Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino

In Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist history of World War II, he shows that while the Allied Forces were unable to exact a revenge on the Nazis that matched their crimes, it is well within his power as writer and director to do so now. He imagines a brutal revenge fueled by a wrath that the Allied Forces could or would not muster. As with all of Tarantino’s films, Basterds is a meditation on violence, particularly violence in cinema. And while the violence is graphic, what is more unsettling is the nagging suspicion that he selected the Nazis as antagonists primarily to make such brutality “acceptable.” In fact, the more brutal the fate of each Nazi, the more we self-consciously cheer. But the violence issue aside, the film is masterfully crafted. Several of the scenes are among the most riveting in recent memory, and the whole film has that other Tarantino trademark—it is incredibly entertaining.

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