I would like, if I may, to begin this blog with a quote from my mother.
I sent her an email this morning, wherein I told her that, last night, I was able to attend a special screening of the new movie Inglourious Basterds here at the Museum. She said:
“Wow! That's great! But Inglourious Basterds? Really Jamie? I didn’t raise you to spell like that.”
But, as David Marwell said in his opening remarks, “the spelling of the title will set off your spell check and anger your English teacher.”
Inglourious Basterds follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by brutally killing Nazis. The film is not at all historically accurate, nor does it claim to be. Rather, it is a fantastical story that asks “What if…?”
The audience, made up of members of the Museum family and the Weinstein Company, gathered in (a full) Edmond J. Safra Hall to get a sneak peek at Basterds before it comes to theaters on August 21. Cast member Eli Roth, who played Capt. Donny Donowitz, introduced the film, sharing stories of the camaraderie forged between the Jewish-American and German actors during filming. After the screening, Mélanie Laurent, who played Shosanna Dreyfus, and director Quentin Tarantino came to the stage for a riveting Q&A. Both expressed how honored they were to be able to show the movie at the Museum. (Mélanie even got a little varklempt.) Mr. Tarantino seemed more than pleased to address audience observations, accolades, and even criticisms. I won’t give away any of the movie just yet (sorry—you’ll have to wait until it comes out) but I will say that I believe our audience appreciated the rare opportunity to engage in such a cinematic evening.