Yesterday we were fortunate enough to attend the Canadian premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated WWII romp Inglorious Basterds. Security was intense–all cellphones with camera capabilities were checked upon entrance–and metal detectors greeted us at the door. Clearly, this wasn’t just another screening. Buzz about Tarantino’s presence was fierce, and after learning that he had done Canadian press earlier that afternoon coupled with a security guard’s mutterings–”the director really wants to get started by 7 PM”–our anticipation had reached a fever pitch. Thirty minutes after the scheduled start time, Canada AM’s resident film geek Richard Crouse took hold of a mic and stood before a packed-to-the-brim theatre, to introduce a very special guest. “I remember when I first saw Pulp Fiction….”
Tarantino was greeted with a no-brainer standing ovation, and was joined by fellow director Eli Roth–who plays basterd Donny Donowitz in the film–two giants of modern cinema standing before an adoring audience. Clearly these men have little to no self-esteem issues. After the obligatory bigging up of Toronto (Eli Roth called it his “home”), Tarantino opted out of the requisite “bonne cinema” and instead belted out “ARE YOU READY TO WATCH SOME NAZIS GET THEIR ASSES KICKED?” And with that, the lights dimmed…
It’s easy to describe Inglorious Basterds as a film about Brad Pitt’s Aldo Raine and his team of rough-and-tumble Nazi killers (who also happen to be Jews), as they plow and pillage their way through occupied France, but it’s so much more than that. It’s an homage to the cinema of the 1940s, to noir films, and it’s classic QT. Long, tense scenes of surgical dialogue are punctuated with explosive, whip-quick instances of extreme violence, orchestrated by a director who has checked into his comfort zone, and shows no signs of vacating anytime soon. Giving major plot points away would spoil all the fun, but let’s just say Tarantino takes a few liberties with historical facts, especially in the film’s blazing final act. I’ve already said too much. Inglorious Basterds opens wide on August 21st, and in case you’ve been hiding out under a floor board (too much?) for the last year, check out the trailer below.
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