The burning embers left over from this summer’s vigorous and downright enjoyable debate over Quentin Tarantino’s new picture just won’t quite wink out. SLIFR reader Lee Jones has tipped me to a short clip dug up via that fascinating technological tool called the Internet which gives us privileged access to the thinking of the artists behind the movie within the director’s scalp-hunting, linguistically and narratively complex masterpiece. Imagine the results if unctuous would-be movie mogul Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth), actress/translator/Goebbels mistress Francesca Mondino (Julie Dryefus), Nazi Germany’s answer to Audie Murphy, Fredrick Zoller (Dnaiel Bruhl) and Nation’s Pride director Alois von Eichberg (Eli Roth, channeling Peter Lorre with mustard and ketchup) had survived that fateful night at Le Gamaar and went on to sit down for a series of up-to-the-minute-style junket interviews, which would then be stitched into a “making-of” featurette, one of many extras assembled for the undoubtedly splashy Region 2 German DVD release of Nation’s Pride.
Okay, done imagining? Now press play below and you can see it for yourself. It’s a peek behind the velvet swastika curtain which reveals that members of the National Socialist Party can be gaseous and self-congratulatory about their upcoming film projects just like your favorite actors and directors! My most treasured moments here belong to Zoller, all cleaned up and sincere, going on about himself as if he’s just another character in a routine action picture (“You have this invincible enemy, and you have this young guy who fights for his ideals”), and his zany German-inflected pronunciation, accents in all the wrong places, of the story to which he compares his on-screen and “real-life” plight. (“Is a fight, like DAVid against GOliath…”) And it’s easy to see how Mondino could charm the pants right off even the most psychotically unhinged war criminal when she waxes on about the hero of the picture (“Fredrick Zoller… quite the heartthrob!”). It's enough to make Mel Brooks stand up and salute.
The piece is a whisker short of three minutes, just enough to whet your (or at least my) appetite for what should be a very entertaining DVD of that other movie, Inglourious Basterds, when it comes out later this year. Thanks for the tip, Lee!