28 August 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Written & Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

You know me: I can’t stand W.W. II movies; lately, each one, domestic or foreign (the lovely Kaibei excluded), has been a cliché-ridden exercise in facile tear jerking and/or Hollywood Prestige award-baiting. Inglourious Basterds, too, is chockablock with genre clichés, but Tarantino’s ingenious coup is to replace one set of tropes with another: as you point out, his latest is a Western, spaghettisploitation with a National Socialist twist, merely disguised as a war movie. When [SS Man] Landa shows up at the Frenchman’s house in the first scene, it’s like a railroad baron appearing at a dirt farmer’s cabin. With one frame, he pays obvious homage to the last shot of The Searchers, and the whole movie, like the Kill Bill dyad, feels like one long tribute to Once Upon a Time in the West. (The opening title card even reads, “Once Upon a Time in Occupied France”. He must watch Leone’s movie, like, every day.) As such, he gives the W.W. II movie a much-needed kick in the ass.

Keep reading my discussion with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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