Frankly, Watchin’ Donny Beat Nazis to Death is the Closest We Ever Get to Goin’ to the Movies

Posted on 11/11/2011 by


So I just finished watching this Tarantino movie, Inglourious Basterds. (Wow, it actually kinda hurts to deliberately spell that wrong. Although ‘wrong’ is really a misnomer in this instance as that’s the correct way to spell the movie’s name but… eh, you know what I mean.)

I had forgotten that I tend to really like Tarantino movies. I think it’s because I don’t rewatch them very often. Or, almost at all. So I don’t own many. Plus, you know, they’re ridiculously gory and the emotional connection is always slightly left of normal, so I forget that they’re also really, really interesting. Peculiar, but my kind of peculiar.

Cause Tarantino does these really interesting things. His movies are gorgeous and dripping with style (and blood). And the rampant gore and the expectation of everybody dies isn’t arbitrary it’s something he uses. Which makes the films really interesting.

What I forget — what a lot of people seem to forget — is that Tarantino movies are cool on so many different levels.* I like levels. Levels are fun.

A hand holding a bloodied knife which had imapled a Nazi flag, with the caption 'One upon a time in Nazi occupied France... Inglourious Basters The new film by Quentin Tarantino 2009'

In this case the movie itself kind of bullied me into really watching it too, which is cool and irritating by turns. I’m generally doing at least one other thing when watching TV — although if it’s good enough I’ll focus. That’s actually something of a litmus test to how much I like whatever it is. But Inglorious Basterds is three quarters in languages that aren’t English. I might be able to scrape by with the French but I only know like a handful of German words. So watching the screen for the subtitles becomes necessary.

Still. That was actually one of my favourite things about the movie. I always feel like it’s disingenuous of WWII movies to be entirely in one language because the war wasn’t conducted in only one language. So seeing that acknowledged was really nice. ‘Realistic’ is perhaps the wrong word, given that the movie takes place in an alternate universe, but something in that general ballpark.

And Tarantino, of course, makes sure you appreciate it. The opening of the film is in French, but they fairly shortly switch to English and you think, Oh, that was a little arbitrary. But fine… because you’re used to it. Because that’s what movies do. But then it turns out to be a deliberate and kind of horrible ploy. A ploy! Which is so awesome.

Plus the subtitles don’t translate when it’s obvious — like ‘oui’ and ‘merci’ and so on. Which makes you pay more attention to what they’re saying. There’s a deliberate kind of consciousness in the film — in all of Tarantino’s films — which is delightful and really out of the ordinary. Most movies try very hard for the suspension of disbelief. Sometimes I think Tarantino could care less about that, instead simply playing on every level diagetic and otherwise that he has available. (Did I mention I like levels?)
And, of course, chapter two suckered me in enough that I didn’t mind not being able to read my email or research WWII era weaponry while I watched.


* I was going to make a ‘like Disney movies that do jokes for adults above and below jokes for kids’ comment here. But then I felt badly about comparing Tarantino to Disney, cause… yeah, no. That seems wrong.


Posted in: Kandace, Research