We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Several days ago I presented clips from some reviewers about Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Inglourious Basterds.I’m not a violent person, and I have always avoided it whenever possible.But, when necessary and forced, I’m not one to back down.The film may be, as some have said, Jewish fantasy porn, as only Tarantino can take it so over the top. Still, there is an underlying harsh reality to be faced: Sometimes it is better to take off the other guy’s top than he yours.
One of the characters in the film, the “Bear Jew”, is played by Eli Roth.That character’s baseball bat to the heads of Nazis is unsettling to some.I offer you my personal take.
An old friend just attended the wedding of Eli Roth's younger brother.I wrote my friend:
Do me a favor, really. Shake Eli's hand and say thanks to the "Bear Jew" from another Brooklyn Jew, me. He did it Brooklyn style, the way I grew up. Some may have f**ked with me, but none came away unhurt, and never did again.
My old friend sent me this email:
Bruce, I read your email to Eli and his parents- they all loved it and that led to the handshake pictured here.
My old friend emailed me some of the film making anecdotes he picked up at the wedding.Here’s one:
The other thing Eli mentioned was that Tarantino hired a few Jews to play the roles, but Eli cautioned him that these were not "tough" Jews, that they were like the kids he knew in Hebrew school growing up, delicate, fastidious, soft; one of them had to do a scene using a rifle and he kept stopping to clean his hands because he didn't like getting dirty, even for a role. So Tarantino finally fired them and got some other guys to play the roles--but Eli remained Tarantino's main man.
On the one hand, Tarantino is a postmodernist stylist. His schtick is pastiche art, but instead of cutting up magazine pictures he cuts up old movies, doing a mashup of genres, dialogue, cinematography, and themes. I'm not terribly impressed with his workmanship there. It is good, but it is of the enfant terrible / bright grad student fanboy school.
On the other hand, what he says with his pastiche, what he asks with it and what the viewer is sometimes driven to answer back, is very truthful. There's something deeply ironic about a guy who uses the most fanciful of techniques that neo-marxist deconstructionists would cheer to get to something that looks a lot to me like asking the big questions and exposing timeless, absolute truth.
Not everything he does is a gem. The Kill Bill series were a waste of time, and Grindhouse was atrocious. Reservoir Dogs, however, redefined the noir caper flick, as Pulp Fiction redefined the con-man (Sting) sort of genre.
I can't wait to see this latest film. My understanding, based on the reviews, is it answers the hard question about the Holocaust: "How could this have happened?" I think the answer is the same reason we could conceive of a jewish assassination squad (in this film, or in the Mossad) - because it's in all of us to do something like that, it's human nature.
I liked the movie and I found, during the movie in a movie, an interesting self analysis -- we, as 21st century non-Nazis (I hope) are watching a movie in which a Nazi hero is systematically killing the Allied forces attacking him to the glee and cheer of his Nazi audience. This in the middle of a movie of an allied behind-the-lines force systematically killing Nazis to the glee and cheer of us 21st century viewers.