The Revenant (Alejandro Iñárritu, 2015) and The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015) revise the western genre. Where The Revenant takes us back to the real pioneering beginnings of the nation, The Hateful Eight looks at the 'Wild West' from a contemporary perspective and current gun violence. The Revenant is sublime in making us feel the bare life of the pioneering beginnings of the American West. No saloons to have a drink after a shoot-out, just the harshness of nature full of enemies of all sorts. Breathtakingly filmed; Leonardo DiCaprio deserves an Oscar.
After his revisionist western Django Unchained (2012) with The Hateful Eight (2015) Tarantino gives again a biting commentary on the racial relations in the US. While Django Unchained is empowering, in The Hateful Eight there is no redemption of revenge (as is also the case in Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards). The fetishistic Lincoln letter that the Samuel Jackson character keeps in his pocket, containing a promise for the nation, has appeared to be worthless. Only hate remains. Not even the love for cinema’s widescreen can compensate for this tragic message of violence.