As I watched Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds for the first time this past Sunday night a paradox of emotions flooded my artistic sensibilities. It was a struggle to pinpoint my feelings. Was it delicious agony? Was it a happy sadness? Was it similar to watching a house burn down—possibly with people in it?
He made me look in horror…and laugh!
But a moment later, I was embarrassed about the disturbing subject matter at which I was laughing.
And no one else was in the room. Just me. Alone to laugh (or wince) as I wished. No posing. Just the real me. Alone with my conflicted self.
Craving entertainment, whatever the cost.
Am I sick? Depraved? Or am I just your garden variety desensitized American consumer.
Artistic brilliance abounds. No question.
The opening cinematography of the french countryside would give Monet chills. Tarantino’s use of silence and tension is genius.
But life is cheap and gore plentiful in Tarantino movies.
Or is it?
Is he a twisted sadist or creative genius?
I know he doesn’t care what I think.
But I care. I care about the ripple effect.
I’ve been to Africa where life is cheap and meaningless. In Central Asia, I have looked deep in the eyes of flesh and blood Kyrgyz survivors mutilated by sadistic Communist rule, hoping for a single glimpse of life—finding nothing.
Do we forbid a creative genius artistic expression?
When does art and freedom begin to eat itself?
The result a chilling future called tomorrow, where there survives neither artist nor consumer.
I really liked the movie. It made me laugh.
I really didn’t like the movie. It made me cry.