PARIS — “This ain’t your daddy’s World War II movie,” Quentin Tarantino said with a grin, standing on a street corner here that had been scrubbed of 21st-century signposts to become the set of Inglourious Basterds, his new film about a band of Jewish-American soldiers on a scalp-hunting revenge quest against the Nazis.
Although it was mostly shot at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany, the movie’s subtitle is Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France. So on a three-day sojourn in Paris in December, Tarantino and his bi-continental moviemaking coalition commandeered a 1904 bistro with peeling paint, Art Deco stained glass and a wall of windows overlooking an intersection of identifiably Parisian streets.
“We had to have a scene to sell the audience that we’re in France,” Tarantino said. “This is it.”
Inglourious Basterds, which is to have its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, is Tarantino’s first movie since Death Proof, half of Grindhouse, a double feature and box-office flop that he directed with Robert Rodriguez, and his first solo feature since Kill Bill Vol. 2 in 2004.
Tarantino calls Inglourious Basterds his “bunch of guys on a mission movie.” Judging by the script, it should have the crackling dialogue, irreverent humor and stylized violence that are hallmarks of his work.
“You’ve got to make a movie about something, and I’m a film guy, so I think in terms of genres,” he said. “So you get a good idea, and it just moves forward and then usually by the time you’re finished, it doesn’t resemble anything of what might have been the inspiration. It’s simply the spark that starts the fire.” Read more.