Inglourious Basterds shocks and rocks at the Cannes Film Festival

May 21, 2009

Quentin Tarantino has a vision.  While its true that everyone might not see the vision, he remains faithful to his creative side.  Even when that means that the flick is totally going to suck like…

Well, he is back and his latest vision has people recognizing…

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Quentin Tarantino has turned the Festival Palais in Cannes into his very own “Cinema Paradiso”, daringly celebrating cinema’s ability to rewrite one of the most painful chapters in history. The title of his Second World War fantasy is inspired by Enzo Castellari’s little-watched 1978 film, Inglorious Bastards. The deliberate mispelling of Tarantino’s title is a mystery, but perhaps a tortured reference to the glorious clash of real and fictitious characters in the movie.

According to the Times article, the inspiration for the movie is a foreign film.  The urge just strikes and you are able to capture lightning in a bottle.

Quel maledetto treno blindato (literally translated as That damned armored train and released as Inglorious Bastards in the USA) is a 1978 Italian war movie directed by Enzo G. Castellari, written by Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Franco Marotta, Romano Migliorini, & Laura Toscano, and starring Bo Svenson, Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson, Michael Pergolani, and Jackie Basehart. It was released in 1977. The film score was written by Francesco De Masi.

Set in Europe during World War II, a group of American soldiers are in the process of being shipped off to military prison for a variety of infractions, ranging from desertion to murder. While they’re being transported, a German air attack hits the convoy, killing most of the MPs and enabling five of the prisoners to escape.

The group decides their best bet is to head to neutral Switzerland, where they can avoid the fighting and prison. As they make their way to what they think will be freedom, they end up volunteering for a commando mission to steal the new prototype gyroscope for the Nazi V2 with help of the French Underground. Somehow the team must sneak onto the most heavily guarded train in German territory, steal the Nazis’ most precious military hardware, and bring it back to the Allies without getting arrested again by their own side.

Plus, it has my man Fred “The Hammer” Williamson in this, so you know that the action scenes are on point. Finally, the man was a Raider, so Oakland Stand Up!

(Where is King Cobra Way in Oakland?  Some would say it’s 35th Ave…) back to QT and Basterds…

Tarantino’s film, which jumps like a needle on a scratchy vinyl record between three different languages — sometimes in mid-conversation — bears scant resemblance to Castellari’s Italian original. Here, a small group of blood-thirsty Jewish mercenaries from America, led by Brad Pitt’s red-neck, half-Apache Indian leader, land in France with the mission to put the fear of God into the Nazis. The director deploys his unrivalled army of B-movie tricks to light the way.

The first Bastards was like a Dirty Dozen remake and the second Basterds is a Tom Cruise Valkyrie “Get at the Nazis” type of movie.

The film starts off like a spaghetti western and then accelerates into an old-fashioned war-time thriller, complete with a sumptuous plot to blow a local cinema in Paris to smithereens — and with it most of Germany’s top military brass. Bullets and blood are never far from the screen. They never are in most Tarantino films, but the bursts of action — including lengthy scenes of slaughter on mocked-up newsreel — are deliberately grinding.

You had me at hello…for cinema fans, here is a little of what I see as inspiration for the movie


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