Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tarantino Can't Shut Up. Neither Can We

Now that we've got a few videos under our belts, Katey and I generally wrap up our conversations in about 12 minutes. Then we edit out repetitive / awkward bits. This time, we couldn't stop talking.

Our conversation about Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds is reflective of the film's overstuffing. We did our best to avoid spoilers though there are a couple of small ones. It's best to avoid all the scenes that are available online before you see it. I know this isn't the way people interact with movies these past few years but it's so fun to be surprised at the movies and it's a pity that that happens less and less frequently. Tarantino is a great example of a filmmaker who rewards those who don't seek out spoilers. You can predict the various elements (i.e. obsessions) that will appear in each movie, but rarely can you foresee how he'll fuse them all together.

YouTube caps videos at 10 minutes so this might be a wee bit choppier than past conversations but we hope you enjoy and definitely join in the conversation in the comments section.

Part One
...in which we talk about violence, self-editing, film criticism and movies that draw attention to the man behind the camera.

Part Two
... in which we attempt to wrap it up with more on the superb European cast, Tarantino's big head, the "wait for the cream" structure and the twisty jokey gamesmanship of this movie about movies.


James Colon said...

Great dual vodcasts, though I think I should mention that the film made an estimated $37 million this weekend which, for an R-rated film, is pretty impressive.

Luke said...

Loved the movie! It didn't feel like 150 minutes at all! Probably my favourite Tarintino movie (seen Kill Bill 1 and 2 and Pulp Fiction). Favourite Chapter was probably chapter 4 which kept me at the edge of my seat, excellent pacing in that scene especially in the pub. Violent movie but which Tarintino film isn't?

Wonder what are it's Oscar chances? It's definitey one of the better movies I've seen this year.

Enjoyed the vodcast tremendously! Especially liked the last 5 seconds when Nathaniel reacts ("WAT...?")when Katey tells him "30 minutes!


James... i know. we recorded this last week and neither of us expected any kind of big box office success (though it's opening weekend and that never tells the whole story)

luke I am usually averse to long movies -- most of the time it feels like padding to me. Most comedies these days could lose 20 minutes and feel like the same movie... only better. Tarantino doesn't feel like he's padding and the movie has great pacing as you mention but he IS probably overstuffing. Did we really need the Mike Myers cameo? I definitely feel like we didn't need the cutouts to tell us about the various basterds. that wasn't consistent enough to be worth much i don't think.

Rodrigo the Hated One said...

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!!!

I know this is completely OFF TOPIC: but I've just saw Veronika Decides to Die here in Brasil and OMG!

I really hope this movie opens in the US and that Gellar have a great campaign because she certainly DESERVES an Oscar for this!

Anonymous said...

My favorite scene of the movie was Chapter 1. Because although it was typical QT dialogue heavy, it still felt like the most original scene he's ever done. Where as the rest of the movie was typical QT. Just my opinion.

I loved! this movie. I have always loved JACKIE BROWN the best out of the QT film collection. But this one gives that film a run for it's money IMO.

Dorian said...

Christoph Waltz! Get that Oscar nomination! (I'm probably going to be a broken record about this all Oscar season, so a fair warning now). :-)

sean said...

is diane kruger one of the europeans who is great in this film? because so far in her career she hasn't impressed me much!

p.s. academy award nominee sarah michelle gellar = my fantasy(or one of them anyway...)


Sean... she's very very good.

rosengje said...

I love the implication that Michael Fassbender learned how to speak German from repeated screenings of Pitz-Palu.

Totally agreed about the intended audience being film lovers. I missed half of the references that QT was throwing out but the general enthusiasm for film was so.. enthralling.

The Basterds are definitely the least interesting part of the movie, although Brad Pitt was redeemed (to me) in the last section. I think they were a little more fleshed out in the script. Like BJ Novak's character had a subplot about learning to drive (which justified his presence at the film opening).

I just had so much fun at this movie both times. I guess this is my Transformers equivalent.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from it. I thought it was BADASS. Christoph Waltz deserves the Best Supporting Actor Ocscar!

Anonymous said...

OMG.. Seeing how badass Laurent and Kruger were in IB, I can only imagine how Angelina Jolie could be in a Tarantino film. I would LOVE for her to be in the upcoming possible IB prequel. That would be to die for!

Glenn Dunks said...

Nathaniel, just a quick query. Has anybody else mentioned that your vodcasts take so long to load? Because they do on my computer. Not sure if it's just me or what.

I haven't watched it yet (because it's taking so long to load), but I had a similar trouble when discussing the film on the radio the other day. Myself and the other co-host thought it'd be 15minute discussion and ended up being nearly 30. Oops.

Mike said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and fully expect an Oscar nomination for Christoph Waltz...Apart from that, I don't think this will appeal to Academy members taste, but it was great nonetheless.

I was also very impressed by Melanie Laurent, and hope she gets some recognition for her performance.


glenn... i coded them to play as "fast starts" and they load quickly for me. anyone else having difficulty?

Catherine said...

I do have issues with the film - without spoiling anything, I'm not crazy about the historical revisionist aspect and Tarantino's fondness for violence still rubs me up the wrong way - but in general I was hugely entertained and there were great swathes of the film that I loved, unreservedly. Primarily, I'm head over heels crazy about Melanie Laurent, I need Christoph Waltz to get major awards recognition, I was giddy with Michael Fassbender doing his very best George Sanders and I thrilled to the whole Goebbels-as-studio-boss subplot.

I ended up sitting next to a guy who was appalled that most of the film was in French and German. The moment that first chapter title appeared onscreen, I heard him groan and whisper to his girlfriend, "This better not be in fuckin' French".

Runs Like A Gay said...

I think I'm the only person who didn't like Basterds.

It's not that I don't appreciate how well made it is - the ratcheting up of the tension in each scene, the delicious dialogue, spot-on performances, gorgeous art direction and costumes and the giant face are fantastic.

I even allow Quentin his little games with scrawled names, Sam Jackson, anacronistic music choices and revionsionist history. All of which bizarrely work in context of a satirical look at war movies.

What I disliked was the lack of humanity. The violence itself is surprisingly brief (much less than in Kill Bill) but when it comes the bodies stack up upon each other cartoonishly without a single character seeming to pause or doubt. Not one character appears to live with any regret or concern of their actions. Indeed the only time I was close to believing someone was uncomfortable with their actions (when a character gets up during Nation's Pride) Quentin spoils this by giving him a boorish one-track goal.

There is also little character development throughout the story. In Tarantino's earlier work the characters developed over time, their experiences changing their attitudes. Watch Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction or just about anyone in Jackie Brown and every choice they make has been influenced by a previous choice.

Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong direction. When I left the cinema I was happily whistling the credits and chuckling over the clever dialogue and childish fatasies - it was only later that I considered the emptiness at the core of the film.

Should I be happy with the references alone? Should I be prepared to treat this film as an adult version of a wartime Bugs Bunny short?


runs... i appreciated dissenting opinions. there's definitely issues quentin has with maturity... on the one hand his juvenilia can be so inspired that you don't really want to complain

I love that whole "knife fight" conversation in Kill Bill for this reason. it's so coolness for coolness sake and drools on these badass women... but sometimes you do need something to balance it out. And that's why I think Kill Bill is better than Inglourious Basterds (though the new film is very enjoyable) because there's more weight to the emotions... even though it's in some ways even more of a cartoon.

I dunno. He almost gets there with Shoshanna I think. The "wait for the cream" scene is so wonderful and especially her reaction shot when the scene ends.

Catherine said...

Shoshanna's reaction at the end of her conversation with Landa MADE the film.

Runs Like A Gay said...

You're absolutely right - I loved Kill Bill because there's a balance. There's a clear motive and goal for the Bride, and because of that we get behind her, she also develops throughout the film(s).

As I said before I enjoyed a lot of the film. Performance wise the strudel scene is top notch. With Laurent you can how much she's holding it in which is brilliant, with Waltz he makes you think he's holding it in which is genius. And without great writing from Quentin in that section it wouldn't work.

It's a shame that, because of the message, the whole is less than the sum of it's parts.

Joe Shetina said...

This seems to happen to everyone who sees "Inglorious Basterds." My English teacher neglected an essay we needed to read to talk about how rhetoric and language was used in the film. Of course, she also just HAD to mention the mis-spelling of "Basterds."

Danny King said...

Simply put: the best movie so far of 2009.

I can honestly say that this is truly the only movie I've seen all year where right when the credits started I said to myself, "I have to see that again."

NicksFlickPicks said...

@Runs Like a Gay: I love that you said what you said about Basterds, and though I find myself having to give it more benefit of the doubt 24 hours later than I was expecting, I am still appalled at its lack of humanity, and I totally don't give a hoot if that sounds old-fashioned. I appreciate and occasionally marvel at the technique (though there are plenty of scenes where "technique" isn't much in evidence), and I understand that he's working in a mode of pastiche that thrives on depthlessness, but pomo pastiche doesn't need to be this vainglorious about its amorality, its crassness, and its bloodthirst. It's a really, really, really hard basterd of a pill to swallow.

Deborah said...

I've been saving your vodcasts until I saw the movie; just got home from it.

Our raw impression (hashed out over dinner) was that it was a movie about fantasies. I don't know why I missed the literalism of "movies as weapons," but I did. I saw it as about fantasies, the adolescent imaginary "I'm going to fight WWII as I've seen it in the movie" fantasy, directly paralleled by a fantasy a character in the film has about America that we hear towards the end.

That's the importance of the Basterds, and specifically of Eli Roth. Other than Pitt, and the German, they're all specifically, stereotypically Jewish-looking Jews. And that's the adolescent revenge fantasy, right? If you're twelve and you're writing your WWII opus, it's Jews, and a German soldier who turned on the Nazis, and an all-American good ol' boy with Indian blood. It's like twelve comic books and an all-night grindhouse extravaganza all rolled into one!

I didn't love it. I enjoyed it, but it was so baffling and strange that I can't adore it, but I sure did appreciate it.

Deborah said...

I said "but" ten times in one sentence, didn't I?

Unknown said...

Totally enjoyed
the movie. (And i was jexpectong to hate it) The only thing i missed a final confrontation between Shoshana and Landa