Tarantino’s approach to the notorious Nazi past
It seems to be a feature of really great movies to combine almost irreconcilable art forms, techniques, and styles, and in doing so, it presents audiences with a whole new aspect of storytelling and style. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” is such a movie, and yet it tries not to look special by being sloppy around curves, unpolished in certain places, and without using the morals of most movies portraying events of the Second World War. The script for “Inglourious Basterds”, which was written by director Tarantino himself, had been developed over many years, allowing him to refine all the details and develop his unusual story to such an extent that the words spoken on the screen It seemed as natural as if there were no real script. This unique writing method allowed the actors to steer their characters in whatever direction they wanted, but still remain true to their original backstory that was established before filming even began. This fact sets Tarantino apart from other screenwriters and allows him to do whatever comes his way creatively first, allowing interference from studio executives only at the end, when the entire project is ready to go to market. . But let’s take a close look at the movie itself.
On the level of the movie’s message, Tarantino’s cool bastards confront the audience with potentially several very serious taboo topics. Let us name some of them. The first question could be formulated as the following question: Should high-level officers of conquered armies, who have committed massive war crimes against civilians, be allowed to organize conditional deliveries (legal and secure channels) or should they be eternally tagged with the? Sign whose victory they hoped for? Tarantino’s Jewish bad boys prefer to mark with knife-curved Nazi swastikas on the forehead. The second issue could also be posed in the form of a question: since justice is rarely fair and since the victims of World War II (the Jews in the first place) cannot be fully compensated for their losses, if allowed the victims take revenge on their own. way? Tarantino’s bad boys take scalps like Apache and film music supports this association by quoting and mixing music even from brutal spaghetti westerns with film music composed by Ennio Morricone. The third theme is a problem of postmodernist, playful and pseudohistorical reconstruction of the end of the Second World War. Here, Tarantino provokes us with the fictitious possibility of ending the war by killing Hitler, Goebbels, Bormann and Goering in a movie theater (“all rotten eggs in one basket”). After numerous unsuccessful assassination attempts on Hitler, “Painter” himself is killed by moving images in a Paris cinema? No one before Tarantino had such an idea. The fourth topic is the problem of German racism against Jews and Blacks, which is actually a very good topic considering some actual revivals of the neo-Nazi subculture around the world. And the fifth issue is the problem of a brilliant, intelligent, eloquent, polyglot, charming and educated mass murderer in the character of SS Colonel Hans Landa, standing here for some very famous Nazi monsters who managed to escape justice. (eg Mengele), being a cartoon that manages to eventually learn to use the expression “bingo!” correctly, but in rather strange circumstances. Also, Hans Landa appears to be something of a cross between the detective who lives at 221B Baker Street and Michael Dobbs’ sinister politician Francis Urqhart from his hit novel “The House of Cards,” too. Furthermore, the rest of the cast is brilliantly playing many stereotypical roles that could have come off the set of any Sergio Leone movie, or even movies like “Dirty Dozen”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “The Eagle Has Landed” etc.
In addition, Tarantino seems to have made a film that approaches theater quality in some quite physically static scenes (for example, while sitting at the table) that grow to develop a total dynamic of verbal intelligence in acting (determining who goes to survive, depending on accents, verbal and non-verbal errors in one’s mother tongue and in foreign languages, depending on the ability to destroy one’s footprints before leaving important places, depending on individual luck and fate) with deadly final shots . Somehow, we have here a film that consists of five known and partially varied dramatic parts: 1) the exhibition showing the extermination of the Jewish Dreyfus family “In Nazi-occupied France”; 2) introduction to the Jewish Avengers in “Inglourious Basterds”, 3) escalation of tension in “German Night in Paris”, 4) dramatic ups and downs in “Operation Kino” and finally 5) the Nazi defeat in “Vengeance of the giant “Face.” On the other hand, Tarantino’s film is also a film about films. It is about films in conflict: the UFA film production of the Third Reich against Hollywood, Goebbels against Selznik. It is a film about film critics. and his books.
Nazi war hero films (eg “The Nation’s Pride”) are opposed to the Jewish expressionist films of the 1920s in the Weimar Republic. Tarantino has deliberately used the chiaroscuro technique of expressionist cinematographic poetics. The verbal allusion to the bad Jewish boy called “Jewish Bear” or “Golem” is part of this intertextual joy in the film. Pabst is mentioned and Emil Jannings appears himself as a fictional character in the film. Chaplin’s Leni Riefenstahl, Max Linder, “King Kong” and “The Kid” are also part of Tarantino’s cinematic text. Shoshana Dreyfus, the sole survivor of the entire Jewish family, collaborates with the Nazis as the owner of the host cinema of the German night under the name Emmanuelle Mimieux and takes on the appearances of the supposed collaborating actress Danielle Darrieux. Furthermore, Tarantino’s film is also indirectly a film about propaganda hate films, such as “The Eternal Jew” (directed by Fritz Hippler, 1940), which have become part of people’s subconscious even in France: Perrier LaPadite decides betray the Dreyfus family only after Hans Landa tells his story of rats (i.e. Jews) bringing disease and disaster. The savior of the Jews becomes their traitor after Landa’s brainwashing and silently points out, albeit with tears in his eyes, his location in the basement. This movie is also a movie about cutting movies, changing them with new subversive movie sequences embedded. The film material itself (nitrate film prints) eventually becomes the most important means of destroying the entire Nazi leadership.
Let’s finally see the reception of the film. The common denominator of most of the early reviews of this film was the fact that they all praised the overwhelming performance of an Austrian-born actor, Christoph Waltz, who professed his brilliance in playing the resourceful Hans Landa and at the same time manifested his mysterious anonymity abroad. world. However, this is not the truth. He was almost unknown to the English-speaking world in a way that they had hardly ever seen him perform. Most of his roles were for German TV movies, but he was certainly not anonymous. In fact, people would be surprised if he was considered a prodigy in his early days as an actor, in the same way that Pitt was proclaimed as Robert Redford of the “next generation”.
However, there is a big difference between the two. Christoph Waltz is a classical actor, in the sense that he studied acting at the Max Reinhardt theater school in Vienna and at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York (the same Lee Strasberg who taught Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and most of The Actors and Actresses of the ’80s and’ 90s the art of method acting!) As such, Waltz, being a classically educated actor, certainly has a wider range of craft techniques at his disposal, than Masterfully implores throughout this film. Pitt, on the other hand, has evolved as an actor and carries the same tenacity and charm of a young Frank Sinatra, a role he played gallantly in Soderbergh’s remake of “Ocean’s 11.” The two actors find themselves in an environment that serves as a catalyst for their conflict, designed not to tame and calm, but to provoke and embellish reactions, sharpen the senses, and highlight the hidden qualities of both worlds. The film benefits from their mutual exclusivity and it is not surprising that Waltz ended up winning the Oscar for best supporting actor, which places him alongside Emil Jannings, as the second Austrian to receive this award. He will surely go down in history as the man who brought to life one of the clever but hideous antagonists in modern film history, alongside Hannibal Lecter from Hopkins or Norman Bates from Perkins from “Psycho.”