New York’s “Vulture” page has gotten a copy and reviewed it. Ain’t It Cool‘s Harry Knowles has also read and semi-reviewed. An intern working for a mid-sized distributor wrote yesterday and told me he has a copy. A guy who works at John and Pete’s liquor store on La Cienega was reading a copy last night between customers. My mother called me last night from Connecticut with her reactions.
I’m apparently the only movie hound in the civilized world who hasn’t read Quentin Tarantino‘s 165-page script of Inglourious Basterds, which, according to a cover-page photo provided by the Vulture guys, is how Quentin spells it.
They’re reporting, in fact, that the misspelling of bastards “continues through the screenplay,” which suggests that QT “was writing really, really fast.” They’re being cute — I tend to be blunt. Isn’t “basterds” the spelling equivalent of “rite” (as in write), “resterrant” (as in restaurant) and “simputhetik” (as in sympathetic)?
One of three possibilities: (a) Tarantino is a borderline illiterate, (b) He’s having everyone off by pretending to be a retard, or perhaps pretending to be one of the retard soldiers in the piece, or (c) the Vulture guys are having us off. My money is on (a) but you never know.
The script is “definitely the ur-text of Quentin Tarantino’s career up to now,” Vulture proclaims. “It combines his love of old movies (war movies, Westerns, and even prewar German cinema), his attraction to powerful female protagonists, his love of chatter, and his willingness to embrace the extreme — visually and in his storytelling. (The flashbacks have particularly Tarantino-esque flourishes; a thought bubble pops out of a character’s head to introduce one while another is shot spaghetti-Western style.)
“All in all, it reads like Kill Bill meets The Dirty Dozen meets Cinema Paradiso.”
McWeeny, on the other hand, says it’s “The Guns of Navarone meets Malena meets Cinema Paradiso along with a ton of just stuff we don’t have references for. It does celebrate the possibilities within a cinematic universe and in many ways — it’s not a gigantic movie in anyway other than ambition.
“Much of the film takes place in Nazi-occupied Paris — and I couldn’t help it as I read the script, but to imagine actors like Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, etc in these roles as opposed to a modern cast. That said and God willing, some brilliant studio will see that this isn’t a recreation of history, slavishly playing to graven memory of war, but a film. A work of pure imagination unleashed upon the cinematic setting of World War II.”
It’s presumed that Brad Pitt‘s character, if and when he signs to star in Basterds, will play a Tennesse redneck with a neck scar called Lieutenant Aldo Raine — obviously an allusion to ’50s B movie star Aldo Ray and his performances in Eisenhower-era war films like The Naked and the Dead, Men in War, Three Stripes in the Sun and Battle Cry.
All I know is that three script sources who’ve come through for me in the past have let me down. It hurts. It feels badly. Well, maybe later today.