[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★★]
QUENTIN TARANTINO DEFENDS “THE HATEFUL EIGHT”
(P1) Quentin Tarantino’s first western, 2013’s Django Unchained, was his most popular film ever. The 52-year-old director’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight, is also set in THE WILD WEST, FULFILLING his desire “to breathe life into DORMANT genres and make them my own”.
(P2) Set in Wyoming after the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, The Hateful Eight unites a cast of Tarantino regulars including Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen, along with Tarantino newcomers Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, and Walton Goggins.
(P3) Jennifer Jason Leigh is the only woman of the eight.
(P4) Just as Django Unchained attracted criticism for its violence and racially charged language, so is The Hateful Eight, particularly the violence directed towards Leigh.
(P6) Russell, who spent the four-and-a-half months of the shoot chained in HANDCUFFS to Leigh, explains that they “had worked out the violence carefully”.
(P7) “When this sort of action is involved, you need to trust that actor, because if you don’t you can’t do your scenes properly. I wanted to make it look EFFORTLESS and it was important that she was safe in my hands, that she could play the part as she needed to.”
(P8) Tarantino himself defends his script: “The violence is meant to send SHOCKWAVES through the audience, and to create sympathy with Daisy.
(P10) WITH RESPECT TO the race issues in the film, Tarantino admits that “over the last 18 months, many of the themes we were dealing with in the film, we were watching on our TV screens.”
(P11) Tarantino believes his scripts have a deeper meaning, saying: “I like masking what I want to say under a story. I think that no other genre deals with modern America better than the western. The westerns of the 1970s were very CYNICAL, for example.
(P12) “Django Unchained did really well and I hope it did reinvent the genre a little, so now we’ve got two big westerns coming to cinemas – The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio and this one. I’ve always said if you want to be known as a western director you have to make three of them, so I guess I might have to do one more.”
(P13) The Hateful Eight has the feeling of a Sixties EPIC film like Lawrence of Arabia or Once Upon a Time in the West, with a three-hour running time, a musical overture from VETERAN composer Ennio Morricone, and a 12-minute INTERMISSION for audiences.
(P14) Like some of those Sixties epics, the movie was shot on 70 MILLIMETER FILM. (However many cinemas will be showing a shorter non-70mm version of the movie as few theaters have the specialised equipment necessary to project it in 70mm.)
(P15) Last year Tarantino announced he might retire after making 10 films – The Hateful Eighth is his eighth, if Kill Bill is included as one movie. Russell, who starred for Tarantino in 2007’s Deathproof, believes that it would be a tragedy if he did retire, saying the director is “in A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN“.
(P16) “You just know within a few frames of this film opening who is directing it.
(P17) “Only every couple of generations does a talent come along like Quentin. I wish everyone in the industry got a chance to work with him. Trust me, it’s a crazy circus everyone should be a part of.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Have you seen any of Quentin Tarantino’s films such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, or Django Unchained? Did you like them?
- Are you bothered by violence in films, or not really?
- Do you think a three-hour film is too long, or does it depend on the film?
- As Kurt Russell says, Tarantino has a very RECOGNIZABLE style. Are you interested in the style of film directors, or do you just want to be entertained?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- The Wild West
- Bounty hunter
- Pressure cooker
- With respect to
- A league of his own