“The tragedy of Tarantino is that he could have been so much more than the Schlock and Awe merchant that he has devolved into,” writes London Independent columnist Johann Hari. “If he had stopped mistaking his DVD collection for a life, he — to borrow a phrase from a real film, etched with real pain — could’ve been a contender.

“When I remember the raw force of Reservoir Dogs, I still hope that he will. It’s not too late. He could do it. How about it, Quentin? Step out into the big world beyond celluloid, and use your incredible talent to tell stories about it. As Mr. Blonde says, ‘Are you going to bark all day, little doggie — or are you going to bite?'”

I was writing post-Jackie Brown comedown pieces like back in ’98 and ’99. It’s hard to think of ’99 as ten years ago but it was. In any event, as I mentioned yesterday, I don’t have a crying need to keep the Tarantino/Inglourious Basterds hate going but Hari’s piece is well written and I like the ending and…what am I making excuses for? Because of the scolding stridency of the pro-Basterds brigade. Well, they’d better grim up and deal with reality. In a way the folks who shouted “FAIL” after Inglourious Basterds premiered at Cannes are like the French resistance. They’ve gone underground since it opened big last weekend, but they’re still holding meetings and planning stealth attacks.