Mick, Keef and Aldo the Apache
Listening to the re-release of the Stones’ Exile on Main Street I am reminded of two things: a) how incredibly awesome a record it is, and b) what suck-ass reviews it received at the time of its original release.
Rarely, it seems, is great and important work recognized as such in its own time.
(Witness the work and lives of so many of the great masters of painting if you need proof.)
I hadn’t yet seen this year’s winner, The Hurt Locker, when the Oscars were being handed out but I wanted to – especially given that it beat my pick.
Now The Hurt Locker is a pretty good flick; I really enjoyed it. I have a few minor quibbles with certain scenes, but whatever.
The thing is, The Hurt Locker is really good but it’s not unlike a lot of other really good flicks I have seen.
And then there is the glorious Inglorious Basterds.
I used to think Pulp Fiction was pretty amazing with its non-linear yet easy-to-follow storyline but Inglorious Basterds has so many layers that it will take years to fully absorb.
I have never, ever, ever seen a movie that compares to it, plain and simple.
There is one example of its genius that I love in particular.
First, there is the dramatic scene in the beer cellar as the British agent and the Gestapo officer dance their little dance culminating with the Brit – having managed to win the battle of spoken words – giving himself away via a simple hand gesture.
Shortly thereafter, we are treated to the reception scene and Brad Pitt’s hilariously terrible Tennessee Italian accent – which SS-Standartenführer Landa and the other Germans accept without question!
Tarantino powerfully establishes the importance of the nuances of accent in once scene and then turns it all on its ass only moments later.
Inglorious Basterds simply defies categorization. Is it a drama? A comedy? A thriller? A gore-fest? A cartoon? Yes.
It will take years to fully absorb the mastery of this film, just as it took years for Tarantino to develop it.
And so I predict that in the decades to come that it will be Inglorious Basterds that is remembered and that to The Hurt Locker we will all say, as Brad Pitt’s character Aldo the Apache might, “Arrivederici!”
Now pass the wine, Sophia Loren.
- Craig Cooper