I’ll be pretty infrequent with posts this week, as curricular matters need to be attended to. In short, my curriculum and assessment quagmire that I alluded to last week needs to be somewhat completed. Welcome to my personal hell.
Anyway, regulars to the Neighborhood know that I’m a sucker for war movies. World War II movies are my favorite. Nothing gets my blood going in the morning than seeing Nazis blown to bits on screen–particularly by squads with a southerner, a Brooklyn guy, a West Pointer, and a farm boy, as per the stereotype of the time.
The war experience has experienced various incarnations on film. One that is still among the best is among the earliest: Roberto Rossellini’s Open City (1945), which used recently-liberated Rome as its backdrop. World War II has been portrayed as a heroic struggle (Sands of Iwo Jima), a moral fable (Seven Beauties and Stalag 17), a social critique (The Best Years of Our Lives), a post-modern farce (Catch-22 and How I Won the War), a duel with humanity (Saving Private Ryan) and a duel with the subconscious (The Thin Red Line).
This summer, Quentin Tarantino would like to add his two cents to the great conflict. Above is a trailer to his new film Inglourious Basterds, which centers on an affable, if psychotic, group of Jewish-American soldiers who lead a guerrilla campaign of terror through the Third Reich. If this has all the trademarks of a Tarantino film, expect a lot of cursing and a whole lot of blood. I’m going to reserve judgment on this until I see it at its August release. Until then, you can decide where this fits in WWII filmography.