“When we got a couple of those theaters hooked up,” Anderson added, “it was clear that people were coming out for 70mm more than they were coming out for the 35mm.”
From here the discussion became a festival of film geekery, with Anderson mentioning that he saw his first (blown-up) 70mm as a child — The Empire Strikes Back. Tarantino, who is a few years older than Anderson, recalled other blown-up 70mm films, like The Exorcist and The Wild Bunch, and reminisced about Krakatoa, East of Java and Custer of the West, his first true 70mm film experiences.
After Hammond rightly asserted that both The Master and The Hateful Eight, while not exactly chamber films, are at at least not the panoramic epics one might associate with such a wide format, Anderson explained that Tarantino’s staging justifies the format. Tarantino likewise argued that The Master takes place in an era that agrees with the 70mm look. “The big scope formats,” Tarantino said,” “can actually offer up a more intimate experience.”
Tarantino was also quick to state that the big chain theaters had be surprisingly quick and ready to install older technologies once they saw their potential. “They see the excitement in not just filling a seat,” he said. “They see the excitement in presentation.”
He went on to argue, rather convincingly, that the erasure of film projection in cinemas was a function of ignoring the people who make the films. “Filmmakers weren’t brought into the equation when the studios and theaters decided to get rid of film,” Tarantino said. “I see no reason why film had to be eradicated.”
“It requires us blabbing our mouths off as much as we can,” Anderson added, “and hopefully there is a generation behind us that wants to keep this alive.”