Director Quentin Tarantino is known for being somebody who speaks his mind. It has a tendency to upset people when he does so. Still, the man is an accomplished filmmaker, so when he speaks about the movie business it’s best that everybody sit up and listen. Tarantino says there there are serious issues with the industry today, mostly because the philosophy behind much that’s being created is very different.
The primary issue appears to be that much of the big screen spectacle of movie making is missing. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Quentin Tarantino says you don’t need to see most movies in theaters anymore. Watching most movies on your TV gives you everything that you need, as it is.
There are philosophical problems with films today. I mean, frankly, I have to tell you the truth, a lot of films that 10 years ago I would have actually [gone] out to the theaters and watched, I can wait for them to get to the cable channels. I'm watching them six or seven months later, and I'm perfectly enjoying them, but I didn't really miss that much.
The director obviously had these feelings in mind when putting together his most recent film, The Hateful Eight. The film is being released in 70mm Ultra Panavision as part of a special road show production that is going around the country in much the same way that classic epics like Ben Hur used to do. Tarantino is trying to make the film itself something that needs to be seen in the theater while also making the theater-going experience itself something special for those that see the movie.
Since Quentin Tarantino doesn’t give anything in the way of examples of a movie he would have seen in the theaters 10 years ago, versus something today that he waits for, it’s difficult to say exactly what he thinks has changed. Certainly, nobody was doing with movies what he’s doing with The Hateful Eight even a decade ago. It’s been significantly longer than that since we’ve seen a production like this. Another director who is part of the same interview, Alejandro G. Inarritu, says that much of what makes it on screen today is television that’s simply up on a big screen. If you agree with that, then it certainly shows a shift in philosophy. It would also explain why there’s nothing missing when watching the same movie on television.
What do you think? Is there something missing when you watch a movie on TV or is there something intrinsic to most films that makes the theater experience a necessary part of them? How often do you get to theater because you know you’ll never see the movie the same way?