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August 13, 2009


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D Cairns

Haven't the Basterds already sunk to that level? As Newsweek pointed out, most of what they do to their enemies was in reality done by nazis to Jews.

I couldn't enjoy the film because it seemed to be inviting me to participate in something horrible, and the complicating factors seemed like afterthoughts, so they did not make it seem thought-provoking either. Like a repulsive entertainment was dreamed up, and then a few contradictions peppered over it to make it seem deep.

Have seen a couple of comments in various places saying that the Bowie song plays over the cinema inferno, but in the version I saw it only played when Shosanna was getting dolled up for the premier.

Tom Carson

"While Tarantino may want to fuck with the catharsis, he doesn't want to ruin it completely." That's absolutely true, and could reduce the whole thing to Quentin wanting to eat his cake and have it too. God, is there no end to fathoming what this movie is *really* about? But for GK's sake, I hope I'm not alone in enjoying the multiple debates it's provoked. Sue me for returning to this thread the way William S. Burroughs might keep coming back to a good source of heroin.

Allen Belz

I'd say it has less to do with having his Kate and Edith too than it does with those quite clearly stated words that both you and MS quoted. Of course, I'm continuing to go on about this topic while still not having seen the film (tomorrow morning, 11am PST). I'd agree that there's probably no end to the fathoming...he said back in the Pulp Fiction days that he definitely wants his movies to mean far more than one thing.

bill, as to acknowledging the possible operatic charge it might give some, just a quick scan of the comments seems to tell me you're not exactly alone there...even Glenn says the ending is "ROUSING [my caps] AND unsettling."

My personal disinclination to lizard-brain vengeance kinda stuff has, I'm sure a certain amount to do with two figures from my past...my dad, who had a hair-trigger temper and who nursed grudges like they were best friends. The war story character he most reminded me of was the fella in "Slaughterhouse Five" who was putting every slight on his list. Though he and I are more cordial these days, it's still a very distant relationship. The other was an older guy who'd been WWII, came back with some hair-raising stories, and whose favorite quote was from that famed wuss and finger-wagger Ernest Hemingway: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." Not that he thought that he or any of the people he served with were criminals, more that it was a crime that it ever had to happen at all. And he got no kind of "manly" primal satisfaction out of what he did in the slightest. It's some of this latter knowledge I'm in the midst of passing along to my own kid, if he wants it. He'll be going into the Navy, very much by his own choice, at the end of the year.

Allen Belz

Apologies for slight typos and word/punctuation omissions here and there in the above...it's late. Also if it appears at all in the last sentence that I'm in conflict with my kid regarding his path...it wouldn't be my path, and of course I'm concerned over what could happen to him, but I'm fully respectful of his choice.


As a Jew, I came into this move with mixed feelings. On the one hand, obviously, I love the idea of the Nazis getting their comeuppance. On the other, I do think there are some troubling images portrayed here. The Jews in the movie aren't even characters -- just unsympathetic, brutish, murderers. I actually found it anti-Jewish in some ways. Another friend forwarded this review -- from a NAZI site --


that actually summarized what I had been feeling. It made me sick, but I think there's something to it here -- that Tarantino is making a joke out of things that should be serious.

Andrew Wyatt

One thing that I haven't seen discussed much to date is IG's role as a kind of "Last WWII Film" that deliberately strives to be a fed-up period at the end of a particular setence: the use of Nazis in pop entertainment. Amid all the revenge fantasy giddiness, I definitely detected a deeply cynical current in the film that questions the endurance of WWII, the Nazis, and Adolf Hitler specifically as disposable elements in fiction. [SPOILERS] When Donnie sprays Hitler with his machine gun, literally disintegrating the man in a hail of bullets, I felt as much contempt for Hitler-as-Symbol as Hitler-as-Man. QT seemed to be saying "Okay, I've destroyed Hitler. He's been turned into bloody hamburger and burned to ashes. Can we please, please, please, please move on?"

Mike D

Bill, I'm with you on this 100%. I enjoyed, nay, relished the massacre and indeed any action against the Nazis in the film, without scruples. In a film meant to be so cathartic and over-the-top, I find it ludicrous to harbor any ethical qualms. The film was fun, and my bleeding heart enjoyed every jest, and every bludgeoning, scalping, shooting and assorted atrocity thrown at the National Socialists. Especially Landa's grand comeuppance. Those who would compare a film that clearly has more in common with spaghetti westerns than recorded history, those folks need to lighten up. Seriously. I was with Aldo, Donny and the Basterds the whole way. And, damn, is Fassbender cool. This film lived up to all the expectations I had over the last ten years, and then some. Move over, Chigurh, here comes Landa. Damn, what a movie. Cannot wait to see it again. Stiglitz is badass!

John  Keefer

Have I told you lately that I love you?



I guess at this point That Fuzzy Bastard has "lost" the argument (imagine someone judging a movie by it's trailer - shocking!), but for what it's worth, I HAVE seen the movie and I think he's dead on concerning the 2 scenes that make up most of the trailer. That's not torture, guys? Oooookay.

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