Big week for Quentin Tarantino, who confirmed just this morning that his latest feature Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would indeed make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival after scheduling uncertainty called that much into question.
But that’s not all – this week also saw the unveiling of a “new” version of his last picture, The Hateful Eight, on streaming video platform Netflix. The word “new” has been placed in scare quotes because the extent to which this cut builds on the theatrical or slightly expanded Roadshow cuts has already been the subject of hot debate.
Tarantino explained it all in a recent call with the folks at SlashFilm. Netflix approached him with the idea of dividing the lengthy film up into more easily digested chunks, and the challenge intrigued him:
“So about a year after it’s released, maybe a little less, me and my editor, Fred Raskin, we got together and then we worked real hard. We edited the film down into 50 minute bits, and we very easily got four episodes out of it. We didn’t re-edit the whole thing from scratch, but we did a whole lot of re-editing, and it plays differently. Some sequences are more similar than others compared to the film, but it has a different feeling.”
While viewers initially surmised that the Netflix version didn’t contain any new footage (subtract the padding of the credits sequences, and the run time just about shakes out to that of the theatrical cut), Tarantino was eager to set the record straight. He claims that the Netflix miniseries contains “25 minutes” of new footage.
But whether the footage contains 25 minutes of new material is an entirely different conversation. Tarantino uses the example of the first scene in which John Ruth and Daisy Domergue enter Minnie’s Haberdashery, unaware that they’ve got killers in their midst. He shows this scene from a different perspective, changing its meaning and tone without really offering anything new.
Perhaps this effort gave Tarantino something to do while mulling over how to finish Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. At any rate, it’s only the latest broadside from Netflix against the dividing line between film and television – next up, chop The Other Side of the Wind into ten shorts!
The Hateful Eight is streaming now on Netflix US as a series, and in its original format on Netflix UK.
Published 2 May 2019
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