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Friday, August 28, 2009

Inglourious Basterds Review Part 3

Hello again. I haven't mentioned that Tarantino is the film history student par excellence. The one and only time I heard him on Charlie Rose, many years ago, he took even my breath away with his fingertip knowledge of film. Most of us know he did not finish high school, was raised by a single mom who must have encouraged his curiosity and intelligence. He worked in a video store and saw movies, movies, movies non stop. Well that's the only way you can even approach catching up on film history. And with Tarantino does it ever show. He seems to have seen everything worth seeing and chooses his influences well. Godard for example. A filmmaker's filmmaker, revered all over the world for his risk taking and daring and non-commercial attitude. Still think he's a moron?

Now I am going to try to elucidate his structural analysis. Let's start with the women because they are so beautiful and perfect in this film. Diane Kruger and Melanie Laurent, whose name in the film is Shosanna Dreyfus. The significance of Dreyfus is the Dreyfus Affair. Look it up. Kruger is the German film actress, double agent for M1 in the UK, where Operation Kino (loses me on this but maybe someone will tell me)has been concocted with the Dietrich like Bridget von Hammersmark, a nice play on words again. Kruger is an actress and plays the role as an actress would play it, that is as an as if personality. Laurent is different. She is clearly controlling her feelings lest she betray herself. Her interactions are authentic. We can see her holding in her fear to avoid betraying herself. In her scene with Christoph Waltz his refined brutality is pure evil. He orders her food, a strudel confection with whipped cream on top, he an expresso, her milk. He offers her a cigarette which she accepts. These are chilling details, and they do not escape her. In the first scene before he murders the hiding Jews under the floorboards he shares drink with his victim. He drinks fresh milk and shares tobacco and Shoshanna remembers this, thus her increased fear. Does he know who she is? Does he suspect? Is this an unconscious knowing on his part? Conscious? No, on second viewing he knows. Just before he goes he says, There was something else but I seem to have forgotten it. Oh well. Hans is disciplined to his core. He drinks two glasses of milk in the first scene. But only one expresso with Shosanna. He forces her to wait until the whipped cream is brought to the table, another communication to increase her fear. He does not finish his dessert confection and stubs out his half smoked cigarette in the whipped cream which is filmed close-up. a brutal and uncouth gesture by a cultured man, done for her benefit. A sign that her youth and beauty mean nothing to him.

So now I should tell you this review is a spoiler. I am little interested in plot to keep my attention and focus. I prefer to get it out of the way so I can concentrate on how the film or book is constructed. Feelings that drive one to keep viewing or reading cause you to miss many things;hence, a second viewing is necessary for the films who deserve more attention that one viewing can offer. A Beautiful Life is one such film. Such a deconstruction of authoritarianism and how it relates to fascism is awesome. Another time and posting.

On to part 4? Yes? No?


Jessie said...

I saw Operation Kino as a reference to Kino International. They distribute rare films, particularly early silent films and foreign films.

seymourblogger said...

Thank you. Operation Kino was a movie inspired operation, wasn't it? So nice to name it after a film distributor, instead of making up a meaningless name, this one describes just what it was. A movie in the minds of the planners.

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