Sunday, 9 December 2012

Summary - Inglorious Bastards

Summary - Inglorious Bastards:

Title: Inglorious Bastards.

First Release: August 21 2009 (USA).

Material Designation: Film/DVD.

Director: Quentin TARANTINO.

Production Details: Germany/USA, The Weinstein Company/A Band Apart/Studio Babelsberg.

Themes: War, Pseudonyms, Fantasy

Summary of plot:

In Nazi-occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the "Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl's plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history. [1]

Key points:
  • Fairy tale-esque structure, begins with chapter 1 "Once Upon a Time... in Nazi-Occupied France." and is split into a total of five chapters.
My response: 

Though I am not a particular fan of gore-filled war films, I must say I did actually enjoy the film. Though several scenes go on longer than what they should have, the witty dialogue and horrifically bad accents of Brad Pitt do make the rather violent film humorous. Looking deeper into the film at first barefaced meaning, it is rather complex and does relate to postmodernism. In short, it is a fictional old war film that depicts the death of Hitler but is presented in a rather modern way. The director, Tarantino, is known for distilling his own quirkiness into his films; it's no wonder that the film has many de facto layers of meaning.

Firstly, the opening of the film itself. "Once upon a time..." is a very quintessential fairy-tale starter, yet coupled with " Nazi-Occupied France" feels rather misplaced as it founds from the start a very hyper-real look. As if a subtle disclaimer that the film... is a film - a product of fiction. As war films are typically known for being coined from actual events, such as the hundreds of other WWII films out there, Tarantino appears to use this to his advantages. A good example being how the characters are conveyed by the actors. They're are all exaggerated versions of other. Brad Pitt's (whether or not this was the best he could do) accent is exaggerated and to be frank, made me chuckle. The hilarious generalization of American accents is very hyper-real. However, Adolf Hitler's representation is the best example. Here he dies in a way that was not to be expected. When watching its climax, I expected the plot to fail and Hitler and co. to survive, yet they all died. This blatantly goes against history and yet again is an exaggeration of what is real. How the fact that the places are sets is enforced; bird-eye camera views expose the walls that dived the sets.

Going on from my earlier point, the film has a distinct playfulness  from how Hitler dies or Aldo Reins' very relaxed demeanor show that Tarantino is purposefully playing with our preconceptions of reality, using our consequenting reactions to having these challenged to generate a reaction. Furthermore, the film is one giant parody of World War Two. With the branding of Jews with Star of Davids being flipped to Nazis being branded with Swastika scars; mocking reality. It turns into a satirical poking as history is thrown out the window. Identities are constantly questioned, "Jew Hunter", "Little Man", reputation and the use of characters playing a game in which they guess the name written on a card emanates this.

This is now the third film recommended to me by Mr. Williams, and I am now getting a very general overview on the postmodernist concept of 'hyperreality' and being able to deduct examples of it. Even in an at first simple war film.

[1] - (Accessed 08/12/12)

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