Aug 21, 2009

How much seriousness can one nation take?

"It took 65 years for a film-maker, instead of bringing Germany's evil 20th century history to life once more to have people shudder and bow before it, to simply dream around it. And to mow all the pigs down. Catharsis! Oxygen!... More than horror, Tarantino fears the conventions that have long surrounded the Nazis and the Holocaust -- these leaden, sepia-toned suggestions of authenticity that a film can never really live up to. Tarantino throws gasoline on the fire of the Nazi film to create the big bang to clear the way. A crazy idea. So crazy that it might just work."— German critics on Inglorious Basterds
Actually, I can see it working in Germany. One of the things that must be onerous to modern Germans is not just the national guilt that they learn to negotiate as early as the class-room, but the sheer scrotum-tightening seriousness of the holocaust and its aftermath. How much moral seriousness can one nation take? Its must be liberating for them to watch a movie which lays waste to those who got them into this mess, and to do so with such a giddy irreverence. Maybe Tarantino has done something useful, after all.

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