Inglourious Basterds (2009) – New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day – Melanie Laurent is Shosanna Dreyfus

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New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is the by far the movie I get asked about the most of those I saw at Cannes this year (previously mentioned it having my favorite ending there). Incidentally it’s also the first movie that warranted me adding in a tag for it here for “cinema.” I think as movie it really does celebrate and have the running theme of cinema in it. Overall for the movie itself it played so against my expectations that I feel like I need to see it again. Long talked about by him as his men on a mission WWII movie it really as it was written morphed into something else. The men on a mission stuff is still there but it has very little screen time at all and so if you go in expecting just that… it’s not the right way to walk into it.

One of my favorite things about this movie is how fantastic Melanie Laurent is in it. She completely inhabits her role to show she is a hell of a lot more than a pretty face and an actress on the scene that literally can play any role and do it damn well. She has a wildly complex role with a lot on her mind and a lot to do and she pulls it off as if she has been doing this for over 25 years. She is also involved in one of my favorite moments of the film where she is getting all dolled up with a certain unexpected yet perfectly accompanied David Bowie song. The way this small little moment is shot, cut together and forms this perfect union between song and what we see on screen happening plays perfectly. Invariably it will be a song that by the end of this year or starting next year you no doubt will have a resurgence in commercials, entertainment venues and so on.

Production Notes on Melanie Laurent:

Tarantino admits that Bruhl’s character “is based a little bit on [well known WWII vet] Audie Murphy. And just like Audie Murphy, Daniel Bruhl’s about to become a movie star.”

Bruhl traveled to Paris to read with a group of French actresses who were up for the role of Shosanna. There was a palpable chemistry between Bruhl and Melanie Laurent, an actress and director who was nominated for the Golden Palm for Best Short Film at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and won the 2007 Cesar for Most Promising Actress.

“Shosanna was always a main character,” says Tarantino. “One of the biggest changes in my conception of the film from way back when until now-in fact, hands down the biggest thing-is that, in the original version of this script, Shosanna was kind of a movie character. She was a badass. But I did that already with The Bride in ‘Kill Bill.’ So I started making her more like a real girl in this situation.”

Wasco says that Laurent’s movie theater in the film is based on a few theaters in California. Tarantino asked Wasco to look closely at several theaters, including the Vista Cinema in Silverlake. The design team also managed to find two matching vintage carbon-arc film projectors that really worked. The cast and crew all were amazed watching the antiques play real nitrate film stock-it was a first for everyone.

In addition to the pre-production preparations made by the crew, Laurent and Roth had to learn trades to better portray their characters.

In the weeks prior to shooting her cinema scenes, Tarantino sent Laurent to Los Angeles for film projection boot camp at the New Beverly Cinema in order to better portray a projectionist. “The test was to project RESERVOIR DOGS,” says Laurent. “We showed a lot of cartoons and trailers before the movie. The audience didn’t know it was me with the machine. So it was just amazing. This was during three hours: midnight to 3:00 AM, and it was just amazing. And I was alone with all the machines, and the shows did go on and I did it with pride.”

Photo By:
Francois Duhamel

Image Source:
Official stills that were used in the original international release of the film.

Related Links:
::: IMDb Profile

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