Quentin Tarantino on "Inglourious Basterds," nominated for eight Oscars, and why he's a filmmaker who is in love with movies.
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Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
The film has been described, rightly, by many as a Jewish revenge fantasy. But it didn't start out that way in Tarantino's mind. Instead, he started with a genre -- WWII movies -- and the simple idea of "a bunch of guys on a mission."
"But then I was like ... who are the guys and what's the mission?" Said Tarantino. "And I came up with the idea of Jewish soldiers basically doing an Apache resistance against the Nazis. And part of the reason I came up with that is I hadn't seen it before."
Though far-fetched -- it features Jewish-American GIs, the Basterds, taking Nazi scalps -- some would say it's Tarantino's least gory picture yet.
"I concur ... but I do have a close-up of a scalping," said Tarantino. "But I like the 'eww' moments, I actually think that's people having a good time."
The film is full of memorable performances, from Christoph Waltz's smooth SS officer -- a role for which he garnered a best supporting actor nomination -- to Brad Pitt's kick-ass, backwoods leader of the Basterds, Lieutenant Aldo Raine.
"When Brad comes into the movie, he's so American," said Tarantino. "It just hits in such a way that his is such an American voice ... the mountain-boy accent, the deep hillbilly dialect."
Tarantino is a filmmaker who is in love with movies. He grew up watching Sergio Leone Westerns, and says he was profoundly influenced by them. To Tarantino, Leone and directors like him ushered in modern filmmaking.
"I've suffered forever from Sergio Leone-itus, where I can't introduce a character unless I've spent 15 minutes doing it and making it a huge operatic aria."
As for the eight Academy Award nominations for "Basterds," Tarantino says he's just glad that they've brought renewed attention to a project that was 10 years in the making.
Tarantino says his films are love letters to genre movies. "I love cinema. I have no problem basking in cinema and its history with my stories."
Visit the "Studio 360" website for more of the interview with Quentin Tarantino.
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