race and women troublesome. But it’s important to remember… Tarantino doesn’t give a single fuck about that.

I’ve come to realise he isn’t making these films for me. Or you. He’s doing them for himself. And if, amongst that, he creates a film you or I love (or hate), then it’s a win-win (or a “bingo”?)

Hateful Eight got me watching Django again. Glorious, screened in 200″ on the projector. Every bit as jarring as Eight in its use of squibs and violence. It’s a film that hasn’t aged a day – and yet could be fifty years old. Because Tarantino is timeless. And the way his canon plays now, is proving that. Dogs? It could be from the seventies. Kill Bill? You could find it next to Sonny Chiba’s collection in your nearest (digital) film shop.

Tarantino took part in an amazing round table interview with Hollywood Reporter last week. It’s a stunning watch. There’s Danny Boyle talking about Steve Jobs. Hooper talking about Danish Girl. And an unusually quiet, measured, Tarantino. But there’s one bit that jumps out. And that’s Ridley Scott talking about how easy it was to make The Martian. It’s important as it shows how much of an absolute dude (sorry, no other word) Scott is. And it also sits as a moment that jars with Tarantino.

He doesn’t say anything. His respect for Scott is clear (he took the crew of Django to see Prometheus such was his excitement to see Scott in the Alien universe again). But here he is. Trying to “save film”. Trying to ensure there’s a challenge still in making his “ten”. (Seriously, if we live in a world where we may only get two more Tarantino films then I don’t understand anyone that doesn’t hope they don’t get longer). And Scott talks about how simple it was to film The Martian. Now the “comedy” of 2015 according to the Golden Globes, no less.

Tarantino has gone the other way.

Tarantino not only reinstates 70mm cameras. (The same ones used to film Ben Hur, no less.) He puts them through hell. Sub freezing temperatures. And then he essentially kills the films box office by releasing the film as a “Roadshow”. Showing at 50 screens across America. With an overture, and an intermission. A free catalogue and an “experience”. Something to drag us away from our iPad screens. Something to make us realise 60″ TVs aren’t enough. We need to get out more. And Tarantino has nobly tried get to get people to do that here. Possibly at the expense of the film.

But the thing is… It’s working. My faux outrage on Twitter that Cineworld wouldn’t be showing the film subsided when I realised my urge to go to Leicester Square was far greater. I wanted to be part of that “experience”.

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So I did a six hour round trip to experience the film in 70mm. With an overture. And an intermission. To be surrounded by like minded people that will cherish the ten page programme.

This was more than a cinema trip. This was a retort to anyone that downloaded this and all of the other screeners that leaked pre-Christmas. Tarantino knows there’s a battle to get people out of their Homes. He knows that a cinecard can only get you so far. He knows, perhaps better than anyone, that things “leak”.

I didn’t actually see any Tarantino quotes on that leak, but there’s a mischievous part of my brain that thinks Tarantino may have leaked it. Or at least I hoped it was him.

I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s a great way of separating the people that will travel to a Roadshow – and those that think their laptop will give them a good enough “experience” of Minnie’s Haberdashery. Sure, you can still see it at the cinema. Just not the biggest cinema chain in the Country. But why would you? Why bother? Tarantino wants to make this an event. He wants you to get a beer in the twelve minute intermission and debate the importance of silent night playing on the piano. He wants you to theorise on what violence will ensue, and has to ensue, now the first bullet has been fired. And what better way to make the event, and the experience, something worth traveling to… Than by offering you a simple alternative?

Star Wars supposedly stole one of Eight’s Roadshow slots and Tarantino was incensed. Rightly. A clear example of bullying from Disney – leaving the only sour taste I’ve had about Awakens (I’ve been five times. Five).

But in terms of the film leaking online? All it’s done is get it to a wider audience. The film was never going to break box office records. Tarantino is, like Scorsese, incapable of making a film less than an 18. Nowadays, box office poison to a degree. But Tarantino won’t care one jot.

This is about create a canon of films. He’s counting them down more than ever. And I’ll be genuinely upset if he holds true and calls it a line at ten. I’ll be grateful The Whole Bloody affair may give us another Kill Bill. That there’s two versions of Death Proof. That guest spots on Sin City don’t count.

Tarantino is now on the best run of his career for me, with Basterds, Django and Eight. Dogs, Pulp and Jackie Brown was a hell of a run too. What’s in the middle, in typical Tarantino style, is divisive. But I don’t think he’d have it any other way.

I’m fascinated to see what comes next. Tarantino talks about a horror – and I’d live to see him revive a Cronenberg style body horror (a Fly remake remake?)

But hasn’t he already done a horror, now?

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With Morricone’s gorgeous, impending soundtrack making this a dream companion piece to Carpenter’s masterpiece? (God, maybe be could do a Thing remake remake??) With the spewing of blood fit to rival anything in Dusk? With the cabin in the woods?

I wouldn’t want to second guess. But what I’ll say is that I love how Tarantino has made making films an experience again. That it’s not about making money. A naive notion on my part, perhaps. But if this is realised in a cropped Panavision edition? I’m in. If there’s a supporting comic, ala Django? I’m in. So it will reap what it sows.

Most importantly, I’m glad I joined the Roadshow crew. I’m glad I’ve got a wife that understands a six hour road trip to “experience” an overture and intermission. I’m glad that Tarantino gets that I get that. And he knows that I know he gets that. And that’s why a six hour pilgrimage to Leicester Square won’t ever seem too far.

Above all else, I’m glad I’ve got at least two more Tarantino films.

Enjoy him while we can, all. As yesterday proved, even Legends can’t last forever.

So next time you say the first hour could be cut down a bit? No. Go the other way. Wish it was longer. Next time you say the film is too bloody? No. Go the other way. Wish he covered Jennifer Jason Leigh in more gore. That more of them were bleeding like stuck pigs. And that Sam Jacksons big black johnson speech was twice the length.

It’s Tarantino. It’s his legacy. Embrace it. In 70mm if possible. And if you want to honour Bowie, what better way than watching Basterds?

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