Author Topic: Inglourious Basterds  (Read 61548 times)

skjerva

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #280 on: September 15, 2009, 05:32:56 PM »
I think there are two questions here that you guys fail to separate.

1.  Did the Nazis deserve to die (within the movie universe)? 

2.  Why do we as an audience, ENJOY watching them die?

but not all of us do enjoy watching them die, or get joy out of it.  if you get that joy, it is a great question for you, i suppose.  my engagement with the film's violence is quite different. 

The theater I was in exploded in cheer during the climax, and I live in Ithaca NY, the most peacenik town in America.  I am pretty sure Tarantino intended for us to cheer for the bad guys demise, the scene is clearly filmed in a very dramatic and exploitative fashion, nowhere is any pathos shown to the Nazeees.  How else can you possibly react to that scene?  Shed a single tear for poor Adolf?


you don't think this film draws that kind of crowd?   you think a lot of peaceniks went to this one?  hmmm.   the two times i saw it nobody cheered when nazis were killed, though one guy did stand up and scream "asshole" when Shosanna was thanks for accepting the invitation to the restaurant, but i'm pretty sure i wasn't there with a bunch of peaceniks, either.

i agree no we are not meant to cry for the poor nazis.  i am just saying i didn't experience joy when they were killed, and it is very reasonable to think that Tarantino is trying to show some similarity between the violence of the nazis and the Basterds.  is he trying to literally equate them?  of course not.  as folks point out, there is nazi violence and the revenge violence, and while different, they are clearly birds of a feather.

didn't you used to live in Oregon (if so, when did you move to Ithaca)?

on your first question, i don't think it is obvious in the movie universe that the nazis deserved to die.  the fact that we are introduced to Aldo giving his venomous speech about killing nazis immediately after the venomous rhetoric we are previously introduced to from the nazis is no coincidence, these sentiments are clearly meant to echo.  this is meant to complicate the assumption that (uniformed) nazis deserve to die, that the work of the Basterds is honorable

Disagree completely.  Aldo's speech wasn't venomous at all, it was clearly meant to be humorous or atleast tongue in cheek (killin nazeees).  The showing of Nazi barbarity before the speech is not meant to show any similarity, its how all revenge films are structured.
 
Scene 1:         A terrible crime by villain
Scene 2:         Hero vows revenge
Rest of Movie:  Hero gets revenge 

Scene 1 makes us hate Nazis all over again, scene 2 makes us giddy for the revenge to come, the ending is the culmination of that promise of vengeance.  Again, nowhere is any equivalence drawn between the heroes and the Nazis.


of course Also's speech is also meant to be humorous, but the fact that he has a silly accent doesn't mean what he is doing is tongue-in-cheek.  maybe venomous isn't the right word, but the speech is solely about killing nazis - it is clearly meant to echo the earlier nazi rhetoric.  it seems really weird to deny this while naming "nazi barbarity" as that seems a pretty apt description of the work of the Basterds - letting nobody escape*, scalping, etc.  that "this is how all revenge films are structured" is not an argument that denies this similarity, IB can use this structure (whether or not that matters) and still make comment on the theme of violence, showing the similarity between the nazis and the basterds, and still have revenge as the organizing objective.

But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

zarodinu

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #281 on: September 15, 2009, 06:07:01 PM »
of course Also's speech is also meant to be humorous, but the fact that he has a silly accent doesn't mean what he is doing is tongue-in-cheek.  maybe venomous isn't the right word, but the speech is solely about killing nazis - it is clearly meant to echo the earlier nazi rhetoric.  it seems really weird to deny this while naming "nazi barbarity" as that seems a pretty apt description of the work of the Basterds - letting nobody escape*, scalping, etc.  that "this is how all revenge films are structured" is not an argument that denies this similarity, IB can use this structure (whether or not that matters) and still make comment on the theme of violence, showing the similarity between the nazis and the basterds, and still have revenge as the organizing objective.

...I can see how that interpretation could work.  I guess the biggest evidence I can produce against it is the tone Tarantino chooses to use the whole film.  The killing is just too exploitative to deliver a message about violence.  Every dead Nazi is a joke, the murder of these people is never taken remotely seriously, the scalping are more or less a running gag.  If I was the director, and I wanted to deliver your message to the audience, I would give the constant killing a little more weight.  I would not play every single scene of violence for laughs.  Just think about that last scene in the forest, the shooting and scalping of Landa's "friend" is basically a joke, and the carving of the swastika with Tarantino breaking the fourth wall through Brad Pitt is also played for sadistic laughs, wouldn't this scene be shot completely different if the film was trying to deliver a message about violence? 

didn't you used to live in Oregon (if so, when did you move to Ithaca)?
   

Spent three years in Cornell, dropped out, spent 3 years in Oregon, and just moved back to finish my Bachelor.  Drove all the way here with a friend from Toronto.  Amazing drive, especially Yellowstone and Chicago.  If you never done one of those across America road trips, can't recommend it enough.
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skjerva

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #282 on: September 15, 2009, 06:17:42 PM »
didn't you used to live in Oregon (if so, when did you move to Ithaca)?
   

Spent three years in Cornell, dropped out, spent 3 years in Oregon, and just moved back to finish my Bachelor.  Drove all the way here with a friend from Toronto.  Amazing drive, especially Yellowstone and Chicago.  If you never done one of those across America road trips, can't recommend it enough.

i remember that now.  yeah, i really love driving across america.  hmmm.   which road films did you end up watching before your trip?

and on violence as funny, i kinda get that - and agree on the last scene - but i do think the way he uses all of the german film as a backdrop to the holocaust is also meant to key us into the importance of film as shaping a country's ideas.  i think we agree that this film is making us question our relationship to the violence, and i'm not sure any of his other films do this, so that's pretty cool
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

Fugee

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #283 on: September 15, 2009, 06:27:38 PM »
Spent three years in Cornell, dropped out, spent 3 years in Oregon, and just moved back to finish my Bachelor.  Drove all the way here with a friend from Toronto.  Amazing drive, especially Yellowstone and Chicago.  If you never done one of those across America road trips, can't recommend it enough.
Where in Oregon were you?

zarodinu

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #284 on: September 15, 2009, 06:32:43 PM »
didn't you used to live in Oregon (if so, when did you move to Ithaca)?
 

Spent three years in Cornell, dropped out, spent 3 years in Oregon, and just moved back to finish my Bachelor.  Drove all the way here with a friend from Toronto.  Amazing drive, especially Yellowstone and Chicago.  If you never done one of those across America road trips, can't recommend it enough.

i remember that now.  yeah, i really love driving across america.  hmmm.   which road films did you end up watching before your trip?

Ended up watching Tu Mama, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Two-Lane Blacktop (big discovery for me, thanks for recommending), and Badlands.  Yeah, the trip was a right of passage of sorts for me, and I am glad I did it in a car with all kinds of adventures along the way, a quick plane ride would be too jarring a transition.      

i think we agree that this film is making us question our relationship to the violence, and i'm not sure any of his other films do this, so that's pretty cool

Good films have a message, great films have a message that cannot be summarized in a sentence or wrapped up in a neat little package.  I love filmspotting precisely because of the difference of opinion you get here.  

Where in Oregon were you?

I was working in a hospital in the glorious city of Coos Bay OR.  Lots of beautiful beaches and lonely 40 year old nurses.  Little else though.  Its half way between Portland and San Fran but on the coast.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 06:44:35 PM by zarodinu »
Iíve lied to men who wear belts. Iíve lied to men who wear suspenders. But Iíd never be so stupid as to lie to a man who wears both a belt and suspenders.

Fugee

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #285 on: September 15, 2009, 07:09:07 PM »

I was working in a hospital in the glorious city of Coos Bay OR.  Lots of beautiful beaches and lonely 40 year old nurses.  Little else though.  Its half way between Portland and San Fran but on the coast.
Nice! I like Coos Bay alright. Ever make it to Eugene?

zarodinu

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #286 on: September 15, 2009, 07:24:06 PM »

I was working in a hospital in the glorious city of Coos Bay OR.  Lots of beautiful beaches and lonely 40 year old nurses.  Little else though.  Its half way between Portland and San Fran but on the coast.
Nice! I like Coos Bay alright. Ever make it to Eugene?

Yep, love Eugene, its like a big college town and I mean that as a complement.  Watched Moon in the Bijou movie theater.  Do you live there?
Iíve lied to men who wear belts. Iíve lied to men who wear suspenders. But Iíd never be so stupid as to lie to a man who wears both a belt and suspenders.

chardy999

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #287 on: September 15, 2009, 08:34:22 PM »
I once again agree with zarodinu.

I would add that critiquing violence in such an arduous academic fashion is probably not how I would look at it. I feel like their intentions and manner are more important factors dictating our impression of the Nazis and the Basterds. They create a mood, a relationship - the violence is the culmination of their ideals in a real physical world. So we draw our conclusions of peoples' character before the violence and based on how the violence goes down we cheer/cry/despair/laugh/feel nothing, whatever ...

So it's less a study of our 'relationship to violence' as it is a 'relationship to characters.'

I hope I make sense...  :-[
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FroHam X

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #288 on: September 16, 2009, 12:04:37 AM »
I don't understand how any viewer wouldn't get at least some level of satisfaction from seeing the Nazis get killed unless they themselves are Nazis or some such thing.
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skjerva

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Re: Inglourious Basterds
« Reply #289 on: September 16, 2009, 12:17:27 AM »
I once again agree with zarodinu.

I would add that critiquing violence in such an arduous academic fashion is probably not how I would look at it. I feel like their intentions and manner are more important factors dictating our impression of the Nazis and the Basterds. They create a mood, a relationship - the violence is the culmination of their ideals in a real physical world. So we draw our conclusions of peoples' character before the violence and based on how the violence goes down we cheer/cry/despair/laugh/feel nothing, whatever ...

So it's less a study of our 'relationship to violence' as it is a 'relationship to characters.'

I hope I make sense...  :-[

no sense.  i really don't know what you are referring to.  there is some "arduous academic" critique - kinda funny, that.  then there is some "their" referred to; then some "they"...

I don't understand how any viewer wouldn't get at least some level of satisfaction from seeing the Nazis get killed unless they themselves are Nazis or some such thing.

really?
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)