My Experience of The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight Roadshow screening in Leicester Square.
By Craig Gambell
As a film student, I spend a lot of my time either making or watching films and recently something that came to my attention is a new film that has been released in cinemas called 'The Hateful 8', by acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. The film was shot using Ultra Panavision 70, which is a rare format that hasn't been used since 1996. The film was released in select American cinemas in 70mm, and for a limited time only, it was screened in 70mm at the Odeon in Leicester Square... the only cinema outside of America to show the film in the 'correct way'.
So I get that many don't know what Ultra Panavision 70 is and for anyone uninterested in film, don't worry. It's basically 65mm film that is shot using Ultra Panavision anamorphic lenses, giving a super widescreen image (2.76:1 when projected on 70mm film print.) I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the roadshow release and here's an article to tell you about my experience. No spoilers... I promise!
I saw the film on Sunday 10th January at 11:15am in the biggeset screen at the Odeon Leicester Square, which seats over 1,600 people. The film screening was modelled after the roadshow screenings of films typically between 1910's-1970's (roadshow events took place even with silent films back in the day.) Being 20 years old, I wasn't exactly able to experience a roadshow, until now! Tarantino decided that he would turn the film screening into an event specifically for the 70mm release (which as mentioned, was only available at one cinema outside of America.) This means that rather than adverts at the beginning of the film, there would be an overture (a orchestral piece at the beginning of the film, usually a Broadway version of the film score) that would play whilst people found their seats. Interestingly, there were adverts at the beginning of The Hateful Eight, and then also an overtune... I guess it was a combination of old and new. The composer of The Hateful Eight is called Ennio Morricone, who composed for some of the big Western films including 'The Good, The Bag and the Ugly'. This was his first Western composition in 40 years.
I was sitting just five rows from the front, meaning that the screen pretty much filled my field of view. Having to physically turn my head from left to right to see parts of the film was interesting. In addition to the overture, Tarantino also decided to include an intermission... which was good because the 'event' lasted for just over three hours, so the toilet break was duly welcome! Intermissions were the norm for screenings in traditional cinemas. Films were much longer usually and audience members would use the intermission to buy popcorn, go to the toilet or even just to stretch their legs. Sitting for more than three hours wouldn't exactly be comfortable, no matter how luxurious the seats are.
At the end of the screening, when leaving the cinema, I was given a free coloured event programme, that was also typical of roadshow screenings. It includes production stills, behind the scenes photos, character profiles and even more information about the film/roadshow release itself. I found that it's typical that the roadshow version of the film will be an extended version, with one or more extra scenes(s) in it compared to the standard cinema/DVD release.
The last screening of The Hateful Eight in 70mm is 19th January so I would recommend heading down to Leicester Square... you will not be disappointed! If you can't make it, or The Hateful Eight isn't your sort of thing, I would definitely recommend that you go to a roadshow event in the future! 70mm appears to be making headlines a lot recently and if other filmmakers follow Tarantino, then you will be able to experience a roadshow for yourself!
Check out the trailer above and please do let me know what you think!
Been to see The Hateful Eight or any film recently in the cinema.Let us know what we should be seeing next!