Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Q: Why is it that when a new Quentin Tarantino move is released, all the movie-lovin’ blogs and website write incessantly about him/it?

A: Because he/it is worth writing about.

Like the release of a new Coen Brothers movie, a new Tarantino flick is a cause for movie fans – real film lovers who also care about pre-Spielberg, pre-Lucas cinema – to celebrate. Tarantino is clearly obsessed by movies, and that spills out onto the screen whenever his movies do too. I love that he’s not a movie snob (at least, if he is, it’s in the best possible way); his obsession seems to spread across the cine-spectrum. He’s a guy who realizes that the line between arthouse and grindhouse is practically nonexistent. He’s as much Godard as he is Girdler.

To my senses, the key to Tarantino is to realize that all Tarantino movies are about… movies. And none more so than his latest – Inglourious Basterds. In this case, where the film demonstrates, quite literally, the power of film during its climax. This underlying theme may be why I love his movies so damn much.

Starting with Jackie Brown, my personal experience with Tarantino flicks have been unusual. Previously, I’d seen and loved Reservoir Dogs, but seeing Pulp Fiction felt like my movie world had been rocked. Walking out of the theatre after seeing it for the first time, I felt like I had just witnessed an utterly new combination of elements put together in an exciting and unique way. The anticipation for Jackie Brown then, was extremely high. When JB rolled around to theatres, it was not at all what I’d anticipated, and I was somewhat let down by it. Then I saw it again and really got into it. Really got into it. It’s now one of my favourite flicks. The same happened with Kill Bill Vol. 1. And Kill Bill Vol. 2. By the time Grindhouse came around, I realized that I was going to have to see any Tarantino film at least twice in the theatre; once to go through that highly anticipated rush, and a second time to get a grip on the movie and experience it a different way. And by the time of Grindhouse, I was predisposed to love everything that Tarantino did. So, following my predisposition, I loved Grindhouse, a movie experience that can only properly be experienced, I think, in its original double bill, missing reel, in theatre (or at drive-in) format. It’s a blast.

And now comes Inglourious Basterds, a movie that I loved at first sight, and a movie that I will return to again soon. Why discuss plot and ruin the experience for those who haven’t seen it yet? It’s a World War II flick/Spaghetti Western fairy tale that’s about the movies. To paraphrase the tag line for Showgirls: “Leave your expectations at the door.” A new Tarantino flick has arrived, and it’s a reason for writing.