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Lynn Hirschberg (#110 of 3)

Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece and the End of the WWII Movie

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<em>Inglourious Basterds</em>: Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece and the End of the WWII Movie
<em>Inglourious Basterds</em>: Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece and the End of the WWII Movie

Quentin Tarantino is one of those directors that thoroughly divides people: You either love to hate him, or hate to love him. As an artist, this might be the best place to find yourself because no matter what you create you are guaranteed a high level of critical attention. The problem for artists lucky enough to find themselves in this predicament is that when they do create something truly wonderful, when their genius comes into full flower, the critical community lacks the vocabulary to adequately celebrate the work. Everyone resorts to talking about the work in the ways they are most comfortable. Inglourious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece and my job here will be to introduce a glossary of sorts with which to discuss the director’s most important work.

I know the usual criticisms. His work is too violent. He steals from his predecessors. His films are morally suspect. Easily the most enduring and perceptive criticism of Tarantino’s work is that he makes the films that he wants to see. Lucky for us, as Tarantino edges closer to 50, his taste has matured along with his crow’s feet.