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Tarantino’s Bloody Funny Western: The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino has it all. This modern Western is funny, dynamic, with a genius screenplay and technical choices that mark the difference between Tarantino and any other director.

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The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino has it all. This modern Western is funny, dynamic, with a genius screenplay and technical choices that mark the difference between Tarantino and any other director.

The flavour of the Western film pervades the whole movie: the visual format (The Hateful Eight was shot in Ultra Panavision 70) and the wonderful, overwhelming soundtrack by Ennio Morricone help establish a strong connection to the genre, which becomes Tarantino’s playground.

In the director’s unusual approach to Western, various elements find their place, from racial tensions to prototypes of Western characters (i. e. the bounty hunter, the sheriff, the outlaw, the cowboy…), who are the main characters of this story.

 

Kurt Russel as John Ruth and Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren © 2015 - The Weinstein Company Above: Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell pose for the camera

Kurt Russel as John Ruth and Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren © 2015 – The Weinstein Company
Above: Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell pose for the camera

 

During a terrible snow storm, John Ruth (Kurt Russel), a bounty hunter who is bringing outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the city of Red Rock, where she can get her fair trial and be hanged, meets Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a war veteran. Together with some other men, they are forced to wait in a cabin for the storm to stop. They are all strangers and do not trust each other.

 

Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth © 2015 - The Weinstein Company

Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth
© 2015 – The Weinstein Company

 

As usual in Tarantino’s works, The Hateful Eight strarts from an extraordinary screenplay, able to combine elements of locked-room mystery to experimentation, such as when, in the middle of the movie a Narrator intervenes to shift our perspective. The viewer is disoriented and this has the effect of creating moments of suspense, especially as we expect some extreme violence in Tarantino’s movies, so we are aware that something (bad) about to happen at any moment.

This film is very self-referential, but we love Tarantino just the way he is. The reason being that such auto-quotation creates moments where irony and repetition take over and build funny scenes, such as when characters entering the cabin have to nail the door to close it properly, with everyone inside yelling at them: “Nail it! You have to nail it!!!”

 

Still of Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Dern © 2015 - The Weinstein Company

Still of Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Dern © 2015 – The Weinstein Company

 


The Hateful Eight poster - UberAuraDirector: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks

Year: 2015
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Francesca Laura is a talented and eclectic writer, she works as a script consultant for a well-known film production house in Italy, while cultivating her passion for literature. She is currently involved in different projects with directors and authors.

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