“Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about […] It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now.”
Words from Quentin Tarantino in an extensive interview he gave to New York magazine earlier this summer, which traveled widely, and caused a bit of a stir, as you can imagine. He did so again in a more recent New York Times piece (the Bret Easton Ellis conversation in which he slammed “Selma” and challenged black culture critics).
Tarantino was responding to questions about making the movie “feel contemporary,” speaking to present-day topical matters – specifically, whether “what’s happening in Baltimore and Ferguson find its way into ‘The Hateful Eight’,” the writer/director’s upcoming new work.
“My movie is about the country being torn apart by [the Civil War],” he said, “and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later. The issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with, and it’s what the movie’s about.”
Since I haven’t seen the movie (no one has yet; it’s not out until December), I can’t really offer any informed commentary on what it does or doesn’t do, or whether it’s as relevant (even if accidentally so), as Tarantino says it is.
Although I can’t help but recall the infamous interview (eventually humorously referred to as the “Tantrumtino” interview) he gave to the UK’s Channel 4 anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, before his last movie, “Django Unchained,” was to be released across the pond, in which he essentially took credit for, I’m paraphrasing, starting a dialogue about race in this country, via that specific movie – a claim that was, as you’d expect, ridiculed.
This guy, I tell ya…
At the moment, he’s busy trying to make peace with the country’s police, after participating in a #BlackLivesMatter protest, and calling out police brutality.
The story set up for “Hateful Eight” reads as follows: Set years after the end of the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. In it are bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), who are on their way to the town of Red Rock, where John Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Their progress halted by a blizzard, the 4 (Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix) seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. There, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by 4 unfamiliar faces: Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, the 8 travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…
The movie’s ensemble cast is led by Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren, who’s joined by Kurt Russell as John “The Hangman” Ruth, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue.
The rest of the cast includes Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix, Demian Bichir as Bob, Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray, Michael Madsen as Joe Gage, and Bruce Dern General Sanford Smithers.
Channing Tatum, James Parks, Zoe Bell, Belinda Owino, Lee Horsley and Craig Stark also feature.
“The Hateful Eight” is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh.
Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and G. Mac Brown are executive producers, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producers.
The 70mm film is set for release in select theaters on Christmas Day & everywhere on January 8th, 2016.
A new trailer has surfaced and is embedded below: