If you’re not above the over-the-top violence, edgy dialogue, and utterly unconventional film practices of Quentin Tarantino, you’ll get to explore a new level of strange in “The Hateful Eight.” It is Tarantino’s eighth film and challenges where the film industry has gone to, and where our styles have collectively taken us. Unless you’re an established, box-office destroying director like Tarantino, you may face difficulty trying to pull off styles implemented in his eighth film.
Tarantino’s films audio edits would be arguably intrusive to some viewers, as his final cuts often forgo fading out of music, and instead choose to have a final cutoff at unsuspected times. It can be jarring, but I think it serves the scenes well. Usually, the musical montage scenes he creates lead advances in the story. He used this style quite a bit in Django Unchained, as well.
The Aspect Ratio:
The Hateful Eight was shot in a much wider aspect ratio than most films are shot in today. It was shot on a Panavision 70mm camera, which gives it a little bit more of an old school feel to it. One thing to add to this is that YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE ON A BIG.FUCKING.SCREEN. Tarantino went for this aspect ratio for the sake of capturing more background detail, while still being able to show clearly characters in the scene. Try not to watch this one on a laptop; you’ll miss out on those gorgeous Appalachian Mountains.
The Focal Length:
The Hateful Eight doesn’t make too much use of closeups and uses MINIMUM two-shots (when two characters are in the frame) very often. Tarantino appears to be going for more of a playhouse appearance with a lot of the scenes, trying to cram many characters into the shot while having enough width to do so aesthetically. It also has many examples where it forgoes the rule of thirds, which often pits subjects on the left or right halves the screens, and discourages central placement.In this film characters are placed much more centrally, allowing for tons of background imagery.
Here below are some shots from the film that break the contemporary film mold
(my personal favorite)
To clarify, this means the actual change in position or focal length (how zoomed in it is) of the camera. When you watch the film critically, the camera is very still, or at least very slow. There are multiple instances of slow, subtle zooms, but otherwise, the camera is pretty still, taking advantage of its wide frames. This technique was more effective than Blastoise’s Hydro Cannon (In the original games at least). I thought the Daisy hanging scene was perfect with this style. The way her body enters the frame is so looming, dark, and holds true to Tarantino’s ball to the wall violence.
If you feel lost about any of the film terms in this article, I suggest staying updated on the Establishing Shot, as I’ll be releasing an Average Joe’s guide to analyzing a film soon!
Quentin Tarantinos 9th film is now out for purchase or rent on all major distribution channels like iTunes, Amazon, and Red Box.