They discuss Quentin Tarantino’s latest, 70 mm western opus “The Hateful Eight” (Weinstein Co., December 25) in this interview written up in The New York Times Magazine.
Their conversation ranges around critic Pauline Kael, whose “high-low trash-art aesthetic” was clearly an influence on Tarantino, the differences between writers’ medium TV and directors medium movies, losing the Best Picture and Screenplay Oscar for “Inglourious Basterds” to “The Hurt Locker,” and quick takes on his contemporaries: Ava DuVernay —‘‘She did a really good job on ‘Selma’ but ‘Selma’ deserved an Emmy,” David Fincher—‘‘Even when I don’t like his movies I walk around thinking about them for a week or so,” Wes Anderson— ‘‘ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is not really my thing, but I kind of loved it. The fact that I wasn’t a die-hard fan before made me even more happy that I could finally embrace him,’’ and Judd Apatow— ‘‘His audience is getting smaller and smaller but I think he’s getting better and better.’’
Ellis describes “The Hateful Eight,” starring Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Kurt Russell, as “born of two genres: the parlor-room mystery and the wide-screen, large-scale western.” Tarantino was inspired by watching classic TV westerns such as ‘‘The Virginian,’’ ‘‘Bonanza’’ and ‘‘The Big Valley,’’ in which, he tells Ellis, ‘‘There was always, each season, at least one episode where bandits take over the Ponderosa or Shiloh Ranch, and they’d all be played by guest stars. It couldn’t help but lend itself to a situation like ‘Reservoir Dogs’: Trap them all in a room and let me get rid of all the hero characters so there’s no moral center.’’
In other Tarantino news, the director has cut a slightly longer version for the 70 mm roadshow release, he tells Variety’s Kris Tapley.