‘Inglourious Basterds’ was released 10-years ago today and signaled the second – and potentially final – phase of Quentin Tarantino’s film career.
“Inglourious Basterds” – directed by Quentin Tarantino; starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth; The Weinstein Company
Looking back on the last decade for Quentin Tarantino, you’ll notice that he’s entered a second – and potentially final – phase of his career as a filmmaker. It all started with “Inglourious Basterds,” a 153-minute film about the destruction of Nazi Germany by two vengeful forces.
The first avenger – if you will – is Shoshanna (played by Mélanie Laurent), the daughter of a Jewish family brutally murdered in the opening scene of the film. After escaping the blood bath, Shoshanna takes on the alias of Emmanuelle Mimieux and becomes the owner of Le Gamaar Cinema, where she plans to engulf Hitler and his henchmen in flames.
Then there are the Basterds, a group of Jewish-American soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt) tasked with collecting the “scalps of 100 dead Nazis.” Teaming up with the British, the Basterds execute “Operation Kino,” a secret operation with the same mission – albeit unknowingly – as Shoshanna.
The movie is filmed much like a western, utilizing music by Spaghetti-Western maestro Ennio Morricone and featuring awe-inspiring long-shots of Nazi-occupied France. It also includes moments of extreme suspense through the use of dialogue, much like Alfred Hitchcock did in his prime.
In all, the film is Tarantino’s “apex mountain,” as Bill Simmons calls it in the “The Rewatchables” podcast. It also ushered in a crop of Tarantino films shot in a similar style, “Django Unchained“, ” The Hateful Eight“, and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood“. All of these films have a western feel to them and engage in a bit of revisionist history.
With confirmed reports that Quentin Tarantino has just one film left in him, his 10th film, we can only hope he has another Basterds-like script in the works. Either way, his career has been illustrious and he will go down as one of the greatest to ever do it.