Quentin Tarantino arrived on the Croisette today and launched into a tirade about the detrimental impact that digital cinema projection is having on the experience of going to the movies.
“As far as I’m concerned digital projection and DCP is the death of cinema as I know it,” he said, in a press conference that was intended to spruik the 20th anniversary of Pulp Fiction’s Palme d’Or win at Cannes, and on the eve of his guest-presenting the closing night film of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars.
Tarantino’s Palme d’Or winning film is being screened on the Cinema On The Beach tonight, a free outdoor cinema on the Cannes beachfront that runs as a public sidebar event during the main festival. As a rule, all Cannes screenings are digitally projected but at Tarantino’s insistence, Pulp Fiction will screen off a 35mm print.
“The fact that most films are not presented in 35mm means the war is lost," he went on to say. "Digital projection is just television in public. Apparently the whole world is okay with television in public but what I knew as cinema is dead.
Tarantino argued that 35mm projections of classic films such as Godard’s Breathless are “worth leaving the house for”, but “if you’re showing digital, well my Criterion (DVD) is just fine and I don’t need to leave the house to go and watch television in public.
“I don’t see the need to leave the house when home theatres are so good and the presentations on the DVDs are so good – why would you leave the house? Unlike me, most people don’t have 35mm in their house. That’s a reason.”