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Hopefully Tarantino's "Basterds" remains apolitical

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Posted on August 20 2009 9:00 pm
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Anyone who follows Hollywood at all should know that Quentin Tarantino’s newest film, Inglorious Basterds, is being released tomorrow.  This film is a project that Tarantino had talked about making as long as I can remember, and he finally pulled the pin.  Last night’s Red Eye shed some light onto the new film, explaining how it is a fantasy for Jewish people about killing Nazis.

Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld said:

“Do you have to go back in the past and find bad guys?  Aren’t there people right now in the world that want to kill Jews that Tarantino could have made a movie about?”

The short answer is yes, of course.  However, Tarantino wanted to remake 1978’s Inglorious Bastards, which was a weird spaghetti war film that played like a combination of westerns of the 1970s (High Plains Drifter) and war films of the 1960s (The Dirty Dozen).

On the other hand, Red Eye guest and MTV.com film critic Kurt Loder said:

“Nazis are all-purpose bad guys.”

This is very true.  Nazis provide a convenient “catch all” for evil in a film.  Many of the best war films utilize this.  For example, The Great Escape, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, The Pianist, and Stalag 17 all have the German Nazis as the bad guys.  Doing this is always a safe bet, because who in their right mind will disagree with the fact that Nazis are bad?

It is much more controversial to make a film that blurs the line between good and evil.  Filmmakers like Oliver Stone (Platoon, W.) like to paint America as an oppressor nation.  To him, we are the Nazis.

Quentin Tarantino likes to make films that are really about other films in the same, or a similar, genre.  I don’t see him trying to make an Iraq War statement or anything like that.  He is a true filmmaker who loves his craft.  His priority is making a great film, not a political statement.  What makes him the most upset is not America’s foreign policy decisions; it is writers and critics who don’t give him a fair shake.

I have faith that Inglorious Basterds will be an apolitical (or at least not anti-American) war film.  If that is the case, I will thank Tarantino for it in my review for Parcbench.

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