I love Quentin Tarantino. He gets away with revisionist history by making Inglourious Basterds (even the misspelled title is revisionist) an epic, delightfully indulgent Jews-vs.-Nazis revenge fantasy with no basis in fact. But most war films—in fact, most historical dramas—play fast and loose with the facts. By creating something so outrageously removed from reality (events that never happened, caricatures galore), isn't Tarantino's film actually more upfront and honest about its approach to world history?
Anyway, you probably already know the story—a ridiculously amusing Brad Pitt leads a crew of blood-hungry Jewish Americans on the hunt for Nazi scalps in WWII France, while a sexy Jewish cinema owner plots to massacre a theater full of high-powered Nazis—so I won't say much more about it other than I loved it, even though not all of you might. (But I bet you'll agree that the "Jew Hunter" played by Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who won the Best Actor prize at Cannes, is a darkly funny, absurd, creepy, scary creation.)
Your appreciation of the film, I suppose, depends on whether or not, after all these years, you still buy into Tarantino's usual (and unique) rhythms as a filmmaker: long, tense scenes of sometimes brilliant dialogue followed by bursts of action and violence; repeat formula. (After re-reading that last sentence, I realize how reductive that might sound. But make no mistake—Tarantino's talent for craft and structure has few rivals.)
Incidentally, here is how I rank Tarantino's oeuvre:
1. Jackie Brown
2. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
3. Death Proof
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. Reservoir Dogs
6. Pulp Fiction
7. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
I know, I know, Pulp Fiction is near the bottom of the list! But read about how much I love Jackie Brown.
What about you?