Friday, May 8, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I confess that I’m no fan of Tarantino’s work, and most likely will never be. I could spend hours on end listening to his devout followers and still would not get how anybody can possibly see anything else in the quarter pounder with cheese dialogue from Pulp Fiction than a desperate attempt to stretch movie length and the same we encounter again in Kill Bill vol.1 when Uma Thurman gives a quarter hour closing monologue, apparently trying to talk to death a helpless victim in the trunk of her car (after that fails she does a patch-up job of it trying to bash her into oblivion), a sequence graciously interspersed with Hospital scenes and of which only the last two minutes are of any importance to the movie.
Understandably low are my expectations regarding his upcoming Inglourious Basterds.

Despite my personal misgivings I have to bow before the clever executed artwork for movies like the mentioned Pulp Fiction and now Inglourious Basterds.
One a stylish recreation of classic Pulp magazine titles, showing far more creativity than director Tarantino will probably ever manage in one of his movies, the others showcasing characters that could easily be ripped from the pages of same shown pulp publication. Especially Diane Krüger reminds us here vividly of the old dime novel inspired noir heroes for whom the appearance of the elegantly dressed lady always spoke of coming trouble. What else instantly caught my eye is the semblance between the showcased teaser poster for Inglourious Basterds and the artwork for Mutant Chronicles a coincidence, possibly; a subconscious drawing on same cultural roots, more likely.

When we look beyond the obvious pulpish nature, we see a much more contemporary influence at work: Computer Game art. More and more artists in the visual fields draw, consciously or not, on this ready symbolism ingrained into the computer generation. But where Mutant Chronicles contents itself with recreating a image known from countless ego-shooters with elements of the horror genre, Inglourious Basterds tackles its topic with more cleverness, combining the baseball bat image that has long since become a ready symbol for mindless, often right-wing oriented, violence and turns into what can almost be read as a anti-fascism statement. The true cleverness of this laying in the marketability to both sides, mindless right-wingers, to dumb to see beyond the mere appearance of two of their favoured fetish items, and those opposing them alike.

That is how advertising is done!

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