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pareidolia
  • 313322.1125

    At his peak, Hitchcock would hire writers and utilize them as co-writers, dialogue dressers, sounding boards, character discovery partners and expert transcribers. Meetings eventually became final draft dialogues with Hitch dictating detailed shot techniques, even predicted transitions (like dissolves); finally he would tally up his shot-count and even plot his schedule. The Birds (along with Rear Window) is the most designed script in the Hitch array, he ventured very infrequently from its plan (in the segment below he added a birdlike gesture: an unwritten boy whistles at her). Down to planned process shots and subtle behavioral tics, Hitch planned for maximum effect. Notice the simplicity of the gestures, how they repeat (her address writing precedes her license plate memorization-writing that leads to Mitch's address that leads to Cathy's address), the literary forms that emerge solely through dialogue - the discussion of the myna bird, gendered male, predicts Mitch's arrival (You see, he hasn't arrived yet/they're so difficult to get/And he'll talk?), then Mitch's attractiveness that erases the desire for the myna (who was the myna bird for? an aunt - likely replacing her missing someone); he even uses rituals, manners as devices (she takes her gloves off to begin the addressing routine) and even in-jokes that blend roles across media: Tippi/Melanie taps her teeth with a pencil as a sly referral to Tippi's public origin (and Hitchcock's discovery of her) in toothpaste ads. Notice the mirroring of both words and gestures, they acquire deeper meaning (eg: Hitch clearly equates her spirit - established during her walking - with the birds she peruses while waiting). As pairings of activities go, even in the short moments of the opening the proprietor is forced on her call to wait like Melanie does. Later in the film's key, what Melanie watches from her boat - we/she witness Mitch Brenner perform the only heroic act of the film - leaving the house (one isolated and engulfed in trees). How do we know it's the key? Hitch repeates it for the last shot of the film, held for a very long take, only now framed from the house's view (the audience has been left behind, still inside, watching the car from a very different angle from Melanie's). Both of these sequences show the same act but the opposites are numerous. View (at house/from house), sky quality, speeds, behavior (a bird attacks/the birds are calm), cutting (multiple cuts/one take) and composition (we see Mitch stand on this porch to spot her with binoculars).  Hitch begins and ends the birds' violence with her approach to/their departure from the Brenner's home, and it follows - the birds have an inner form (love: the caged loved birds brought by Melanie) and an outer form (fear: the townspeople, Lydia, Annie). By bridging all these disparate psychologies the summary merges the film's multiple tangents into the supernatural. Into a single image. What makes it riveting is a form of phenomena. Talk about planning.   

    MED. SHOT - MELANIE DANIELS

    in the crowd of pedestrians, approaching Davidson's Pet Shop. She is a young woman in her mid-twenties, sleekly groomed, exquisitely dressed, though hatless. She walks with the quick sureness of a city-dweller,  purposefulness in her stride, a mischievious grin on her face. She continues toward the front door of the pet shop.

    INT. BIRD SHOP - MED. SHOT

    Melanie opens the door and comes through, still looking back toward the street and skywards. The proprietor, a MRS. MacGRUDER, comes toward her.

    MELANIE

    Hello, Mrs. MacGruder, have you ever seen so many gulls?

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    Hello, Miss Daniels.

    MELANIE

    What do you suppose it is?

    MED. SHOT

    Mrs. MacGruder takes a look out at the sky. A puppy is BARKING, o.s.

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    (shaking her head)

    There must be a storm at sea. That can drive them inland, you know.

    They are climbing the short flight of steps into the bird department now. The BARKING of the dog SEGUES into the clamor of innumerable birds, TWEETING, TWITTERING, CAWING as Melanie and MRS. MACGRUDER go to the counter at the far end. There is a circular cage in the center of the room, and the walls are lined with wire-mesh cages and smaller wooden cages so that the effect is one of being surrounded by birds, contained birds to be sure. The birds are quite beautiful, mostly exotic birds, small splashes of color behind the wire-mesh cages, larger bursts of brilliant hue on parrots and parakeets in bigger cages.

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    I was hoping you'd be a little late, Miss Daniels,

    (apologetically)

    You see, he hasn't arrived yet.

    MELANIE

    You said three o'clock.

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    I know, Oh, I know.

    (she is more distressed now)

    I've been calling all morning. Oh you have no idea. Miss Daniels,

    they're so difficult to get, really they are. We get them from India,

    you know, when they're just little chicks, and then we have to...

    MELANIE

    Well, this one won't be a chick, will he?

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    Certainly not, Oh no. Certainly not. This will be a full grown myna bird. Full grown.

    MELANIE

    And he'll talk?

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    Well, yes, he'll talk. Well, no. You'll have to teach him to talk.

    MELANIE

    Yes.

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    Yes. (Pause)

    Oh my, I suppose I should call them again. They said three o'clock. (Pause)

    Maybe it's the traffic. I'll call. Would you mind waiting?

    MELANIE

    (judiciously)

    I think maybe you'd better deliver him. Let me give you my address. (She begins taking off her gloves)

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    (producing pencil and pad)

    Oh. Oh, well, all right.

    As Melanie starts writing:

    MRS. MACGRUDER

    I'm sure they're on the way though. Could I just call?

    MELANIE

    (with a resigned sigh)

    Well, all right, but...

    She scurries away behind the counter and out of sight. Melanie finishes writing her address an stands impatiently by the counter. She taps her teeth with the pencil.

    MRS. MACGRUDER (o.s.)

    Hello this is Besty MacGruder at Davidson's (pause; accusingly)

    It's past three you know. (pause)

    Well, how long do you think...? All right, would you check it please? Yes, I'll wait.

    Melanie sighs. Leaving her gloves and purse on the counter, she begins wandering around the shop, still tapping her lips with the pencil. There is no menace in the birds surrounding her. They are active and beautiful as they dart behind the bars and mesh of their cages. Off screen, the puppy begins BARKING again as the front door opens. Melanie looks up.

    MED. SHOT -  MITCH BRENNER

    as he closes the entrance door behind him and starts up the steps to the bird department. He is a handsome man, about twenty-nine or thirty, well dressed and carrying a felt hat.

    CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

    seeing him, and then turning away to bend before the cage of strawberry finches. She pokes the pencil through the mesh. The birds are startled into scarlet flight.

    TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

    as they pass each other in the aisle. He gives a polite little nod, and she gives a polite little smile. But as he passes her, and unknown to her, he turns for a second look -- and then vanishes behind the circular cage as he turns the corner.

    MED. SHOT - MELANIE

    looking at her watch as she wanders aaround the other side of the cage and then comes face to face with Mitch again.

    MITCH

    I wonder if you could help me.

    MELANIE

    What?

    MITCH

    (deliberately and with a touch of hauteur)

    I said I wonder if you could help me.

    CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

    a trifle annoyed by his manner at first. She is about to inform him, if you please, that she is not the shopgirl. But then something rebellious flashes in her eyes and an idea comes to her.

    MELANIE

    (solicitously)

    Yes, what was it you were looking for, sir?

    TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

    MITCH (deadpan)

    Lovebirds.

    MELANIE

    Lovebirds, sir?

     

  • 313316.0517

  • 313295.1334

  • 313295.1325

    Enter the dragon: various layers of history and myth recoded into formal gestures, 3-D along a mostly 2-D path. The battles sometimes resemble Tekken.

  • 313291.1941

  • 313281.2140

  • 313278.1604

  • 313277.1029

    Leave 1984 and Brave New World in the dust. Move onto the dystopias of their futures.

  • 313276.0926
    The Basterds (and the mispelled name of the film: Inglourious Basterds) play-act a cover story for film about a survivor's soulful tale of revenge. The title, handwritten like street graffiti over a film poster: the basterds are always gatecrashing an elegant party. If it were known by its last intertitle, Revenge of the Big Face (maybe that's the real title of the film they're hijacking, look at all of the similar titles of Gaumont film posters arrayed around the Parisian backlot), the audience would never debate the morality of the basterds hunting Nazis. It's another genius ruse Tarantino pulls on his audience, he sends them home in a furious dialogue about the ethics of violence while pulling off a discrete switcheroo. Basterds is a parody of American-style revenge and German butchery (a dry comedy about men fighting war), a kind of Will Eisner-Will Elder bulging muscles supercaricature taking credit for a much better plan already underway; they're layered over another film altogether, revenge engineered by a woman in a drama: tangent number two, the film has two very distinct performance styles. And let's not forget Shosanna arrives first in the film's logic, it's her revenge we're inside, not any ideology's, Tarantino is all too precise while his pretense-ruse is gunning for chaotic outbursts. We meet the Basterds only after we've witnessed the LaPaditte crawlspace slaughter. Follow along, each character adheres to a performance genre, Landa is in his comedy, Shosanna in her drama. Where they meet, crossover, is in the film's strangely austere yet nearly invisible interzone. Shosanna's revenge is, like Beatrix's in Kill Bill, very, very sweet. And upping the ante and payoff, Tarantino has adjusted the nature of this revenge: this time only a filmed/projected Emmanuel 'witnesses' it. Her other half, Shosanna, lays dead while it occurs.

     

    "gather round, y'all, and listen to the tale

    of Shosanna Dreyfus, a.k.a. Miss Emmanuel Mimieux,

    proprietess of the sizzlin tomb-oven

    of the last hour of The Third Reich.

    the REAL Basterd."

    These aren't the phrases war hero Aldo Raine's going to parlez anytime in the post-script of Tarantino's self-described masterpiece (the masterpiece moniker works sideways and crossways: it's a telegraphic scarring stolen from fellow Californian Charles Manson's forehead, an indirect claim for the film by Tarantino, and lastly, it's Raine taking claim of Shosanna's masterpiece, the plan Gamaar). Clearly simplifying (clarifying) his structures, media war-hero QT has squeezed an ulterior action film into the tightest array of bullet flying you ever did see in a 2 hour plus running time (90 seconds of carnage for almost two hours, and he guarantees a DVD sale, it goes by so fast it must be reseen). He saves the bildenskrieg of riddled bodies for Inglourious Basterds' ending moments: obviously learning a valuable lesson from the magician's separated-body routine he was forced to perform on the most extended remix ever made, Kill Bill, the masterpiece that was cut clean in half and lived to tell the tale.

    If you're suspicious about all this organization QT is up to, you might be a lightweight, you have to do a little Tarantino 101 thinking to get your head on-track: an example, QT uses a brand of time-mirroring we might call real/unreal, an easy one to spot are the two diners in Pulp Fiction, the colorful, vibrant Jack Rabbit Slim's theme-diner vs. the anonymous, monochromatic, decayed diner that begins and ends the film. Both have platforms actors speak from. While traffic speeds by the real diner, J.R. Slim's has 50's traffic footage piped in. Here in Inglourious Basterds the mirrors are the LaPaditte Homestead (decayed) vs. Le Cinema Le Gamaar (vibrant). Look carefully, to drive his point across QT duplicates the overhead camera move on the floorboards during the LaPaditte crescendo as Shosanna departs her office for the cinema's mayhem below. Both places have loads of parallels, both even have screens. Now let's dig.

    A cross-channeling between Stripes (Aldo Raines seems to be a portalling of the late, grating Warren Oates), Top Secret (an equality of preposterousness and preposterous names), Lubitsch (To Be or Not To Be: a comedy starring Nazis), when the Terds arrive at the Cinema, Three Stooges, and the mission-impossibility WWII cycles (Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarrone, Kelly's Heroes) blended by brutality attitudes of killer B's the title hides behind (literally his movie's cover is the flare of blood and gore these Basterds perpetrate), QT hammers an A-level satire that moves from sit-down to sit-DOWN, a comedy of manners that regresses into errors, he props the whole thing up by dressing his sets with amiable splitting-forms, simple things like mirrors and windows, that offer his characters their true selves as projections and inner and outer reflections within highly crafted optics and then places his heroine, Shosanna Dreyfus into a time-travelling battle of light with a neophyte, projected Nitrate-dweller Leni Riefenstahl. This is QT's greatest play on cinema's active power — of myth defeating reality (secretly — a film within named Nation's Pride actually turns on its audience with a splice and then film itself destroys all evidence) and he does it with a modicum of revulsion, a maximum of the fear of gore.  

    Although too numerous to list here, he uncarefully collapses his film into progressions and mirrors that litter each sequence: the drying white sheet that Landa emerges from behind (a dead-giveaway for the film screen we're watching) to the maid's kerchief that Perrier-the-dairy-farmer deeply inhales (is this Shosanna's, Perrier can't bear to list her name during questioning, and btw, his wife is clearly missing, these three are his daughters, he might be conducting his own affaire Shosanna), the milk drunk twice, the black ink withdrawn, a mini-duel of pipes (one real one purely theatrical), the split-screen nuances that contrast Perrier and Landa, and then he bridges them with larger mirrors: Landa's initial rat-hunt through Perrier's cellar via machine gun fire (he labels it all a 'masquerade') expels Shosanna and this triggers her own rat-hunt later, duplicated in the cinema at end (see the LaPadite house as a projection booth, the drying sheets its moviescreen), both are sequences of shooting fish in a barrel and of course, it is Landa's escaped maiden who impossibly guarantees his and Raine's final success through excess; their myth requires her storytelling. The basterds inadvertently become her gunmen in revenge.  In a way he's also asking you to consider the tale of any of the survivors of the theater: "Well suddenly the film had a woman laughing at us, a Jew, speaking English and flames rising from below the screen..." Of course there are no survivors, except, maybe Marcel, but line his story up against Landa's airtight invention and myth beats reality on the outside. But we know better. The keys to any Tarantino film are the myths left offscreen and unsaid. The glue that holds all stories together are these artifacts we never hear, but are aware of in the innate and amateur mechanics of storytelling, Tarantino stays dialogue rich so he can make us think it's all up on screen but it's a ruse like the references somewhat are. Look at what you are not being shown, study what happens after the events: do the Nazis forensically identify the shooters or do they raze the place and head for Berlin?

    The LaPadite homestead is its own incautious visual primer for the film, the axe (Perrier seems to be chopping a stump, not any actual firewood, as if he's playing a kind of prop himself) and the arrow-aiming shape of the house (it looks like a joke on UP!) set upon a small hill, the windows that open from its walls are themselves progressions of mirroring/doubling boxes (he frames Perrier in the first, simplest window as Landa enters). As Shosanna departs, he frames her emerging from a cellar window with the same ratio as the filmscreen, then in reverse he frames her in the blackness of the house, the doorway is now a sideways/vertical film-screen ratio and the squared and crossed-form window next to it buries a swaztika, like a bleak introduction to where the film is headed (she's headed for a curved portal, baby: the cinema; not this square-jive). And fabric, from these sheets a girl is smoothing (film screen), to the red of the Reichchancellery to the weird flowing banners of the British command room into the movie theater. Red meets blue meets white.  By the time we meet the Basterd's we get the feeling they're just the set-up for this grand answer battle to the LaPadite opening; though far from inert, they serve the mayhem counterpoint to all this continental discussion. Their signature ritual killing sequence, set in what are clearly oven pits [read:holocaust] brick-arching from an earlier century, is the inverse of the opening's killing on the hillside expanse that the LaPadite house sits atop (they even go deeper in the pits form-wise: when Hugo Stiglitz is given his backstory plug-in mid-scene, the Basterds seem to spring him from a dock that's an underground archway extension of these pits, ie: where Donny emerges from in darkness). Even the bar-setting, the slaughter that Hammersmark survives, is below ground, more underground references that began in the LaPadite cellar and arrived at these darkened pits.  And when the Bear Jew (Eli Roth, whose Slovakian nightmare Hostel (homonym is one pronounciation of hostile) is a kind of preview-prequel Basterds, now is acting out his previous film's fantasy blended into the mainframe of this film, his offside rant might have been: dude, I've killed actors in a Czech film studio, an acting role in Hostel Tarantino turned down but now regrets), when he finally gets mentioned, he begins banging his wood around in darkness, from a corridor he emerges from very slowly, it's a direct sound-portal with Perrier's opening wood-chopping: you hear? Notice the arches' interplay, Donny appears to be walking out of an eye. Gee, I wonder what that means?

     

    Once we arrive on the Babelsburg back-lot, we drift down into the city of Cinema, and there is Shosanna, now Emmanuel Mimieux, the heiress to a medium-sized curved portal palace with a millenium falcon/rosetta window that looks down onto a tired 1944 occupation street. In a film about border-ethnic-religious warfare we have arrived at Tarantino's only acknowledged temple: the projection house of film. The rosetta window appears in both temples and churches, and although we could decode each and every character's name in the script, her alias Emmanuel has a (at least) dual meaning since it means Jesus if you believe in the Christian aspects of Messiah prophecies as well as a popular naming for Hebrew temples if you don't.  As she peels off her last-run film marquee, a German war hero, Frederick Zoller, arrives to deus ex machina the film's ending as a puppy dog in love. QT brings the film's goals into two visuals here, he contrasts Zoller with a pair of propaganda posters across the darkened street (he's anonymous anyway, no matter what), and he mirrors ladder-topping Mimieux with a mountain-straddling Reifenstahl above her, pre director Leni, then she was an actor/acrobat/climber, in Pabst's (and Fanck's) 1929 mountain worshipping White Hell of Piz Palu, itself an unconscious, silent, litmus for the hidden nightmares of the German Weimar. A norse warning these mountain thinkers might soon arise from Versailles screaming for domination again, and of course, it's a film predicting the war with natural violence, its myth is to conquer nature and this is how the Nazis pursued their mythic quest. Tarantino is suggesting (in brilliant historical mirrorplay) that if you want to unconsciously initialize the Reich as a nature-odyssey on top of a mountain during depression Germany, then you can damn sure end it mythically in a film set in occupied Paris, and wildly, he's suggesting Shosanna is the heroine that gives Leni a run for her money: Shosanna manufactures her own white hell to get it done (no doubt burning the print of a 1929 White Hell she's just finished projecting). That he uses Pabst's Piz Palu, (like the street posters — mostly films not contemporary to the occupation), and not some obvious Nazi rant of Reifenstahl means he's equating them as performers within myth-consciousness, the Nazis were astute at media-myth for a reason, not just technicians that edited points along an ideological rant. Shosanna, however is the true filmmaker because she's making a film within a film that succeeds at destroying myths from inside a myth.  Notice every frame the film carves in Gamaar, red walls, green floors, blue stairs, QT is giving this cinema the synthetic power over color and metaphor. Unbeknownst to Zoller, Shosanna and Tarantino combine her two least favorite Nazi encounters, him and Landa, and his ritual (Landa's  opening execution masquerade) and the Nazi resolve to create mythic 'heroism' (Zoller's improbable sniper nest slaughter and the beyond his control frenzy that follows) and she combines them into her theater: from elegant premiere locale to Nazi death-camp oven, with the projection beam equalling (actually besting) Zoller's aim-as-projectile, she literally projects him as he fires projectiles at a type of audience (the Americans). Even better are the roles in play, Zoller as projectile-ist has a mirror in Marcel, the projectionist of Mimieux, her true love. The scene in the cafe has the killer storytelling transformation: after pausing her reading (anyone spot the title?), she watches Zoller move from an exterior window to the back room she inhabits, where symmetries are affixed to both her reverse and his as art nouveau details. A couple enters and they accost him for an autograph and as she realizes he is more than just a footsoldier, Tarantino frames him in a raised mirror that let's us see a screen of Zoller doubled, behind him (and his admirers, the female even blurts "you're so lucky..." looking directly at us in the audience), and with Mimieux sitting there, transforms the room into a prototype for her cinematic finale (Zoller will appear both onscreen and in real life at the end). Anybody notice what the extra in the background of the cafe is doing, or rather her cat?  Too bad we can't see what she's reading.

    In the middle slaughter we find ourselves again underground, in an extended discovery scene, involving a game that is a reverse charades-20 questions hybrid, the protagontist wears a card (a label) that others can see and he/she must decrypt his card while asking a series of questions (the spies: Hicox, Stiglitz, Hammersmark, the barkeep are the ones really possessing 'cards' since they are the ones with false identities, so then this game is really an assist for Nazis breaking through the illusions underneath). The sequence one of the most perverse plays on spy detection since it reverses the questioning process, a Japanese Koan game: "How well you decrypt your hidden self exposes you."  Ingeniously he uses Stiglitz as a blink-of-an-eye trick, who he is is 'hidden' on one of those cards. Let's save that stroke of genius for the end below. Again, a female in a drama survives the initial slaughter (like Shosanna) and she finishes off the sympathetic Nazi/new father without blinking, she kills the guy who's still sobering up from the earlier comedy. She's the catalyst that moves the film into act three. Adding another gratuitous myth to myths, the cinderella slipper's turn pulled on Hammersmark lures Landa to his mythic interception finale (choking her later makes her into a permenant sleeping beauty).

    Bracing for his oven's ending, Tarantino vaults into some cross-referenced time-travel. The ending war-paint music video goes eighties with a Bowie soundtrack offering from Paul Schrader's Cat People remake: a Brit sings a song to a remake of a Val Lewton noir sci-fi while a Frenchwoman makes herself look Apache. Packed with cold-war layers held over from German wartime diaspora, one splinter of the layering tells you that Zoller plays the sap archetype having no idea the cat lurking within Mimieux's alter-feline ego is about to roar. The sequence ends with an overhead tracking shot that mimics Landa's overhead hunt, displaying the entire theater as her version of the house LaPadite. The auditorium is her cellar.  Outside the window, beyond the swaztikas, is an ad for Louis Feuillade's Herr Doktor with a heroine-image that Mimieux mirrors. Herr Doktor is a 1925 thriller that wryly refers to Goebbels' nickname (though they have nothing to do with each other's identities). In a film littered with subtle references to Lilian Harvey, Clouzot, UFA, Gaumont and many other blendings of film history, he remains focused on a French litmus: a majority of the film is set on French soil. By this point in 1944, Doktor is a long-gone feature, resurrecting it here as a grand outdoor poster means the image is loaded and top-heavy with meaning. Doktor is also a narrative plug aimed at Gaumont's resident-genius Feuillade, the then-dead/now forgotten inventor of the long-narrative thriller (his Fantomas was a 5 part serial that arrived just as Griffith's Birth of a Nation did in America). Feuillade's genius, like other French filmic innovations of the twenties is now long forgotten, these days we assume the Germans invented horror and Mack Sennett invented projected slapstick. QT is equating the process of conquest and the process of conflict as production. This sly merging of countervailing myths proves QT not only recognizes history: he knows its flaws enough to satirize our expectations of what is real and what is not. Anyone arguing about historical realism or even relativism is falling into a trap Tarantino has expertly led them to:   Tarantino is telling us this is Shosanna's French rebellion inside an Anglo-U.S. production remythed by a German named Landa, and as before with Feuillade, the French component, Shosanna's re-edit, was the sweetest part of the revenge; its visuals are the ones we remember, yet the rebellion will get erased like Feuillade did, the inventor of the thriller remains anonymous in the gargantuan wake of mighty UFA and the U.S. Studios (read them as NDSAP and U.S. Army stand-ins), just like Shosanna (and she dies thinking she's the only one running the terroristic assasination act). Even more preposterously, he lampoons the Italian contribution to film by posing the 'Terds as members of the Italian Film Industry (and they made the first feature film, ever). The movie's not about filmmaking, it's about film:  "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."  (an even more in-depth aside, French film may be the birthplace of slapstick comedies, beginning with a Melies 1895 dead-pan comedy of an army cavelry student who can't seem to mount his horse, to early Pathé one-reelers, says Mack Sennett: "I have been posing for many years as the inventor of slapstick motion-picture comedy and it is about time I confessed the truth. It was those Frenchmen that invented slapstick comedy and I imitated it." source: Movies in the Age of Innocence Wagenknecht)

     

    revenge in b&w: a similarity in heroine display and vocalization

    And then there's the scene-stealing Walz. Nothing in the film is better than Landa, whose somewhat terrifying character is the only real tension the film posseses: unpredictability, his passion is comedic dispassion, and his non-fatal flaw is that he doesn't ever see through Emmanuel's masquerade, even though he knows how to deploy one and latch onto the Basterd's. Raine (and his sidekick) and Landa are the two survivors of the film, and they survive by evading her cinema-oven as an aside ruse. And even better is the performance mask Tarantino employs. The moment he switches to English with Perrier LaPadite he tells us who Landa really (or thinks he) is: Woody Allen. When he pulls out his ridiculous Calabash pipe, the audience laughs at his absurd sincerity of theater (the pipe was the preferred Holmes pipe for actors since they could read lines with it in place, a hint at Landa's drive to be understood while he interrogates, Doyle makes no reference to this type of pipe), then he tokes as a preamble to the machine-gunning (if Landa's toking is a stand-in for other smoky interludes, then Raine's snuff pulling is a stand-in for other stronger inhalants; it's almost wishful thinking to jumpstart Brad Pitt's lethargic sleepy Raine, imagine Michael Madsen, the original Raine).  As a commentary on the semetic nuances of film culture, the British know the synthetics: "Goebbels is more Selznick than Mayer," but the process of becoming a master mythmaker is becoming, being; knowing is not enough to bluff, when film historian Archie Hicox is exposed as a fake German during the identity card-game, we realize he only knew how to be a fake from a film (a mirror to Piz Palu's introduction, he bullshits a cameo inside it). Again the film-thinker in the scene is the Nazi, Major Dieter Hellstrom, who explains the history of the "American Negro" as underpinning the Kong myth in a brilliantly brief aside, and of course, he sees through Hicox's ruse at his own peril: he thinks he's got the whole thing figured out.  After both die, Aldo arrives, and strangely, he's the one with the rope-burn scar, he's the one with injun blood who knows what a lynching is up-close and personal (color or ideas of ethnicity: is Kong just a stand-in for how we think enslavement operates?). Aldo, one of the film's few survivors, never claims to know what anything means. Best for last: The card game has its amazingly subtle reveal as tensions flare: QT shows us Stiglitz being whipped by unseen S.S. as a memory taunt paralleling Hellstrom's slaps, and that's where the his comments have their unseen circle, Hellstrom is a part of the same pandora's box of enslavement, he just doesn't recognize his whipping-role in the Kong mythology, Stiglitz is his Kong.  Tarantino specializes in component male fantasies, not just the spotlights, like morality, women or violence, but the props, the notions buried in them: milk, ink, bullets. Just watch as Landa forgets what it was he meant to ask Shosanna near the end of their sit-down (after the cream arrives: the dairy's progress, he paused their struedel for it whipped - the coyest Stiglitz mirror possible), had he asked it, Mimieux would be now be just a dead Dreyfus (just look at her glass of milk that mirrors the opening), and the revenge of the Cinema's "Big Face" would only be the stuff of dreams.

    Practice. The rationale for QT. Below are images of The White Hell of Piz Palu.

     

     

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