Inglorious Basterds (2009) – Inglorious Narrative

I feel, in the words of Malcolm X as though I have been bamboozled, led astray and run amok.  I refer, of course, to the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (2009).  When it first filtered out at the beginning of the summer, the Guardian devoted a blog post to it referring to it as one of the worst trailers ever made and it was difficult to disagree with that assessment at the time.  Having just got rid of a government who resorted to arguing semantics when addressing allegations of torture, it seemed tasteless in the extreme to produce a film that seemed to be all about torture.  Torture not as a necessity to save lives but torture as an expression of basic natural justice.  Torture as funny and entertaining.  The trailer even included Eli Roth, one of the founding fathers of the so-called ‘torture porn’ sub-genre.  However, the film I saw is not about torture and it certainly isn’t about cartoonish violence and stylised action.  It is a film about talking.  Just talking.  And therein lies its greatest successes as well as its greatest shortcomings.

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