Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth (uncredited)
Written by QT
I remember going to see this at the movies, and being somewhat excited about it, and my companion for the movie was maybe dreading it a little. Because if nothing else, you have to be in the right mind for a Quentin Tarantino movie and when there’s a new one you just don’t know how far things will go on screen and how uncomfortable you will be. (Kill Bill vol 2’s buried alive sequence comes to mind as a harrowing bit of cinema.) The way I helped bolster my companion was by saying ‘look, it’s a Tarantino, and you have to know going in that we’re gonna watch him get himself off.’ (metaphorically speaking). ‘And sometimes it takes him a while to get there, he has to take his time, and it may be a slow watch but he’ll get there in the end. He’ll show us the stuff he gets excited about, like women’s feet, and people being terribly smart and clever, and gratuitous violence with lots of spurting blood. And ultimately it’ll be worth it because he knows what he’s doing making movies and it will be entertaining.”
So, with that in mind, I have to be in the right frame of mind for watching QT. The movie’s are filmed beautifully and acted well, these things are a given. The movie is put together in a series of excellent vignettes which ends in a ridiculous orgy of violence and fire where history is rewritten and an American Jew shoots Hitler. I guess we’re not meant to think too hard about that. The movie isn’t about historical accuracy, it’s about looking cool and having an awesome time.
I’ve watched this film a few times. I’m inclined to say it gets more boring and shallow each time I watch it. My favourite part of the film is the underground bar sequence, where spies and Germans are thrown together for drinks, a guessing game and proving how German they are. It’s a beautifully acted piece with slowly escalating
Does it make me love the people? I love Shoshanna, first and foremost. She’s emotional, vulnerable, but hard as nails. Unashamed of her black lover, willing to take on a hugely dangerous and dramatic plot to take out the nazis. She’s bad ass and awesome. I also love Brad Pitt’s Aldo, in part because he’s clearly having so much fun in the role. That broad accent is hilarious, especially when he’s pretending to be Italian.
Bechdel test: Complicated. Francesca talks directly to Shoshanna, but only as a translator for Goebbels, so although they are in conversation about Shoshanna’s cinema and the details of it, she’s just repeating what each of them are saying in another language. I’d have to say that’s a no.
Shoshanna: I’m going to burn own the cinema on Nazi night.
State of Mind: For the most part, this is a fine movie. In my mind Quentin Tarantino’s best which is probably why I haven’t bothered to see any of his newer ones than this. But having said that, it’s not very rewatchable to me. Yeah, there are some great set pieces, some great sequences, but ultimately he glorifies death and cruelty in a way I don’t enjoy much. It’s like I said. Quentin has a very specific list of things he gets off on, and they’re all on display here, and I’m sorta over the whole thing. Loved it when I saw it, rate it highly, but I can’t be bothered watching it again any time soon.