Tarantino on Revamped New Beverly Cinema: 'If People Come, Fine'
A month ago it was reported that Quentin Tarantino was taking over the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles and running/programming the theater full-time. Tarantino is now owner of the repertory cinema located in the heart of Hollywood, and after years of letting it run on its own he finally stepped up to take over picking films and presentations. Tarantino spoke to LA Weekly recently and his quotes were published this week, discussing the reasons behind his choice to choose the films and what he wants the New Beverly to be known for ("a bastion for 35mm films."). As always, Tarantino has some very interesting things to say.
"If you're not worried about packing the house because you can't make your rent, then you can have a lot of fun," Tarantino explains to LA Weekly, adding succinctly: "If people come, fine. If they don't, fuck them." That statement alone pretty much sums it up. As brash as that may be, I have a feeling this might end up being very successful. Tarantino is reacting this way because he has been asked, presumably often, if his oddball picks may be too out there to draw audiences back to the New Beverly. But he's not concerned about that. "I'm going for an aesthetic here… It's about making some cool discoveries. These movies deserve a commercial venue, they deserve a night being projected, they deserve time on the silver screen." Indeed.
Essentially, Tarantino is sticking with his guns and doing what they do best - showing old films of all kinds.
"There was a time when revival house culture was more specific," says Tarantino. "It was a big deal that they had a print, and you showed up and it was exciting because it was the thing." That's the vibe he wants to resurrect at the New Beverly: when movies—now streaming continually into our homes—were an event. "I want people to go out and get that calendar and put it on their refrigerator and circle that one or that two that sound interesting."
This is as good a time as any to reveal that the New Beverly launched a new website: thenewbev.com. The calendar he's referring to is the one they print every month listing every screening for that month. If you've ever been to the New Beverly, it's the tall colorful calendar all over the place and many already do exactly what he says - take it home and circle the ones they want to attend. So what kind of films have been showing recently? From LA Weekly: "There's kung fu (Lightning Swords of Death) and camp (The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula), classics (His Girl Friday) and comedies (Moscow on the Hudson)… The 1961 Jules Verne hot air balloon thriller Master of the World, starring Vincent Price… Films that never played Los Angeles at all, like Steve McQueen's buried Henrik Ibsen drama An Enemy of the People" from 1978.
Sold already? If you love in Los Angeles, the New Beverly is probably your weekend spot already. If not, it's worth checking out. Coming up they have a double-bill of Tarantino's own Pulp Fiction alongside of Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional; a double-bill of Bruce Lee's The Big Boss I & II; racing films with Le Mans and The Racing Scene (Tarantino says: "It has this car crash in it that you can not believe… One of the most amazing pile-ups—it's really wild"); there's also this evening - Tarantino's hand-picked "Trailer Show" followed by a screening of The Dirty Dozen in late October (this the night I'm circling on the calendar). Every week, every day really, they have something new and will always have unique films to show.
"You should be able to show anything in this town!" Tarantino says about Los Angeles. "Most of the calendar is made up of my own collection. There are double features I've always thought would be good, and now I'm getting a chance to do them." So check out the new website, grab a copy of the calendar, and start looking for the obscure titles and wacky films that you might want to see. That's what I really love about the New Beverly – there's something for everyone, new films and classics and rare gems, even though you may have to wait a few months until the one you're looking for plays. When it does, it'll be a fun night at the New Bev.