by Ryland Walker Knight
Despite a plethora of scintillating and smart pre-release reviews from a number of friends, I wrote a little something about Inglourious Basterds for Danny over at The Auteurs Notebook after I saw it Friday night. Today, you can click here to read it. It's a pretty damned insane movie, ballsy and self-immolating and, it seems to me, very personal. I didn't touch on this in the review, but somehow this stretched canvass feels even more personal than Kill Bill, though it springs from similar source: QT loves his women. More specifically, he gives Mélanie Laurent one of the most romantic moments of his career, kissing her black lover (Jacky Ido) goodbye; likewise, Ido's cigarette flick farewell is surprisingly tender. Also worth noting here is that I'm as tired as anybody of the "everything is cinema" refrain, but, if you start there (not end there), you can see that there's a bigger argument at play. It just helps that cinema is a perfect venue to talk about the things Tarantino is obsessed with: women, identity, action, the illusion of agency, the cost violence can rack up on a soul (or not), feet, performance, language and color. I really wanted to see the picture again before writing about it (I may go tomorrow), but it was fun to jam on it and bust out some quick reactions. I hope you like it, too.
Some reviews I dig: After Hoberman's mini gauntlet in the Voice, Karina Longworth's reappraisal at Spout, Koresky's enthused Reverse Shot piece, Eileen Jones' halfway there golf clap at Exiled Online, Manohla Dargis' three-quarter counter case in The Times, Walter Chaw's rapture at Film Freak Central, and a couple by Glenn: first and second. Also, in case you loved that Bowie interlude, too, give it a listen over here.