Author Topic: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd  (Read 5438 times)

Cramulus

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Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« on: February 15, 2010, 05:20:06 pm »
This thread may contain SPOILERS, so read at your own risk



I just saw INGLORIOUS BASTERDS.

I will say, for the record, that I really did enjoy it. It was engaging, through provoking, and evocative. It's been two days and I'm still thinking about it.

It's very much a typical Tarantino movie. I have mixed feelings on Quentin Tarantino - I love some of his films (pulp fiction and reservoir dogs are two of my favorite movies). Others make me feel like he doesn't have a lot of respect for his audience. He knows exactly what the American Cinema audience wants: sex, violence, and a feeling of righteousness all bathed in cinematic ultra-style. Leave the nuance at the door.

I'm amazed at how Tarantino manages to get completely two dimensional characters to deliver excellent, compelling dialogue. And that's my biggest complaint about Tarantino - there really aren't a lot of characters in his movies. Just caricatures. All the Basterds are just names and about three sentences worth of description. Who is Brad Pitt's character, other than a brutal nazi killer? We don't know. Does the Bear Jew have a life outside of killing nazis? Why does that german officer kill 13 soldiers and then defect to join the Basterds? The only hint is a two second flashback in which he recalls being whipped by nazis.

What I found so odd about the movie was the use of brutality. There is no moral relativism here - nazis are continually presented as evil to the core. (The only exception in the whole movie is the german soldier who doesn't want to fight because his son was just born - he's only "innocent" in the whole film.) And the most brutal violence in the movie - the really sickening gut wrenching close-ups of people's head being carved up or bashed in - it's delivered by the good guys.

Tarantino knows that you went to the movie to have your guts twisted in a knot. So he serves you just what you want, but the trick is that it's not something you feel bad about. The violence is not being done to anyone you sympathize with. You feel that the good guys torturing the bad guys was righteous justice. World War II is wrapped up very neatly by a bit of the old ultraviolence. I thought it was an odd feeling.

When I was watching Deathproof, I thought: Damn, Quentin is so obsessed with writing slick dialogue that he forgot where the movie was going! He does write really beautiful dialogue. So beautiful that his movies get lost in them.

I think Basterds is the most black-friendly movie he's ever done. I get the sense that the interracial love story was thrown in there specifically for Spike Lee, who thinks Tarantino's been locked into niggermode for a decade now.

The ending to the movie took me by surprise. I mean they actually killed hitler? hahahah what a great anachronism!


anyway, I wanted to hear what you guys think of Inglorious Basterds -----& Tarantino.

Cain

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 05:33:41 pm »
Landa was a brilliant character, but you're right, the rest were shallow and two-dimensional in the extreme.  Donny actually had a back story, but it was cut, for some reason.  Stiglitz too was criminally underused in that respect.

I wondered if, in fact, the extreme violence against the Nazis wasn't meant to illustrate some point, something about how people are perfectly alright with brutal acts so long as they are against an Evil Enemy of some sort.  Nazis Are Evil So Its OK To Do Evil Things To Them kind of thing.  It seems to me that Tarantino may be making a point about revenge fantasies with the film, but I don't know him well enough to say for sure if thats the case.

The dialogue was, as usual, fantastic.  Never a fault there.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 05:39:22 pm »
I fucking loved it. Tarantino didn't want anything more than brutality though. The Nazis are evil Jew killers, and we have to kill them. End of story.

Landa was BRILLIANT. I've never hated/loved a character so much. He was brilliant and fucking twisted to the core the entire time. I was pretty confused by his defection, though.

The dialogue was great too. There were parts where it dragged on a lot, like when they are in the restaurant, but when Landa orders Shoshanna the milk I was like, "Oh, he totally knows who she is!" It was awesome.

Also, did you know that the opening sequence on the French farm is taken almost verbatim from an old spaghetti Western called "Once Upon a Time in the West"? The overall spaghetti Western theme in the film was also a fun treat.
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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 05:42:40 pm »


Quote
he really sickening gut wrenching close-ups of people's head being carved up or bashed in - it's delivered by the good guys.

I think I'll pass on this one.



It's not that bad. You don't see brains splatter or anything, but Raine (Pitt) does carve Swastikas into foreheads of Nazis he let's live. That's the worst to watch IMHO.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 05:48:48 pm »
What I found so odd about the movie was the use of brutality. There is no moral relativism here - nazis are continually presented as evil to the core.

Not seeing a problem there.

And the most brutal violence in the movie - the really sickening gut wrenching close-ups of people's head being carved up or bashed in - it's delivered by the good guys.

That's pretty much how the whole world rolled, back in the day.  There weren't a lot of what we'd call "good guys".  There were bad guys, worse guys, and regular guys who stood by while the bad and worse guys did horrible shit...on both sides.  However, the bad guys did worse shit, and more of it, if that's any consolation.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 05:49:56 pm »
I fucking loved it. Tarantino didn't want anything more than brutality though. The Nazis are evil Jew killers, and we have to kill them. End of story.

Again, not seeing a problem with that.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 05:50:47 pm »
I fucking loved it. Tarantino didn't want anything more than brutality though. The Nazis are evil Jew killers, and we have to kill them. End of story.

Again, not seeing a problem with that.



And the guy who played Hans Landa is up for an Oscar too. Hopefully he'll take it that evil motherfucker.
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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 05:51:12 pm »
Landa was BRILLIANT. I've never hated/loved a character so much. He was brilliant and fucking twisted to the core the entire time. I was pretty confused by his defection, though.

yeah, Landa was the best character in the movie. Pitt was barely even in the thing.

His defection was interesting. Because at the beginning of the movie, in the french dairy farm scene, he talks about how he's proud of being known as the Jew Slayer. He loves finding people and to him, the title means he's good at his job. I think we're seeing the "real" Landa here.

And later in the movie, when he's about to defect, he says he doesn't like the title, but "We do not get to choose our nicknames."

Landa wants to claim responsibility for ending WWII in one swift move, and rewrite history with himself as the jew savior. This is in concordance with the themes present in German Cinema and Philosophy at the time - they thought that history was going in this specific direction, and hindsight would reveal that they had to break a few eggs in order to rid the world of evil. If you're at the right place in the right time, the forces of history can act through you, making you the hero. That's exactly what the movie within the movie was about - the german hero who, sustained by nationalism, becomes the heroic killing machine.

And non that note - wasn't the movie within a movie hilarious? The only shots of it we see are the sniper shooting americans in the face. We're led to believe that the whole film is this bloodbath. And all the Germans think it's beautiful.

If we zoom out a bit, is the german film any different from tarantino's work?

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 05:55:58 pm »
That's pretty much how the whole world rolled, back in the day.  There weren't a lot of what we'd call "good guys".  There were bad guys, worse guys, and regular guys who stood by while the bad and worse guys did horrible shit...on both sides.  However, the bad guys did worse shit, and more of it, if that's any consolation.

I'm with ya

I just think it's interesting because the nazis are fucking evil in this movie, but pretty much only in their dialogue. Aside from the peasants getting gunned down in the intro, there are no scenes of nazis torturing anybody. I think that if there were scenes of nazi brutality, it would make what the basterds did look equivalent. Within the context of the movie, the nazis would be almost excusable, because shit, the good guys in this film are actually terrorists.


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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 05:57:51 pm »
...were our anti-German propaganda films any different?

You're looking at the same story from a different perspective taking place almost 70 years ago. Americans wanted to kill Nazis, Nazis wanted to kill Americans and Jews, and wanted to see the war glorified from their exaggerated points of view.

Inglourious Basterds is our brutal propaganda film 7 decades too late. We wanted Hitler dead, so Tarantino killed him. We wanted suspense, so Tarantino gave us Landa, and we wanted crazy brutal American heroes, so we got Raine and the Basterds.
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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 05:58:07 pm »
I wondered if, in fact, the extreme violence against the Nazis wasn't meant to illustrate some point, something about how people are perfectly alright with brutal acts so long as they are against an Evil Enemy of some sort.  Nazis Are Evil So Its OK To Do Evil Things To Them kind of thing.  It seems to me that Tarantino may be making a point about revenge fantasies with the film, but I don't know him well enough to say for sure if thats the case.

Yes, I wondered the same thing. Especially the contrast with the opening scene (which indeed I did recognize as spaghetti western), it's Horrible and Terrible and scary when the Nazi is looking for the jews under the floor and is playing mindgames, while a bit further up in the movie, much more horrible things are done to random nazi soldiers and then it's Funny.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 06:01:36 pm »
That's pretty much how the whole world rolled, back in the day.  There weren't a lot of what we'd call "good guys".  There were bad guys, worse guys, and regular guys who stood by while the bad and worse guys did horrible shit...on both sides.  However, the bad guys did worse shit, and more of it, if that's any consolation.

I'm with ya

I just think it's interesting because the nazis are fucking evil in this movie, but pretty much only in their dialogue. Aside from the peasants getting gunned down in the intro, there are no scenes of nazis torturing anybody. I think that if there were scenes of nazi brutality, it would make what the basterds did look equivalent. Within the context of the movie, the nazis would be almost excusable, because shit, the good guys in this film are actually terrorists.



The Nazis weren't all that big on torture, on an institutional level (though certainly individual sadists abounded).  Mostly they just efficiently killed huge amounts of the people they didn't like.  Torture would have gotten in the way of that.

It occurs to me that there is more than one sort of evil.
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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 06:15:22 pm »
The thing to remember when you're watching Tarantino is that he's a film buff. Pretty much every scene he shoots is an homage to something or other. Take deathproof - the grindhouse movies came about because Tarantino and Rodriguez were drinking beer one night and said "Yo lets do a tribute to low budget, drive-in schlock horror." The film is actually pretty boring, almost on purpose, right up until the fkin spectacular stunt sequence at the end, with the chick (cast because she's actually an awesome stuntwoman IRL) on the bonnet of the car. And that was the point of the film - it wasn't meant to make you think about social satire or the emotional journey of it's lead characters it was simply a fkin mind blowing car stunt and some nostalgic mock trailers and digital film processes.

Inglorious is no different, you have everything from spaghetti western to post war jingosim and even a bit of wartime german propaganda flung in. Take another look - the film within a film is so well done it could actually pass for genuine nazi propaganda. That's Tarantino's forte - that's why I love the guy!

Also Lamda was a total sociopath who saw the opportunity to come out of the war smelling of roses, not quite realising that the guys he was dealing with were bigger sociopaths. :lulz:

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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 06:24:33 pm »
DINGLE DINGLE DINGLE DINGLE! what's that kids? It's the evil van! yaaaaaaaay!



evil comes in more flavors than ice cream. you want some insidious sneaking evil? oh yeah, they have that, you want brutal systematic by the numbers evil, they have that but its a little bitter. you want some hot burning evil sauce on that? they have that too. they have so many damn flavors, that if you took a little lick of each of them, y'know, the free samples they leave out to tempt you in, you'd be puking for a week. genocide ripple is always a good seller, rapey road sure is popular these days. corporate greed sunday was in for a while, but then they stopped making that one, as well, the bankers ate it all up. peado & nut is quite popular as well.

Don't ask me why.

if you want the low fat option, you could go for a nice spousal abuse & raisin. a nice methamphitime choc chip? crack with a side of aggravated battery? whats that? you want dark unforgivable evil, oh they have plenty of that. its like a cone made of sour ashes of the fallen, and well, fuck me, you do not even want to know what's in the sprinkles.

and the cherry sauce.

my god. the sauce.

there's so many, many flavours its enough to give a man brain freeze, just even thinking about it.


:potd:
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Re: Quentin Tarantino is a Basterd
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 06:24:38 pm »
He may be a basterd, but does he make you touch his hand for stupid reasons?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”