Entertainment behind the scenes
“Inglourious Basterds” bloodies Cannes
Director Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, ‘Inglourious Basterds” shot its way into the Cannes film festival on Wednesday morning for early press and public screenings ahead of its red carpet premiere and after-party in the evening, and what a blood bath it was.
Tarantino, director of movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” has created a sort of cartoonish, comic book-style nod to shoot ‘em up World War II movies such as 1967′s “The Dirty Dozen.” But it is far more graphic with its violence, which includes scalping dead soldiers’ heads, and more modern than that old war tale — using background music ranging from David Bowie to ”The Green Leaves of Summer” from the soundtrack of the motion picture “The Alamo.” In fact, the movie opens with the feel of an old Clint Eastwood spaghetti western such as ”The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
Brad Pitt portrays tough-as-nails American Lieutenant Aldo Raine who leads a band of Jewish soldiers with nicknames like “The Bear Jew” working behind enemy lines in France to kill Nazis in such a gruesome fashion that it strikes fear into the hearts of Hitler’s army. Diane Kruger portrays German actress Bridget von Hammersmark who is an undercover spy, and there is a cameo appearance by comic actor Mike Myers as a British military officer. The truly stand-out performance comes from Christoph Waltz as a Nazi known as “The Jew Hunter.”
The early morning press screenings were packed with journalists and an overflow room had to be opened to accomodate the crowds. Outside the Palais where the movie is screening throughout the day, Tarantino fans clamored for tickets. And click on our story with comments from Tarantino and Pitt at Wednesday’s press conference.
But we wonder, is ”Inglourious Basterds” too violent? Since the movie hits theaters starting in August, it would be hard for any of our readers to comment, specifically. But two years ago, war movies came out in significant numbers, and they flopped at box offices as battles raged in Iraq and Afghanistan. People just weren’t in the mood. Escapism, fantasy and comedy have been what’s worked in theaters, and that has carried into 2009. The interesting thing is, “Inglourious Basterds” mixes fantasy and comedy with a lot of blood and guts. Is that what people really want to see? Or, has the time for bloody violence in movies come to an end?