scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Journal ArticleDOI

Bastardized History: How Inglourious Basterds Breaks through American Screen Memory

01 Oct 2015-Vol. 3, Iss: 2, pp 141-169
TL;DR: Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) as discussed by the authors is a satire of the movie version of The Diary of Anne Frank (1952) adapted for the silver screen by George Stevens and George Stevens.
Abstract: I think America is one of the only countries that has not been forced . . . to look [its] own past sins in the face. And it's only by looking them in the face that you can possibly work past them.1-Quentin TarantinoDespite the fact that the Holocaust took place on another continent and directly involved few Americans, this event has become integrated into the fabric of the American story. The trauma of the Holocaust entered American mainstream consciousness with the publication in English of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl in 1952, which met with wild success when it was adapted for the silver screen in 1959 as The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens, USA). American awareness of the Final Solution was reinforced for later generations with the premiere of the television miniseries Holocaust (Marvin J. Chomsky, USA, NBC) in 1978 and again with the release of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (USA) and the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993. With the proliferation of Holocaust memorials and representations in the American arts since the landmark date of 1993, the Holocaust has been transformed in the United States from a specifically Jewish trauma into a broadly defined mainstream American experience.2 America's adoption of European Jewish history is part of a process by which the story of the Holocaust-and America's presumed role in ending it-is incorporated into "the fundamental tale of pluralism, tolerance, democracy, and human rights that America tells about itself."3 Peter Novick confirms this trend in his study The Holocaust in American Life, observing that "the Holocaust has come to be presented-come to be thought of-as not just a Jewish memory but an American memory."4In its use of postmodern parody, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (USA, 2009) calls attention to American culture's appropriation of Holocaust memory through its conflation of Jewish and American identities in the elite fighting unit that gives the film its title. The film's self-conscious Americaniza-tion of the Holocaust functions as a critique of American popular culture's tendency to adopt Holocaust trauma as a screen memory, a means of displacing or repressing its own historical guilt-traumas. Rather than participating in this phenomenon, however, Inglourious Basterds uses parody to lay bare the ways in which American film representations of the Holocaust have shaped, and in some cases have distorted, public cultural memory of the event. Unlike earlier Holocaust films that endeavored to seamlessly integrate a specifically Jewish history into the broader fabric of the American story, Inglourious Basterds calls attention to its Americanization of the Holocaust through its ironic revision of history. Tarantino confirms this reading, explaining that the film broadly examines "the tragedy of genocide. I'm dealing with the Jewish genocide in Europe, but my Jews are going native and taking the roles of American Indians-another genocide. Then there's a King Kong metaphor about the slave trade, that's another genocide."5 Through this revision the film challenges the primacy of the Holocaust as an American memory and consequently draws attention to America's reluctance to confront its own legacy of racial prejudice.Moreover, the film unsettles received representations of America as the liberator of Europe's Jews from their Nazi oppressors, and in this way acts in a manner similar to what Linda Hutcheon has called historiographic metafiction-what I term "historiographic metacinema"-which locates in popular film representations of the Holocaust a complicated intertextual relationship between history and fiction.6 As historiographic metacinema-the film clearly "situate[s] itself within historical discourse without surrendering its autonomy as fiction"7-Inglourious Basterds prompts us to question the reliability of films as instruments of public memory by calling attention to the cinematic strategies by which they represent the Holocaust. …
Citations
More filters
01 Jan 1993

165 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Horsemen of the Apocalypse as discussed by the authors is an example of a group of characters from the Bible who were involved in a war against the forces of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages.
Abstract: Dedication - Abbreviations - Preface - Acknowledgements - PART 1: NATURE - Earth - Vegetation - Light and Darkness - The Seasons - Notes - PART 2: THE SOLDIERS - The Allies - The Enemies - PART 3: THE CIVILIANS - The Labyrinth of Nations - The Limits of Communication - The Totality of War - The Old World - PART 4: THE APOCALYPSE - The Strange - The Genocide - The Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Notes - Epilogue - Bibliography - Index

12 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2020
TL;DR: The authors examined the messaging, delivery, and visible impact of pop cultural icons on the ways people remember and forget the Holocaust and found that contemporary Holocaust-themed animation on sitcoms like Family Guy and South Park sometimes poke "irresponsible" fun.
Abstract: In 1986, cartoonist Art Spiegelman published Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, the first book in his two-volume graphic comic novel about the Holocaust. He established, perhaps unwittingly, a new genre of Holocaust representation, i.e., comic animation that thrives in current times. While his intervention was “responsible” in the sense that it spurred, rather than spurned reverent remembrance, contemporary Holocaust-themed animation on sitcoms like Family Guy and South Park sometimes poke “irresponsible” fun. American cultural producers have a long tradition of ridiculing Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Joking about the Holocaust and its survivors, however, is something new. This chapter does not consider the question of whether or not this sort of humor is amusing, or appropriate. Rather, this study examines the messaging, delivery, and visible impact of such pop cultural icons on the ways people remember and forget the Holocaust.

2 citations

References
More filters
Book
01 Jan 1991
TL;DR: In this paper, a wide-ranging survey of postmodernism is presented, from high art to low art, from market ideology to architecture, from painting to “punk” film, from video art to literature.
Abstract: Now in paperback, Fredric Jameson’s most wide-ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of ”postmodernism”. Jameson’s inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape, from “high” art to “low” from market ideology to architecture, from painting to “punk” film, from video art to literature.

6,317 citations

Book
01 Jan 1973
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe a year's seminar in which Dr. Lacan addressed a larger, less specialized audience than ever before, among whom he could not assume familiarity with his work.
Abstract: This volume is based on a year's seminar in which Dr. Lacan addressed a larger, less specialized audience than ever before, among whom he could not assume familiarity with his work. For his listeners then, and for his readers now, he wanted to "introduce a certain coherence into the major concepts on which psycho-analysis is based," namely, the unconscious, repetition, the transference, and the drive. Along the way he argues for a structural affinity between psychoanalysis and language, discusses the relation of psychoanalysis to religion, and reveals his particular stance on topics ranging from sexuality and death to alienation and repression. This book constitutes the essence of Dr. Lacan's sensibility.

3,217 citations

BookDOI
01 Dec 1990-Mln
TL;DR: Postmodernisme membawa berbagai efek terhadap kehidupan. as discussed by the authors, salah satunya dalam karya sastra termasuk puisi.
Abstract: Postmodernisme membawa berbagai efek terhadap kehidupan. Salah satunya dalam karya sastra termasuk puisi. Dimulai dengan modernisme tahun 1960an. Buku ini berisi permasalahan sejarah postmodernisme dan kritik-kritik tentang postmodernisme terhadap puisi, juga model postmodernisme terhadap parodi dan politik. Selain memberikan fokus terhadap kesejarahan metafiksi.

1,910 citations

Book
01 Jan 1989
TL;DR: Godard Melodrama Inside and Outside the Home Part III: ON THE MARGINS Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti Part IV: AVANT-GARDE Film, Feminism and the Avant-Garde Dialogue with Spectatorship: Barbara Kruger and Victor Burgin 'Magnificent Obsession': An Introduction to the Work of Five Photographers Impending Time: Mary Kelly's Corpus PART V: BOUNDARIES Changes: Thoughts on Myth, Narrative and Historical Experience The Oedipus Myth: Beyond the Riddles of the Sphinx The
Abstract: Acknowledgements Introduction to Second Edition Introduction to First Edition PART I: ICONOCLASM The Spectacle is Vulnerable: Miss World 1970 Fears, Fantasies and the Male Unconscious or 'You Don't Know What is Happening, Do You Mr Jones?' Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema PART II: MELODRAMA Afterthoughts on 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' inspired by King Vidor's Duel In The Sun (1946) Notes on Sirk and Melodrama Fassbinder and Sirk Images of Women, Images of Sexuality: Some Films by J.L.Godard Melodrama Inside and Outside the Home PART III: ON THE MARGINS Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti PART IV: AVANT-GARDE Film, Feminism and the Avant-Garde Dialogue with Spectatorship: Barbara Kruger and Victor Burgin 'Magnificent Obsession': An Introduction to the Work of Five Photographers Impending Time: Mary Kelly's Corpus PART V: BOUNDARIES Changes: Thoughts on Myth, Narrative and Historical Experience The Oedipus Myth: Beyond the Riddles of the Sphinx The Young Modern Woman of the 1920s and Feminist Film Theory

1,301 citations

Book
01 Jan 1989
TL;DR: In this article, the postmodernist representation is de-naturalized the natural, Photographic discourse, Telling Stories: fiction and history, Re-presenting the past: 'total history' de-totalized, Knowing the past in the present, The archive as text.
Abstract: General editor's preface. Acknowledgements. 1. Representing the postmodern: What is postmodernism? Representation and its politics, Whose postmodernism? Postmodernity, postmodernism, and modernism. 2. Postmodernist representation: De-naturalizing the natural, Photographic discourse, Telling Stories: fiction and history. 3. Re-presenting the past: 'Total history' de-totalized, Knowing the past in the present, The archive as text. 4. The politics of parody: Parodic postmodern representation, Double-coded politics, Postmodern film? 5. Text/image border tensions: The paradoxes of photography, The ideological arena of photo-graphy, The politics of address 6. Postmodernism and feminisms: Politicizing desire, Feminist postmodernist parody, The private and the public. Concluding note: some directed reading. Bibliography. Index.

1,169 citations