Friday, February 26, 2010

Nathaniel R On Inglorious Basterds

The Film Experience's Nathaniel R

If you don't read The Film Experience, you really should. It's the best Oscar blog around, in my opinion. The site's runner, Nathaniel R, is currently hosting The Film Experience's 5th Annual Oscar Symposium, where he gathers film journalists from across the net for an in depth discussion about the year's Oscars. I HIGHLY recommend checking it out, especially if you are an Oscar fiend, like I am.

I was specifically struck by Nathaniel R's take on why Inglorious Basterds is so beloved, despite its obvious flaws. I personally adore Basterds, but many of my friends do not, and I often find myself in situations where I find it difficult to explain why the movie had such an impact on me & why I think it has a good chance to upset on Oscar night. Check out Nathaniel R's theory below.

Basterds is a weird beast for me. I totally understand why its critics think it's sadistic, immature and inconsistent and all the other typically cited Tarantino troubles but I still love it. Here's my theory on why the vast majority of fans can ignore those flaws (which are there, no question). I think our attachments to movies have become incredibly splintered. We primarily watch movies on DVD with chapter menus. We have seemingly infinite access to individual clips and we see endless repeats of the best moments on televisions, awards shows and youtube. People fixate on minutae more than they ever have (blame blogging?) and movies are so interactive now, too: fan fiction, trailers, homages, art projects even (Remember that huge swath of Where the Wild Things Are inspired art this year?

I think Tarantino's strengths as a filmmaker are perfectly suited to this compartmentalized way we have of loving art. I hated Chapter Two of Inglourious Basterds and yet when I'm thinking of the movie, I invariably ignore it and I'm giggling about the game in the cellar bar or marvelling at how many ways Tarantino works comedy and suspense into the very nature of language. I think he's an absolute master of The Moment as it were. Movies are less novelistic than they used to be. Now, they're just strings of sentences and Tarantino can work an exclamation point, a parenthetical and a memorable turn of phrase better than just about anyone.

Am I making any sense?


Karen said...

The Film Experience is one of my favorite film blogs!