Quentin Tarantino Recaps the Inglourious Basterds Trailer
With the arrival of the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen teaser today and the Taking of Pelham 123 and Angels & Demons trailers last week, I'm apprehensively wondering if the teaser trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds got lost in the mix of things. I thought it looked pretty badass, although it definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but that's Tarantino for you. As a way of revisiting the trailer again this week, and to provide some additional explanation, I thought I'd feature some of the more exciting quotes from Empire's frame-by-frame discussion with Quentin Tarantino about the trailer.
For those of you that haven't read the screenplay, Inglourious Basterds is split into 5 different chapters (read more about them here). "Each chapter in this movie has a vaguely different look, and a different feel, and the tone is different in all of them," says Tarantino. "The opening chapter truly feels like a spaghetti western, but with WWII iconography." While we know that this is about the titular group of Jewish-American soldiers who wreak havoc on the Germans, this is a bit of a misconception, as the story actually focuses on the character Shosanna Dreyfus, played by French actress Mélanie Laurent.
"Shosanna was always a main character," says Tarantino. "One of the biggest changes in my conception of it from way back when until now - in fact, hands down the biggest thing - is that, in the original version of this script, Shosanna was more of a kind of movie character. She was badass. But the thing about that was, I did that with The Bride in Kill Bill. So I started making her more like a real girl in this situation." Shosanna's family is killed by the Nazis and she flees to Paris, where she takes on a job running a movie theater. It's here where everything eventually comes together. The Germans decide to show their latest propaganda film there and the Basterds, aware of the plans for the premiere, make their way towards the theater.
One of the pivotal scenes in the film, as seen above, is the La Louisiane bar scene, in which British soldier Lt. Archie Hickox (Michael Fassbender) goes to meet his contact, double-agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), while the Basterds stand guard. "The La Louisiane scene is like a reduced Reservoir Dogs, but with Nazis and in German. It's a 23-minute scene, and instead of that warehouse they're in a little basement bar." That's a comparison that should make any Tarantino fanboy giddy, but we'll have to wait to see it in all of its glory. And we'll have to see if it's more exciting than the diner scene in Death Proof.
"La Louisiane is a huuuuge deal, I think the biggest deal I've ever done, in any of my movies. I always said that once we'd done the La Louisiane, then… everything else won't exactly be easy, but it will appear easy after La Louisiane. And we'll be able to do a great climax because we've done the La Louisiane." There isn't too much of this shown in the trailer, besides just a few tidbits like the shot above or the shot of Diane Kruger pointing the gun off screen, but those combined with Tarantino's enthusiasm have already made me excited to see the scene. It's only just one small part of it all, featured in "Chapter Four: Operation Kino."
That brief black and white portion of the trailer is actually from the "film-within-a-film" titled Nation's Pride that is part of "Chapter Three: German Night In Paris." It's a propaganda piece created by Joseph Goebbels, starring Frederik Zoller (Daniel Brühl), a famous German sniper who is known and celebrated for killing many Russian soldiers in combat. The actual film was directed by Eli Roth and is shown in snippets throughout Inglourious Basterds. Nation's Pride is somewhat of a centerpiece within the film and it's what is being shown at Shosanna's movie theater (as previously mentioned). "I like the idea that it's the power of cinema that fights the Nazis," says Tarantino. "But not just as a metaphor - as a literal reality."
As for characters, Tarantino explains which two he always had in his mind: "There was always Donnie, and there was always Aldo," he says. "But after that, I had to come up with some more characters. After Donnie and Aldo, I wrote those characters and then I auditioned for them." He's talking specifically about Sgt. Donnie "The Bear Jew" Donowitz, played by Eli Roth, and Lt. Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt, who are easily the two most memorable characters from the trailer. "When he's on set, he's Aldo," Tarantino says of Pitt. "He doesn't really break character. When you talk to him about other stuff, he talks in Aldo's voice."
While the trailer may not have been exactly what everyone was expecting to see, I still thought it was an exciting first look at what Tarantino has been shooting over the last few months. However, we can't forget that this was just a teaser trailer, and we're still going to see at least one or two more full trailers by the time Inglourious Basterds hits theaters in August. Special thanks to Empire for the awesome interview with Tarantino. Although the screenplay has made the rounds, I think there is still a lot to be discovered within Inglourious Basterds, as is evident from this trailer, and I can't wait to see what's revealed next.