Summer Vacation Flick: Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”

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.

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