As the cinephile crowd readies for the 70mm Christmastime roadshow of Quentin Tarantino’s snowbound Western “The Hateful Eight”—followed two weeks later by a more traditional wide release—the director shares his take on each member of the octet with the L.A. Times, and he doesn’t stint when it comes to his trademark pulp poetry.
The writer/director’s descriptions only emphasize his continued interest
in examining Hollywood and historical archetypes, as in “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Django Unchained” (2012)—Samuel L. Jackson’s bounty hunter, Maj. Marquis Warren, is “Cool as a cucumber, deadly as a viper strike!”; Kurt Russell’s John “The Hangman” Ruth possesses “the ferocity of a bull [and] the subtlety of a buffalo.”
The brief character synopses are also a reminder that “The Hateful Eight” is designed as a group portrait, or social experiment, in which there’s no clear hero. As Tarantino told Vulture this summer, “This is a movie where a Brad [Pitt] or a Leo [DiCaprio] wouldn’t work. It needs to be an ensemble where nobody is more important than anybody else.”
Read highlights from Tarantino’s guide to “The Hateful Eight” below.
Daisy Domergue, “The Prisoner” (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
“A blizzard behind her, a rope in front of her, and a man who hates her chained to her side. Is she a killer? Yes. Is she crazy? Maybe. What will she do for freedom? Anything.”
Gen. Sanford Smithers, “The Confederate” (Bruce Dern)
“A legendary Southern combat general, with a very bloody past and a possibly bloodier future.”
Oswaldo Mobray, “The Little Man” (Tim Roth)
“The foppish British hangman of Red Rock. What does his polite manner mask?”