Italian product manager and web designer Francesco Mugnai recently added a collection of images to his blog touting some of the most beautiful images of abandoned spots and modern ruins that he’d ever seen. The images Mugnai has captured come from empty castles, shuttered power plants, and dilapidated churches around the world. From a sunken yacht in Antarctica to a forever-closed amusement park in Japan, these images all make up a sort of anti-phoenix; rather than rising as new from the ashes, these husks remain preserved in decomposition, forcing viewers to confront the strange beauty of ruination.
This scene in Inglourious Bastards, this particular part, was so brilliantly written. The characters are playing a game where you sit in a circle and write a famous person’s name on a card, flip it over, pass the card to the person next to you and stick it to your head without looking. Then you ask everyone questions to figure out who it is. This man- a Nazi commander- asked “Am I American?” (no but..) “Have I visited America?” (yes) “Was my visit fruitious?” (no) “Did I go against my will?” (yes) “Am I from a place you’d call exotic?” (yes) “Am I from the jungle?” (yes) “Did I go by boat?” (yes) “And when I got there was I bound with chains and presented in front of a crowd?” (yes!) “Well then. I know who I am. An African slave. No? Oh then I’m King Kong.” — and in one instance the viewer realizes the metaphor which King Kong was to the African slave trade (a truly Tarantino way of inserting social awareness through dialogue spoken by social oppressors) as well as takes a moment of almost comic relief to a very strange middle ground since we see just how intelligent and foolproof this man is. This is good filmmaking.