Inglorious Basterds

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Jonas E. Salk posited that the cure for most diseases lay right in the disease itself — that, by administering a disease in a tiny, less potent form, one may render the body itself immune to more salient strains of the same disease.

There’s been a recent glut of Holocaust movies, as has been mentioned in these pages — everything from naked-Holocaust-Kate-Winclet to campy-Nazi-Tom-Cruise and in between. There’s even a Holocaust movie for kids.

And now, Quentin Tarantino has his hand in the action.

Here’s what the press materials say:

In German-occupied France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own… Release Date: August 21st, 2009

The trailer (below) promises good times, a guilty-but-giddy thrill ride through Brad Pitt and his cronies making all sorts of bloody pulpy messes out of Nazi scalps. The trailer itself is mostly talk, but we know that Tarantino is a man of his word — the lone act of violence in the trailer shows a baseball bat about to swing into a man’s head, cut off at the very last moment possible…and you know it’s not gonna cut away in the film. (The film also stars the director Eli Roth, whose Hostel films are among the most explicitly gory of modern cinema.) I can be squeamish sometimes, but there’s an underlying buzz of appealingness from the trailer…I mean, we all know how it ends (America wins), but who doesn’t want to see Nazis get pounded?

But, dude, I don’t know. There’s going to be the inevitable moment where some Nazi claims retribution, going on a bloody rampage of his own, and one of the heroes will, of course, be tortured….and though Tarantino knows how to take his audience on a roller-coaster of emotions and leave them standing on their feet at the conclusion, I don’t know if I’m ready for this ride. (I do, however, have until August to decide.) Personally, I’m more excited for Tarantino’s mired-in-authenticity kung-fu film, which he’s allegedly recording in Cantonese with English voice-overs being dubbed spontaneously on the set.

Thanks for the tip, World Jewish Daily.

Posted on February 17, 2009

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4 thoughts on “Inglorious Basterds

  1. clara1

    Maskil,

    You are so right. The Conservative Synagogue and Reform Temple in my area (the only two in the Knoxville area) were broken into and vandalized. Since they were only a mile apart and there are several xian churches on the route, I think it was a hate crime. But the police in the area didn’t. The FBI did come to investigate. I know it is a hate crime, but this is a fundamentalist xian area; they even hate Catholics in Knoxville. As my xian brother said Jews, Catholics, and gays are going to hell. He told me this when I was Catholic, before I converted to Judaism.

    Clara

  2. Maskil

    Isn’t it ironic that the Holocaust film “genre� is all the rage just when:

    – Holocaust denial has achieved a respectability and audience it hasn’t had in decades
    – The most vile, despicable accusations against are being made against the Jewish State, concerning war crimes, genocide and concentration camps
    – The leader of Iran is allowed to threaten the existence of the world’s only Jewish state, and his threat is hardly challenged, even by those whose duty it is to do so

    These are truly strange and dangerous times we live in!

  3. clara1

    Maskil,

    This climate has been going on for many years. The people like KKK and etc. didn’t quit hating, they just went underground. Now, the climate is changing and they are starting to raise their ugly heads. The people who hated us before still do, but had to be quite for a time. I hope that a black president (bi-racial) may make a difference. But, the old white men of the south (republicans) with the old raciest attitudes are giving him a hard time. Really, the Blacks, Jews, and Catholics should stick together because we will all be under the gun. Xians don’t see Catholics as christian and hate them too. But, I don’t think the Catholics get it like we and the Blacks do.

    Clara

  4. Maskil

    @Clara, Thanks for your comments. It’s just terrifying that – a mere 60-odd years after the destruction of European Jewry – the ideological climate for another Holocaust is being created.

    Thanks for joining us! My mother was also a convert, and it often seems as if one committed Jew by choice carries the same load as a dozen non-committal Jews by birth!

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