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Quentin Tarantino Reopens New Beverly, But Is 35mm Sustainable?

Quentin Tarantino Reopens New Beverly, But Is 35mm Sustainable?

After temporarily shuttering its doors in late August, announcing takeover of theater programming and throwing digital out the window, celluloid defender Quentin Tarantino has reopened the New Beverly in Los Angeles.

According to Variety, 35mm-collector Tarantino has lined up an October slate including films from the late Paul Mazursky (“Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”) and the late Robin Williams (“The Best of Times”), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson’s “The Professional” with Tarantino’s own “Pulp Fiction,” both 20 years old this October. (Tarantino defends not only 35mm projection, but also shooting in 35mm.)

In August, Tarantino told LA Weekly: “I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in DCP [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s playing in 35 because it’s the New Beverly.”

But is Tarantino’s decision realistic? American Cinematheque director Barbara Smith has said, “Digital is honestly the only way you can possibly stay in business at this point.”

In our recent video interview with Martin Scorsese at the Toronto International Film Festival, we asked the director what he thought of Tarantino’s radical decision: “It’s just a last stand. However, I grew up with film. I love film, celluloid, and I shot ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ on film. The problem is that technology is going by, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use the old one if we keep the labs going for awhile. Because one of the most important things about celluloid is that it’s the best medium for preservation.”

How long can Tarantino continue to do this kind of programming in 35, and at $8 for a double feature?

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