Quentin Tarantino to Israel: 'This Isn't A Holocaust Movie. It's a Bunch-of-Guys-On-A-Mission Movie.'
Inglourious Basterds marched triumphantly over the $100 million mark this weekend on our own shores, and nothing impedes its steady invasion of foreign territories. It opens this week in Israel, Singapore and Spain, then moves on to South Korea, Italy, Brazil and Mexico in October, and finally Japan in mid-November, at which point no corner of the globe will be unfamiliar with the epic adventures of Shoshana the Vengeance-Seeker and Her Projection Room Lover (which also happens to be the Mexican title).
At a press conference today in Tel Aviv, the subject of the Holocaust was critically brought up -- both in Quentin Tarantino's avoidance of the death camps, and in the implication that the playful historical liberties ultimately did a disservice to those killed by the Nazis. The director took the opportunity to nip all such lines of questioning in the bud. Here was his response, via Cinemascope.com:
I actually think some of the questions that people have brought up today ... aren't sincere questions -- I think people want to hear my answer more than they actually feel the question. And where I'm coming from it is this: One of the things that I think has been a drag about movies dealing with World War II for the last 20 years is since the '80s, pretty much, all the WWII movies have focused in on the victimization of WWII. And that has been primarily the story told in the '80s, through the '90s, to this day.
Now that's well and good -- there's some been some very good movies made in there -- but while the war was actually going on, and in the '50s, '60s and '70's, there wasn't anything wrong with making an adventure story. And that's what this is. And you have the incident that happened in the 20th Century that has the most adventure stories possible. Some people say, "Well why aren't you dealing with the Holocaust?"
Well one, I am dealing with the Holocaust, and two, was The Guns of Navarone dealing with the Holocaust? Alright? It's going on concurrently. I'm not dealing with the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, either, but it was going on at the same time. But at the same time, I am dealing with it. It's a false question. I'm dealing with it through Shoshana's exile. I'm dealing with it through this man [he gestures to Christoph Waltz] -- the Jew Hunter is representing of the Holocaust. But at the same time, though, it's not a Holocaust movie. To me that's a genre unto itself and that's not the genre I'm dealing with. I'm dealing with the A Bunch of Guys on a Mission Genre.
And there you have it. If you want death camps, rent Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful. If you want blood, you want Basterds.