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Inglorious Bastards

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Absolutely fantastic movie. Made me smile at all the right places. My only disappointment was with regard to the Good characters being a little dim-witted. This is surely a movie most O'ists should appreciate. Justice is served with a side order of

scalps

.

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Agreed. Power. Most "ism's" are about power away from the individual, except real capitalism. Revenge is just a way to generate blame to gain the power. See Rules for Radicals.

More specifically, I'd say blame (and getting revenge on what is blamed) is used to rationalize totalitarianism. "Hey I'll lose all my rights, it's okay, those immoral people will be destroyed and then we can all be happy."

My take on the movie is that it was too disjointed. I was disappointed. I felt any scene without any of the Basterds was a waste of time.

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Some interesting ideas and perspectives at play that I noticed: The "movies are dangerous" theme. This is shown when a propaganda film provokes an unearned act of mercy to deadly consequence, and when extremely flammable silver nitrate film stock serves as the kindling to burn down the theater. The cinema not as an arena à la the O.K. Corral but as a gas chamber or oven and the audience as victims (i.e. why you should respect the director). I love that dual demonstration, that illustrated moral-practical unity in the same idea.

There is a redemption in the character of Steiglitz, a former german soldier and presumably Nazi who turns on and kills Nazis on his own and so is recruited to be one of the Basterds. SS officer Landa kills Hammersmark with his own bare hands, but then turns around and lets the bomb plot go through. This is not a redemptive act despite the fact that he accomplishes more than Steiglitz. So Lt. Raine carves a swastika onto his forehead, like a scarlet letter he can bear for the rest of his life.

The triple destruction of the Third Reich from internal acts: the vengeance of the untermensch (Shoshana and her black lover), the Allied plot carried out by the Basterds but enabled by the traitorous Fraulein Hammersmark, and the betrayal of Hitler by the SS jew-hunter Landa.

The handling of languages, subtitles, accents is in turns dramatic, realistic and comedic. This is outstanding writing and directing.

Mysteries to me:

"Operation Kino". What does Kino mean here? A brief internet search got me nowhere.

Mike Myers appearance as a Brit general. This has got to be intentional miscasting for effect, but I'm not fully realizing what is going on there.

Steiglitz' introduction with his name onscreen in the

font. Steiglitz is cool, but the context switch was jarring.

Completely over my head: the music. I don't recognize any of the tunes.

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He is a talented filmmaker, who uses subtle violence to great dramatic and comedic effect. His choice of music is also mind blowing, as is ability to write fascinating dialog about everyday subjects.

*Watches the rivers of blood and most scenes in "Kill Bill"*

Golly gee, if you consider that to be 'subtle violence', I don't even want to think about what you'd consider a full-blown holocaust. As far as 'fascinating dialog', he reminds me of David Mamet in that both think they're way more clever with the English language than they really are.

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Completely over my head: the music. I don't recognize any of the tunes.

Yeah, I saw that he went with a lot of old, obscure movie scores on this one ( a lot of Ennio Morricone, Charles Bernstein) It would've been odd to hear his signature 70's and 90's soul, rock&roll and pop though in a WW2 movie, this is I guess the closest he could get to recognizable music (or at least music that's already been used in something before) that isn't associated with a specific decade in people's heads.

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*Watches the rivers of blood and most scenes in "Kill Bill"*

Highly stylized rivers of blood. There was no realistic depiction of violence, it was not meant to depict or evoke realistic violence, it was a playful take on a specific genre of Japanese comics, just like his other movie Grindhouse was of old grindhouse movies.

If you want to see the difference, I suggest you check out the Lars von Trier movie AntiChrist. (not that I have a problem with that either, but it has real sadism and violence, which is what you are describing. Tarantino's movies certainly contain no such thing.)

As for Mamet, are you really telling me that Glengarry Glen Ross was written by a man who thinks he's clever, but is in fact a mediocre writer?

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Mysteries to me:

"Operation Kino". What does Kino mean here? A brief internet search got me nowhere.

'Kino' means 'cinema' or 'movie theater' in German, or so says the Google translator.

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Highly stylized rivers of blood.

I don't know where you get your word definitions, but last time I checked a blood tsunami wasn't in the same category as 'subtle'

As for Mamet, are you really telling me that Glengarry Glen Ross was written by a man who thinks he's clever, but is in fact a mediocre writer?

Yes. Read "Three uses of the knife" where he explains the 'philosophy' behind his approach to writing theater and dialogue. His meandering nebulous 'ideas' make Anne Coulter seem clear-headed and to the point. It's obvious that whatever spark he has with dialogue isn't coming from an actual philosophy but from natural aptitude that has managed to survive so far without olid intellectual ground.

A little bit like Quentin Tarantino, actually.

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It's obvious that whatever spark he has with dialogue isn't coming from an actual philosophy but from natural aptitude that has managed to survive so far without olid intellectual ground.

A little bit like Quentin Tarantino, actually.

For someone who two posts ago stated that he doesn't understand the appeal of Tarantino, things pretty suddenly became obvious.

You asked what's great about Tarantino, I told you. You didn't address any of it, instead you dismissed it with an "it's obvious". Well then, I'm giving you the same treatment back: it's obvious that you have no sense of humor, which is why you attack violence that is not done 100% seriously, to make a straight forward point, but rather sarcastically or as a form of exaggerated humor.

That's the same reason why you don't get his dialog. Same for Mamet, a little bit. It's also obvious that you don't know him well enough to pass judgment, but as far as dismissing "clever", that also comes from the absence of a sense of humor. It's obvious obvious. I'm not going to continue with a list of obvious things, instead this is the end of the conversation, because I fail to see the obvious things you pointed out, and I'm sure the obvious stuff I said is less than clear to you too. In the (obvious) absence of arguments, it would be tough to continue talking.

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I honestly don't understand what the appeal of Quentin Tarantino is. His big hit Pulp Fiction is nothing more than the glorification of immoral people, but it is apparently a "classic" (gag me with something already), and every movie I've seen of his so far has failed to inspire anything in me other than weariness and a sort of exhaustion after spending two or so hours in the company of thugs, brutes and criminals.

I think the redeeming quality of pulp fiction is that it starts out glorifying criminals and then by the end, you realize that they either figure out that they shouldn't be doing what they're doing (Joules) or, they die a much deserved death (Vincent), or, they suffer the consequences of being a criminal in other various ways (mia and marceles). The small time drug dealers are also painted as the garbage they are. Though, maybe that's just the way I look at the movie???

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Peoples problem with Pulp is the same problem they have with Fight Club, it seems. They assume since the main characters are evil, the director is trying to portray that evil as good (Tyler Durden, Joules and Vincent).

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To be honest I'm quite shocked and disappointed that people on this Objectivism forum are praising this film. But maybe so we can understand each other, someone could answer the following questions-

1. Could you please give an example of a (good) satire that used brutal violence against its subjects to ridicule them? And failing that, tell me how this film was good satire?

2. In the film the Nazis watch the Goebell's propoganda film 'National Pride' and they chuckle as allied soldiers get shot - because they are sadistic. So what exactly is the difference between Hitler and co. laughing at National Pride, and the real life audience laughing at the yet more brutal violence against the Nazi soldiers?

3. If I went to see a film composed mainly of racist jokes, would the fact of the jokes being clever/witty excuse the film and make it non-racist? And worthy of my praise?

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You asked what's great about Tarantino, I told you. You didn't address any of it, instead you dismissed it with an "it's obvious". Well then, I'm giving you the same treatment back: it's obvious that you have no sense of humor, which is why you attack violence that is not done 100% seriously, to make a straight forward point, but rather sarcastically or as a form of exaggerated humor.

It is rather inspiring to see you defend this kind of provincial humor of which you seem terribly enamored, but the bottom line is that you're obviously trying to make something of Tarantino, something that he simply isn't. He's daring? So is a flasher. He writes witty dialogue? So did Groucho, and he at least did it better.

What's so 'subtle' and 'witty' about Pulp Fiction? You spend two hours watching scum and criminals do their thing, then rocks fall, everyone dies. Considering there wasn't one single person who had any redeemable qualities, you essentially just spent two hours and eight bucks (or nine if you saw it on DVD) of your money watching a movie that was utterly pointless because, without the "OMG So Witty" dialogue, it would have simply been a naturalistic approach to documenting the lives of a group of criminals, not unlike some of the seedier movies of the 70s - and yes, they die, but the movie doesn't hold up anything as being better than the glorified lives of these criminals. If anything, the movie is less of the "Criminals are bad" approach than it is "Live Fast, Die Young And Leave A Beautiful Corpse." The dialogue may be witty (so was Mae West, so what?), but the movie is still what it is, and although you might consider the dialogue to be the mink stole of the whole thing, the rest of it is feces --- and I'm sorry, when you smear feces on a mink stole you no longer have a mink stole: you've got a dead rat covered in s***.

I thought the usual approach to judging a movie critically would be first to ask "What was the point behind all that?"

I guess I was wrong.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and read "Three uses of the knife" already, and then let's see if you can still pretend to defend Mamet on any intellectual grounds whatsoever. That book is all you need to read to see what kind of approach the man has.

Edited by kainscalia

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2. In the film the Nazis watch the Goebell's propoganda film 'National Pride' and they chuckle as allied soldiers get shot - because they are sadistic. So what exactly is the difference between Hitler and co. laughing at National Pride, and the real life audience laughing at the yet more brutal violence against the Nazi soldiers?

What's the difference between watching real events on film, and watching imaginary events in a movie? Where do I begin? The first is real, the second is not. I can't imagine a greater difference, so I'll stop here.

3. If I went to see a film composed mainly of racist jokes, would the fact of the jokes being clever/witty excuse the film and make it non-racist? And worthy of my praise?

I am yet to hear a clever joke that's intended to further racism. Racists aren't clever, they're incredibly stupid, a joke that's based on racism being the norm (a racist joke) is not going to be clever. A movie filmed by a third person, starring a racist trying to be funny, would be the closest I can think of to "a clever movie with actual racist jokes". (the clever part being the way the stupid and unaware star of the movie is getting framed)

What's a racist joke to you?

Is it someone pretending to be racist to shock and mock the overly sensitive, "let's use initials for our racist terms" crowds? That, if done well, would be brilliant comedy, but not racist, because it relies on the complicity of the other half of the audience, which isn't racist but laughs at the prudes. ( to a racist audience

would not be funny, he would be their new hero, making perfect sense. It's only funny, and understood, by those of us who agree that racism is a false view of the world, but the irrational fear of words is equally silly.

Or is it someone pretending to be racist but in fact creating a satire of racism? (like Borat, or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3RYrQSir7k?) That's not a movie with racist jokes at all. Again, the jokes only work if the norm is non-racism.

1. Could you please give an example of a (good) satire that used brutal violence against its subjects to ridicule them? And failing that, tell me how this film was good satire?

Fargo is an even better satire of thugs.

But your question implies Inglourious Basterds is not good satire, and you've said before that it's because you don't like the violence. Now you're asking for another movie with violence, that's good satire. You're not going to be satisfied, no matter what the answer, so go ahead: tell me why this time praising Fargo makes me immoral.

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I actually think Pulp Fiction was not only very entertaining but quite profound. I've seen lots of people make the mistake of assuming the dialogue was simply 'cool' but substanceless.

Basically the film was about the role of evil in modern society and culture.

The characters were all criminals who inhabited their little comfort zone of evil, with their rationalized views brought out through extensive conversational dialogue (which usually touches directly or indirectly on moral relativism)

as the plot develops, the characters find themselves in new arenas of evil that they didn't bargain for, and in doing so realize some of the humanity they'd abandoned

and the dynamic between these moral attitudes and their presence in popular culture (aka pulp fiction) is also examined

needless to say, his later work completely abandons this sort of depth in favour of pure aestheticism - no matter how tasteless it gets

It is rather inspiring to see you defend this kind of provincial humor of which you seem terribly enamored, but the bottom line is that you're obviously trying to make something of Tarantino, something that he simply isn't. He's daring? So is a flasher. He writes witty dialogue? So did Groucho, and he at least did it better.

What's so 'subtle' and 'witty' about Pulp Fiction? You spend two hours watching scum and criminals do their thing, then rocks fall, everyone dies. Considering there wasn't one single person who had any redeemable qualities, you essentially just spent two hours and eight bucks (or nine if you saw it on DVD) of your money watching a movie that was utterly pointless because, without the "OMG So Witty" dialogue, it would have simply been a naturalistic approach to documenting the lives of a group of criminals, not unlike some of the seedier movies of the 70s - and yes, they die, but the movie doesn't hold up anything as being better than the glorified lives of these criminals. If anything, the movie is less of the "Criminals are bad" approach than it is "Live Fast, Die Young And Leave A Beautiful Corpse." The dialogue may be witty (so was Mae West, so what?), but the movie is still what it is, and although you might consider the dialogue to be the mink stole of the whole thing, the rest of it is feces --- and I'm sorry, when you smear feces on a mink stole you no longer have a mink stole: you've got a dead rat covered in s***.

I thought the usual approach to judging a movie critically would be first to ask "What was the point behind all that?"

I guess I was wrong.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and read "Three uses of the knife" already, and then let's see if you can still pretend to defend Mamet on any intellectual grounds whatsoever. That book is all you need to read to see what kind of approach the man has.

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So essentially the only difference is Hitler was laughing at death that was supposed to have really happened, whereas the audience are laughing at the death of fictional Nazis? So the person who enjoys watching a real snuff film has nothing in common with someone who enjoys watching a faked snuff film?

As to the racist jokes - it's not true that a joke can't be witty and racist. You can take a joke you consider funny and substitute some words to make it racist, yet it would be essentially the same joke. That doesn't mean I would laugh at it - the comedy would be outweighed by disgust. A bit like how sick, sadistic violence is still sick, sadistic violence no matter what victim you substitute into the scene. Edit:Or how it only works if enjoying brutality is the norm

I was surprised to hear this film called satire. That's why I'm asking about it. From what I could see there was some mocking going on - of English accents, of Nazi cartoonish villainy, of dimwitted American soldiers - but satire? Really? What was the satirical angle, exactly?

Edited by Tyco

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So essentially the only difference is Hitler was laughing at death that was supposed to have really happened, whereas the audience are laughing at the death of fictional Nazis? So the person who enjoys watching a real snuff film has nothing in common with someone who enjoys watching a faked snuff film?

Let's set a couple of things straight. For one, the theatre I was in, no one was laughing at the violence. You can enjoy dark humor without laughing.

Second, a snuff film is by definition a film showing an actual murder. A fake snuff film is a film that fools the audience into thinking they are watching a real snuff film.

A movie showing a fictional murder is not a fake snuff film. Someone enjoying a movie with fictional murder does not compare to someone watching a tape with fake murder.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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The theatre I was in, people were laughing at all the brutality. Like the clubbing to death, the carved swastikas. I was quite disturbed (by their reaction).

Let's set a couple of things straight. For one, the theatre I was in, no one was laughing at the violence. You can enjoy dark humor without laughing.

Second, a snuff film is by definition a film showing an actual murder. A fake snuff film is a film that fools the audience into thinking they are watching a real snuff film.

A movie showing a fictional murder is not a fake snuff film. Someone enjoying a movie with fictional murder does not compare to someone watching a tape with fake murder.

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The theatre I was in, people were laughing at all the brutality. Like the clubbing to death, the carved swastikas. I was quite disturbed (by their reaction).

When all the Nazi's were being shot and locked in that cinema, I sat there with a very big grin on my face. I found that scene, well, just glorious. Does that disturb you?

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When all the Nazi's were being shot and locked in that cinema, I sat there with a very big grin on my face. I found that scene, well, just glorious. Does that disturb you?

Yes it does, I'm afraid. Especially how he evoked the gas chambers execution situation.

Someone on IMDB said it quite well: the Nazis were just an excuse for Tarantino's psychopathy. (i wouldn't word it like that but you get the point)

No other relationship except Jews vs Nazis would he ever get away with reveling in so much brutality. I mean that last scene he shows two of the Basterds opening fire on a defenceless crowd of people from a balcony above. When would he ever get a chance to show something like that, if it wasn't for the Nazis.

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Yes it does, I'm afraid. Especially how he evoked the gas chambers execution situation.

Someone on IMDB said it quite well: the Nazis were just an excuse for Tarantino's psychopathy. (i wouldn't word it like that but you get the point)

No other relationship except Jews vs Nazis would he ever get away with reveling in so much brutality. I mean that last scene he shows two of the Basterds opening fire on a defenceless crowd of people from a balcony above. When would he ever get a chance to show something like that, if it wasn't for the Nazis.

You are thinking too much on Tarantinos intentions and not enough on the context. I thought it was fitting and Just that the Nazi's died as they did. Everyone at that show was complicit in the murdering of millions of Jews. It brought a smile to my face to see Justice occur in such a fitting manner.

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You are thinking too much on Tarantinos intentions and not enough on the context. I thought it was fitting and Just that the Nazi's died as they did. Everyone at that show was complicit in the murdering of millions of Jews. It brought a smile to my face to see Justice occur in such a fitting manner.

The ending depressed me. The film had a fair number of excesses prior to that incident, but I thought it might redeem itself at the end. When I saw his big set piece death chamber, I realized that was what Tarantino desperately wanted to show/film all along. Fair enough I might appreciate the irony of Hitler and the Nazi commanding officers being assassinated at the premiere of their own propaganda film. But the film was determined to capture the full brutality and horror of the scene, for the audience's enjoyment.

The 'sense of life,' as Rand would say, of this art is truly appalling. The fact they try to make me the viewer complicit in this sadism by using a sensitive/loaded subject just pissed me off even more (although it was intended to make you accept it).

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The ending depressed me. The film had a fair number of excesses prior to that incident, but I thought it might redeem itself at the end. When I saw his big set piece death chamber, I realized that was what Tarantino desperately wanted to show/film all along. Fair enough I might appreciate the irony of Hitler and the Nazi commanding officers being assassinated at the premiere of their own propaganda film. But the film was determined to capture the full brutality and horror of the scene, for the audience's enjoyment.

The 'sense of life,' as Rand would say, of this art is truly appalling. The fact they try to make me the viewer complicit in this sadism by using a sensitive/loaded subject just pissed me off even more (although it was intended to make you accept it).

As a sense of life issue, I might agree if it were not depicting sub-humanoid Nazi scum being butchered. To me, it raises less of an eyebrow than I would have upon seeing a pig being butchered. I don't think they were trying to make the audience complicit in anything, I think the purpose was to show that one can feel a sense of retributive glory upon seeing scum getting butchered in a most fitting manner. At least that is how I took it.

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Well since this is an Objectivist forum, let's consider Rand's position on art (which I'm not saying I or anyone else here necessarily agrees with, but it's a good starting point)

'art shows life as it can and ought to be'

this film is depicting a situation where one set of people have been so brutalized by another, that they are so (understandably) filled with hatred that their quest for revenge becomes incredibly brutal in itself

so how does this circle of hatred and brutality represent life as it can and ought to be??

is anyone going to even attempt to reconcile this? - or do we reject Rand's theory of art in this case

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Well since this is an Objectivist forum, let's consider Rand's position on art (which I'm not saying I or anyone else here necessarily agrees with, but it's a good starting point)

'art shows life as it can and ought to be'

this film is depicting a situation where one set of people have been so brutalized by another, that they are so (understandably) filled with hatred that their quest for revenge becomes incredibly brutal in itself

so how does this circle of hatred and brutality represent life as it can and ought to be??

is anyone going to even attempt to reconcile this? - or do we reject Rand's theory of art in this case

Well, I retort with the fact that the Nazi's 'ought' to have been killed in such a fitting manner.

Edited by Axiomatic

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