There’s something that’s been bugging me about “Inglorious Basterds” since it first came out. It bugged the crap out of me when Tarentino came to speak at work a few weeks ago, and I just saw a tweet about the film that sort of opened up the question for me again.
I’m really interested in hearing from other people as to whether there are those out there who share my concerns about the film, or if I’m just the proverbial lone voice crying in the wilderness.
Let’s get something straight here first … I really love Tarentino flicks. I’ve seen “Pulp Fiction” more times than I can count, own it on two, soon to be three, types of media, and can pretty much recite long parts of it from memory.
“The path of the righteous man …”
Likewise the “Kill Bill” movies. I love these films … It’s like visual mind candy and more fun than just about anything that doesn’t involve a feather boa and the theme from “A Summer Place” ($1 to Joss Whedon.)
I’ve got a big problem with “Inglorious Basterds” though, and I’m not sure if it’s just my bleeding heart, former Democratic-but-becoming-more-Libertarian-by-the-day, sensibilities getting in the way of another badass Tarentino flick. So I’m laying it out there and asking for commentary.
I hate “Inglorious Basterds”. Flat-out. Well, no, I don’t hate it flat out…In fact I keep watching it when it is on cable, because Tarentino films are like crack for me…In this case, bigoted, infuriatingly jingoistic crack.
It’s not that it’s a bad movie, or the writing or acting sucks … And Melanie Laurent, the blonde French chick who owns the movie theatre, is about as gorgeous as Tarentino ingenues get. All of that stuff is Quentin at his genre-flick, let’s objectify the hot chick and make everyone drool-loving best.
It’s all about the morality of the thing.
In the shadow of Abu Gharib, and discussions of whether or not waterboarding is torture, and whether or not the United States practices, or allows 3rd party providers, to engage in torture on our behalf, we have a film that is basically the feel-good film of the year about a platoon of U.S. Soldiers committing terrorist acts and atrocities behind enemy lines.
Look, war sucks. The Nazis sucked … and Adolph Hitler sucked, and was just as, if not more, evil than any despotic tyrant of the 20th Century…and beyond just about anyone else in the last 100 years, but I don’t find this film acceptable just because it was about a bunch of Jewish American Soldiers getting revenge on Nazis.
The behaviour expressed in this film should be reviled. Period. End-of-case. It represents the U.S. sinking to the level of the enemy and becoming that which we despise.
Noam Chomsky would say we’ve been there for a long time … I’m not going to get into that right now.
What I’d like to get into is some debate about this film.
What do you think? Am I overreacting to just another over-the-top Tarentino flick, or is there a bigger picture we need to be paying attention to?
Talk to me, people. I really need some help here.
Update – 7/30/2013
This post gets almost daily hits…Not a lot, but folks have been reading this. Since it was written, we’ve also received “Django in Chains” from Quentin Tarentino, a film that has been hailed by critics and audiences alike, but which I find no less appalling than ‘Basterds.’ In fact, while being hailed as one of his best films, it’s also his most racist, starting out as a bad remake of ‘Blazing Saddles’, then going terribly wrong because Tarentino doesn’t have the fine hand, or delicate touch, that Mel Brooks, a true comic genius, has in knowing just how far you can push material, without crossing a line of no return.
Quentin, love your films, but hate the racism and bigotry. ‘Nuff said.