Thursday, 19 May 2011


A recent comment I got from HarperCollins was that they thought that anyone who had enjoyed Tarantino's 'Inglorious Basterds' would enjoy 'The Demi-Monde: Winter' persuaded me to check the film out.

I've got a ambiguous attitude to Tarantino's work. I thought 'Reservoir Dogs' was, perhaps, one of the best lo-budget films ever made (shows the importance of a good script); I loved 'Pulp Fiction; and the script for 'True Romance' had some of the best dialogue ever committed to celluloid, but ...

But ever since 'Jackie Brown' I've become disenchanted with Tarantino's work and, frankly, a little bored by his films. It reached the point where I couldn't be bothered to go to see them anymore and that's why I hadn't checked out 'Inglorious Basterds' before this week.

So ... All in all I thought 'Inglorious Basterds' was a potentially great film torpedoed by the lack of a strong editor. It must be difficult when you have a film maker like Tarantino, hailed as a genuis and revered as an auteur, to say, 'Excuse me, Quintin, but I think this would be a better film if ...' but that's what 'Inglorious Basterds' was crying out for. It was too long, too indulgent and too bloated to be anything more than 'interesting'. Of course, the Tarantino trademarks were there: the episodic action, the somewhat surreal situations, the cracking dialogue, the neat denouement but these were undermined by a meandering storyline, some ho-hum cinematography, a real lack of tension and some truely weird acting.

I mean, who was Christopher Waltz playing and which comic book had he found him in? What is it with actors asked to play Nazi villains that they automatically reach for the pills labelled 'Over the Top'? Worse tho' was that Waltz's lack of acting chops was signalled from the word 'go' by him having to play against - and be upstaged by - Denis Menochet. That said some of the other acting was terrific (here I'm especially thinking of Melanie Laurent).

The upshot is what do I think those who liked 'Inglorious Basterds' will like about 'The Demi-Monde: Winter'? I hope it's the episodic action, the surreal situations, the cracking dialogue and the neat denouement. I also hope it'll remind them of 'Pulp Fiction' rather than 'Inglorious Basterds'.

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