mercredi 2 septembre 2009

Intuitive bastard… 2

On trouvera ci-dessous la traduction en anglais de Intuitive bastard…, mis en ligne le 27 août 2009 (traduction révisée par Alain Bellaïche, que je remercie). RZ.

David Genzel, proprietor of David-et-Celine-vont-en-bateau, a blog widely read in the Vith district of Paris, invited me to see the last Quentin Tarantino’s “movie” and inform him of my reactions…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My dear David,

On your suggestion (!), I went to see the latest Tarantino’s movie. With reserve. I had not liked his treatment of Pulps, admirable invention thanks to which millions of Americans - mainly male, I suppose, and short on academics - could get a taste of Greek Tragedy and benefit from its lessons, without even realizing it.

A slang-speaking Tragedy, full of gangsters, hard-boiled individuals, poisonous creatures, even extraterrestrial ones, where the Gods, in the guise of partial drives (concupiscence, hubris, contempt, jealousy, for example) continue to draw the strings, screw the Logos and turn men into asses.

Of that, Tarantino has taken nothing into account, and ridiculed a very authentic genre, because one doesn’t cheat easily on those who are poor of vocabulary and struggle with Anankè. A genre nourished by experiences gained, if one may say, during the Great War, the strikes and the confrontations trade unionists/strikebreakers, or produced by particularly inventive imaginations: Asimov, Bloch, Brown, Chandler, Conrad, Goodis… This is why I spared myself with Kill Bill.

Eh! well, of Inglorious Basterds, I do not have great a deal to say: I expected the worst, thus I was not surprised. It is not a “war” movie which, coming belatedly, tries to renew (badly) the Genre - in the manner of these directors who disguise the counts of Mozart or the Gods of Wagner in salesmen or in contemporary punks “to bring them closer” to the audiences, and end up delivering a show à la “Chez Michou”: it’s a video game. Which refers to other video games, which refer to clips. It is not thus relevant to record inconsistencies and aberrations. In The Last Hero Action, Danny Madigan, trying to convince an incredulous Arnold Schwarzenegger that the universe in which the two of them are is fictitious, points out to him that all the girls are pretty… Nothing like it here.

Tarantino does not evoke in a (very) questionable way a terrible period, facts, men, in a word, referents. He exploits, with no other rule than plain fun, empty signifiers - of course not for the old schmucks (!), those who remember, but for the adepts of Virtual Bliss -, he enjoys it gloriously in many interviews - and is right to do so, considering the large success of this well wrapped up product.

He did make one (good) entertainment product for the innumerable troops of those who do not scorn, but are completely unaware of, the pascalian anguishes: for eternal youths of all ages, who wants to speak neither of the past nor of the day after, who dwell in the marvelous present of “having fun” and “having a ball”, whose children - when they have some - are “cool”, are “buddies”, who embrace a “cause” for the time of its mediatic effervescence then forget it rather quickly, who do not feel uncomfortable with verbal excess and are unable to measure how obscene some comparisons are - Jacques Chirac, Georges W. Bush fascists, Israelis = Nazis, Gaza = Auschwitz, for example -, because words do not evoke many things for them, but the approximate meaning they lend to them. As in Alice in Wonderland … Then, “never again… ”, “duty to remember…”? Rubbish!

However, I observe that these empty signifiers were not entirely randomly selected: it is not question of Romulians, Cardassians or Vulcains; there are nice guys, there are villains - in 3D but without substance -, the nice guys are primarily American Jews, not Jooz, the villains are Nazis, not Nazifs; the nice guys, coming to save helpless populations, can behave as savages with respect to the villains, hack them to pieces with jubilation to the great satisfaction of the spectators, those of the theater (in Cannes, south of France) in which I watched the “movie” for example, scalp them, carve swatiskas on their forehead, etc. Not one spectator, especially in Germany, will rise to protest with vehemence and say, like Franz Liebkind (played by Kenneth Mars in The Producers of Mel Brooks), the unhappy author of the immortal Springtime for Hitler: “Mein Fuehrer never said this ‘baby’ and ‘man’ and 'OW !!… ” “Innocent” pleasure. Cheap catharsis.

I thus observe that these nice guys, primarily American Jews, adopt the practices of the Natives, of Indian-Americans: they are therefore perfectly assimilated - in a feebly politically correct way… It is amusing, in a way, a little worrying when one thinks of the incredible Donald Boström’s feature article, recently published (on August 17, 2009) by a popular Swedish tabloid close to the social democratic Party, Aftonbladet, which affirms that Israelis (= Juifs!) have been killing 'Palestiniens' to steal their organs; it is also a lapse.

In fact, many American Jewish soldiers took part in the battles in Europe but, with some exceptions, American Jews did not hussle much on behalf of European Jews in course of extermination. Left-leaning Zionists (a majority) for hard but justified reasons in their eyes : to let no cause, as noble as it was, interfere with the only objective which counted for them, the creation of a State. - The Right-leaning Zionists adopted another attitude, but they were a minority, and it is another story, which requires retelling.

The others, the large majority, wary to avoid endangering their fragile position as recent citizens of a country which was very hostile to the Jews, adopted a low profile. They never demonstrated during the war for the increase of the Jews’ admission quotas in the United States, and they all voted for F.D. Roosevelt who, although informed very early on of what was happening in Europe, always refused to intervene, to bombard the railway lines going towards the concentration camps, for example, for fear one could say: “The United States is at war for the Jews”. - Incidentally, American Jews always vote “Democrat”, rain or shine, to the tune of 80%...

As for the Nazis, many of them found refuge after the war in South American and Arab countries, but many “were “rescued” by the USA, recycled and enlisted in the fight against Communism…

In short, Inglorious Basterds is a technically well done video game, gore style sometimes - but what are we to expect ? - perfectly in phase with the Zeitgeist, it success proves it, of which I am deeply sorry.

I came out of it a bit down, feeling out of place, metaphysically old to have encountered members of the Resistance and Deportees, to know some of them still, although their ranks are clearing up, to be unable not to feel in debt to them, unable to take this affair lightly. In a word, unable to take part in the fun. I have to confess that I prefer Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three.

That’s it. I am not sure I have to thank you for your suggestion…

Hello and civility, love to Céline,


Illustration :

Mur (Berlin) © copyright Alain Zimeray.

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