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Eli Roth: Inglorious Basterds

Alas, we have reached the end of #rothtober. I've saved the honor for Inglorious Basterds for two reasons. One, this is Roth's signature on-screen performance. Two, he actually serves a dual role as an actor and special director.

About half of the time that I mention Eli Roth in conversation, it goes thusly "Wha who now?" "Eli Roth. He's a horror director" *blank stare* "He did the Hostel movies" *faint recognition that's quickly dismissed* "He was in Inglorious Basterds" "Was he the Bear Jew?!!" "Yup" "Holy \m/ that guy's awesome" "He also did the Thanksgiving trailer for Grindhouse" *mind = blown*

My fascination with Roth actually took a sorta similar path. I fell in love with his character here. Heard he was a horror guy. Realized he was behind Thanksgiving. Then sought out to find his directorial work, namely Hostel. Therefore, if not for Basterds, this would not be the mini project I'd be working on right now. And I would not be planning a Feb trip to Vegas for my bday to visit the Goretorium

Right, we haven't talked about that yet have we? Roth masterminded a year round haunted house that just opened on the Vegas strip. Do I hafta say anything more?

So I already discussed Basterds and all its glory on my write up for the Tarantino/Rodriguez project. Today we're just focusing on our boy.

Random trivia. I heard that one day Eli's very Jewish parents (wha, you couldnt tell from his name?) came by to visit the set. Their unfortunate timing brought them in on a day that one of Hitler's scenes were being filmed. Tarantino, being the devious basterd that he is, told Martin Wuttke, the actor playing Hitler, that it was their birthday and encouraged him to serenade them. So here you have this sweet little old Jewish couple having Happy Birthday sung to them by Hitler. Yeah, that happened.

That first scene with Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz is classic. Technically, we see him in the background of the previous basterds' scene, but this is where he shines. After one of greatest introductions and entrances in modern cinema (the buildup, the music, the banging sounds, his towering presence, the applause) he goes to town on a Nazi with a baseball bat and acts like he just hit a homerun at Fenway park. Oh yeah, have I mentioned that Roth is a Boston-area native? Love! My mental image of Donowitz is so strong from that scene, I always forget about his later stuff in the movie, but it's rather amazing as well. Srsly, how could you forget the Margheriti scene.And not too long after you get to see him be even more badass as he takes a gun to more Nazis while the...ooops spoilers.

If you've seen Inglorious Basterds, you know that the film within a film, Nation's Pride, plays a rather large role. It's the reason that so many people are crowded into the theater and it's partly responsible for the whole Shoshana/Fredrick thing. Tarantino actually handed over the directorial reigns to Roth for that. Brilliant move on his part, since it gives the inner film an inherently different feel, and if you have such a stellar director in your film, why not utilize him.

And thus we reach the end of #rothtober. I'm already scheming the next two mini projects, well more like an addendum to a previous project and another mini. Chomping at the bit to start on the mini-mini but I think I'll wait until November, thus keeping October as #Rothtober. Either way, new movie write ups will keep coming, and I'll be featuring old posts on Facebook when I dont have a new one.

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