Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

It's been a delirious week at the movies for me. For one thing, I actually got to go to the movies (babysitting grandparents rock). But even more amazing, I saw two films in a row that didn't insult my intelligence and piss on my atrophied cinephile heart. District 9 and Inglorious Basterds are the real deal, films that surprised and delighted me and made me remember why I ever liked movies to begin with.

Inglorious most strongly reminded me of True Romance, the main action being a series of conversations, some of which explode into violence, some that don't, but all fraught with the threat of it. As in the past, I think Tarantino gets unfairly labeled an ultra-violent director, where he mostly employs short bursts of extreme violence that we feel more intensely because we're so engaged with the characters. He does more than almost anyone to de-glorify violence in his refusal to present anything like "gunplay". By the time the first shot is fired it's already too late for everybody. The best hope for survival is to be verbally nimble enough that the guns never come out. If you're going to pull a gun in a Tarantino film, you better be willing to die, along with everyone else in the room, and far too quickly to so much as strike a cool pose.

I'm a believer in Tarantino again after this one. I might even go back and give Kill Bill another chance.

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