inglorious basterds

I didn’t enjoy the scalping, or the knife-carving of swastikas on foreheads. Or the violent scenes of torture, some with bats, but I did enjoy a lot of things about the movie, most of which, disturbingly, was the main Nazi “Jew Hunter” character played by Christoph Waltz. He’s so charismatic, energetic…so enthusiastic he is almost bouncy, which is so strange when you’re describing a Nazi SS. His performance outshines every other actor (put together) in the movie. One of my favorite scenes is the very first opening scene inside the farmhouse, opposite a fantastic Denis Menochet. It’s perfect, psychologically, cinematically, a very powerful scene that sets the bar so high that you don’t often reach it again in the rest of the (very long) movie.

German propaganda cinema and 1940’s films play a very big part in the main plot of the movie, a re-writing of history in which Hitler returns to Paris to attend the premiere of a Nazi propaganda movie called “Nation’s Pride.” You get a real course in cinema history, learning about the mechanics of film projection, filmmakers, movies in the course of the dialogue, and it becomes obvious the movie was made by a cinephile. Along those lines, I recommend reading Tarantino’s interview in Filmmaker (only in print, but this is the magazine site).

The title (and misspellings) are from an italian spaghetti western movie. I would just go see it and not read too many reviews, because they can give away some of the best parts and twists of the film.

This is only Tarantino’s sixth movie, which is pretty impressive given how much influence he has had on cinema in just six films. I feel like he’s made at least three times that many movies!


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