Sunday, January 17, 2010

Inglorious Basterds - Alternate History (?)

Finally got around to seeing Tarantino's Jewish revenge epic Inglorious Basterds on DVD yesterday.

I generally thought it was well done despite feeling like it was overly slow in places. Was surprised how little the over-the-top violence factored into the story. They sure played it up in the marketing when the film first debuted. I figured it was going to spend a lot of time focusing on how the Basterds found creative ways to take revenge on the Nazis they caught. While the scalping and the other torture is pretty graphic it didn't amount to a lot of screen time. It's almost like Tarantino want's to make a 'straight' movie but can't quite let go of the gimmicks. The morality is a bit murky throughout the film which contributes to a lot of the controversy.

Tarantino's revisionist history results in an unique alternate history tale. It works on a number of levels the most obvious of which is the divergent timeline and the outcome of World War II.

Watched a really good discussion on the film online here today - Inglorious Basterds: Can Hollywood Rewrite History? which has a lot to say about cinema, Jewish history, holocaust, Tarantino's work in general. It's in several parts and runs over an hour.

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