Quentin Tarantino is Now Full-Time Programming LA's New Beverly
For those who live in the Los Angeles are or have visited the home of Hollywood, we hope you've been lucky enough to pay a visit to the New Beverly Cinema. The niche revival house has a documentary looking at the unique theater's efforts to keep celluloid alive, showing prints of old movies all the time, traditionally in the form of double features. The programming for the theater has been in the hands of Michael Torgan, son of the theater's founder Sherman Torgan, but now LA Weekly has confirmed that filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who actually owns the theater, is now taking over as full-time programmer. That's awesome!
When asked why he's now taking on this responsibility, he says:
"I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s playing in 35 because it’s the New Beverly."
But now that Quentin Tarantino is taking over, will his more unique tastes for exploitation and grindhouse films begin to invade the programming style that the New Beverly has become famous for? The director says that's not the case at all:
"No, no, no, not at all. That double-feature format that Sherman came up with, we’re keeping. We’ll be doing the thing the New Beverly does so well—we’ll have Fassbender double-features, Truffaut double-features, The Thin Man movies, all that. But I have a really, really huge film print collection that I’ve been curating for almost 20 years now. And I want to show my prints! [Laughs.] We’ll still be borrowing prints from the studios and other collectors, but I like the idea that the base of what we’re doing will be my print collection. Some of them are absolutely amazing, and I want people to see them, to enjoy them."
So what can we expect from Tarantino's programming at the New Beverly? What prints does he have?
"I have all three Sergio Leone Clint Eastwood movies in I.B. Technicolor. Magnificent looking. I just saw the DCP restoration of 'A Fistful of Dollars' at Cannes. I introduced it. I felt like I was watching a DVD. I said, ‘Why didn’t you ask me to bring my fucking print?’ They said, ‘Well, there was three extra minutes in this.’ I said, ‘I’ve seen that movie a million times and I didn’t notice those extra minutes. I just noticed that it looked like a fucking DVD.’
We’re adding six-track stereo sound to the theater, because I have quite a few prints that are six-track mag [magnetic] sound. They’ll sound amazing. And we’ll be adding a 16 millimeter projector too because I have a big 16 collection, too, and sometimes, especially for that second movie, a 16 is just perfect. And there’s my big, huge trailer collection, and there’s all the cartoons and shorts that I have. Concession stand bumpers, too. Vintage ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s. Some really groovy stuff.
On Saturday, we’ll keep the weird midnight movie thing. It’s a tradition. But the Friday midnight will always be one of my movies. One month it’ll be 'Reservoir Dogs,' another month it’ll be 'Death Proof,' another month 'Django.' The idea being that if you actually want to see one of my movies on 35 millimeter film, you’ll have a place to do so."
Man, it sounds like Tarantino is only going to make The New Beverly better, and I'm jealous of everyone who gets to partake in this glorious movie house. But how will a busy filmmaker like Tarantino, who's getting ready to shoot The Hateful Eight in January, be able to keep up with programming the theater full-time? He says, "I’m going to program the first three months. But then the other people working in the theater can put together the schedule. I’ll always have lots of ideas, but they’re creative, they’re excited, they want to come up with their own thing. But yeah, these first three months will be my perspective entirely." So there you go. The New Beverly Cinema is certainly in good hands. Sound good?