In just a few hours, Quentin Tarantino will be debuting his WWII epic drama Inglourious Basterds at Cannes and contend for the prestigious Palme d'Or award. It would be his second (the first being for Pulp Fiction 15 years prior), but extra special because he's "expecting this to be one of the high moments of [his] career."
In an interview with Variety, Tarantino described the film festival as "the cinematic Olympics" and provided some insight on what it took to get it ready for the competition. The film had the same 10-week production schedule as Pulp Fiction, a bit fast for a period piece shot in war-torn Europe but the director would accept nothing less; he expressed the reason to work at breakneck speed.
If you've done a movie you're proud of, that you might be defined by, then to me the dream is not necessarily to be there at Oscar time. That's wonderful. But my dream is to always go to present the film at Cannes.
He went on to describe the excitement of a debut and set the stage.
Nobody has seen your film. It's a wet print, fresh out of the lab. The entire world film press is here, and they all see it, at one time. The greatest film critics in the world, who are still critics, and they're all fighting and debating it. When you think back on your career, it comes down to these high moments. That level of excitement is unparalleled.
The final product clocks in at 2 hours and 27 minutes, though a little shorter than some had expected with the 165-page script, and features one the of biggest stars Tarantino has directed-Brad Pitt.
It's a little known fact that Tarantino has been discussing this project for quite some time now, but "perfect casting" has pushed this film to its finished state. On the big star, the famed director said "if Brad Pitt wasn't famous, I'd have lobbied for him to have the role."
Tarantino also highlights the story of casting the character of Hans Landa, the linguistic genius and cunning SS Colonel that opposes our Basterds. Christoph Waltz is a German TV actor who will be portraying the once-thought-to-be "un-playable" character; he has the biggest opportunity to become a star after one night in Cannes.
Though Inglorious Basterds is debuting at the French film festival, it's slated for a United States release on August 21, later this year.
Will the rushed schedule affect the final product? Does Tarantino have a realistic chance to take home the Golden Palm, again?
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