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Saturday, August 29, 2009


As violence and revenge are projected as themes and disavowed by Mark Blankenship, he comes to the scene of Shosanna's death. The hero German soldier who has been turned into a movie star (Daniel Bruehl)who has been chasing Shosanna in an adolescent way, procuring her theatre for the Nazi event and the premiere of his movie debut, enters the projection room as her film is playing on reel 3 where she tells the Nazis it is all over for them and they will die. Now here is Tarantino's salute to another grand opera of treachery, Tosca. Buehl is the modern day police chief Scarpia and she is Tosca. He has come to claim her in all his movie star image of himself. She is not impressed as usual. She sees his intent to force her, tells him to shut the door almost seductively. He falters and she repeats her command. As he turns she shoots him in the back a few times. She has kissed her black lover goodbye as they both will burn in the holocaust of fire. She goes to the body and here Tarantino twists the old cliche of the corpse arising to be killed again. He does but he shoots her. Just like Gregory Peck does to Jennifer Jones in Duel in the Sun but this is a more classical scene. They both lie sprawled across the floor apart in death and we have the ending of Tosca. It is beautiful and classical and a salute to high culture as Rienzi has prepared us. The flames behind the screen as Shosanna laughs and laughs and laughs in her film is another tribute to grand opera.

By now you know I am deconstructing this film on the fly. The more one thinks about it the more there is to think about. You take from a Tarantino film what you bring to a Tarantino film. And that is his gift to us. If all you bring to it is red then that's what you leave with. Not a shabby thing at all. Something that has made you see a bit differently from usual. The juxtaposition of the two women is glorious. One is the actress, the other has in real life assumed heroic proportions so as to appear a giantess, to have overcome her terror and fear. Someone said, courage is the action you take when you are terrified. The first encounter with Lantz she ran away with terrified wings on her feet. This time she has confronted all of them holding her ground by burning her theatre down, igniting an antique collection of flammable film. I want to tell you from experience, a small amount of film on fire will burn a small house down like you wouldn't believe.

Still more on the fiery holocaust.

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