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Friday, August 28, 2009


Are you ready? As the red analysis suggests let's do talk about language. Yes Basterds is intentionally misspelled. Say it out loud the way it is spelled. It forces you to pronounce it with a British inflection. Inglourious is spelled the UK way to draw our attention to the linguistic UK on a visual plane the way Basterds does on the auditory. Still think Tarantino is a moron? (One of the commentators said that at Huff Po.)

But I am not finished by a long shot. I will concede that red lipstick, fingernails, beautiful red dresses, Nazi banners and blood are alluded to here. Far from the whole story though. The film opens with Once Upon a time....., a fairy tale. To be taken as an imaginary fluff, right? Then you haven't read Bettleheim's The Uses of Enchantment or Picola's Women Who Run With the Wolves. Fairy tales are to be taken very very seriously. In childhood and in adulthood. And it seems Tarantino thinks we still need them. We do. The film is structurally composed in chapters: like one; two; three;etc. That means: Read it like a book! It also refers to Godard, Tarantino's genius of a mentor and his French films, most of which have chapter titles.

So an entire new level opens up. Godard has been teaching his audience how to view, perceive, analyze, interpret, understand, see reality. Remember the blood all over the place in the car wrecks of Weekend? Lots of red in that one and a prescient vision of the stupidness of the auto weekends from the suburbs. But I won't go there.

Inglourious Basterds can now be seen as an incredible attempt to teach us how to see. Let's go there in part 3 if you are still with me.

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