Tag Archives: Inglourious Basterds

Advent Calendar Day 5: German Night in Paris

I guess today isn’t that bad a day seeing as how I came up with a title without even trying, though that isn’t the title I originally came up with. I got Sami Khedira’s sticker today and the phrase that immediately popped into my head was “Italian night in Paris” because Khedira plays for Juventus and Bayern played PSG tonight. It’s a variation of a phrase from Inglorious Basterds, the name of the third chapter in the film. I don’t want to say it’s a good day because I don’t want to be that arrogant, not before Friday is over and done with. But as much as I liked the phrase I couldn’t misquote one of my favourite films and then I realised that actually the original correct version fit better anyway in an ironic sort of way, seeing as how Bayern were playing host to PSG. They may have been playing in Munich but it was for Bayern most definitely German night in Paris tonight. Because they only scored three goals and conceded one they didn’t win the group (but then only a real optimist could have expected them to) but they did at least retain their honor after the humiliating defeat in Paris which saw Carlo Ancoletti sacked as a result. I feel bad for Julian Draxler but rooting for his team was not an option, not tonight.

As for the rest of the day I can’t really say it went well because I don’t really remember most of it, and that includes the appointment. I have a feeling I ranted quite a lot but then that isn’t really news. I only got two hours sleep last night which was rather stupid of me and is no doubt why I felt the need to take a nap before watching Bayern’s game tonight. Not something I usually do but I’m glad I did, I felt surprisingly rested afterwards which isn’t something I’m used to. I’m sure I could find something to rant about but I don’t particularly want to. Not least because today I got a Jogi video, so I’d kind of like to leave that untainted.

Joachim Löw – Bild video 05/12/17

One subject I could rant about is the second series of that stupid TV show The A Word but I won’t do so here for two reasons. First because I think it’s going to need a post of it’s own and secondly for the aforementioned reason. All I will say is this, I am very glad that child is fictional and doesn’t have to grow up with parents and a family like that in real life. Ok I lied, two things. I read the description for next week’s episode. There’s some kind of play at the boy’s old school and it brings his family all together and they all get to see what they mean to him. I am so sick of TV shows and films using autistic characters to “bring the normal people together and make them realise what they have in life.” I’m even more sick of parents of autistic children needing to be shown “just how much we mean to him.” It’s infuriating, the constant implication that we don’t love people or don’t care about them, just because  maybe we don’t show it in the way they expect. I used to be so against the idea of a community comprised entirely of autistic people, these days I’m not so sure. It kind of sounds like a good idea. Maybe then I would have listen to a bunch of normal people who know nothing about autism tell me all about it and what it means. And I just broke my promise, that’s a rant. I guess I’ll have to stop writing there before I taint Jogi’s video even more.

Vampire Jürgen and other Random Musings

Usually when I dream about a team near to a game they lose, I can think of only two exceptions to this pattern, happily on both those occasions it was Freiburg I dreamed about. I know there’s probably nothing to such things but I like making a note of them regardless, I like patterns like that. Last night it was Jürgen Klopp I dreamed about. Today Liverpool lost 2-0 to West Ham United. The pattern holds. What I don’t like is first dream of the year that I remember and it’s Klopp in it. Not Jogi, Hansi, Christian Streich or even Thomas Tuchel, but Klopp. It was I have to admit a most amusing dream. It took place at a school for vampires and Klopp himself was one, as was I. Also there was someone named Daniel. There’s three possible choices for who that could be. The real life one can be ruled out, it was definitely not him. That leaves Daniel Brühl and Daniel Siebert, the referee. I’m certain it wasn’t the former, but not entirely certain it was the latter either. It’s most disappointing that’s all I can remember, I would have loved to know what the story was. As for what the message was I don’t know. But there is one I’m choosing to take from it. If I got to bed at a decent hour and got enough sleep then maybe I would be sufficiently rested upon waking to remember more of my dreams. I don’t need to be told twice. Maintain a vampire schedule and you don’t get good dreams or to remember them. All you get is Klopp, albeit a vampire version. But go to bed at a decent hour and be rewarded with your favourite Germans, at least I hope so. In fact with how tired I feel today I could most likely happily fall asleep right now. The only reason I’m not is that there’s a repeat of an old game on later this evening that I want to see. After that I’m going straight to bed.

It’s the first of three football free weekends and it’s a very strange and disorientating experience. Combined with being tired and it only being the second day of the new year it all makes for a very confusing day. When I was watching part of Liverpool’s game earlier I got to thinking how slowly time was moving and how I never feel like that whilst watching Freiburg or Germany play. Then it’s like it’s over before I even know what’s happened, it feels like it’s just started and then all of a sudden it’s over. I feel that way about time in general, you spend a lot of time wondering where it went. Right now with there being no football on and having no fixed schedule for the weekend I feel the opposite way. Like there’s all this time to fill and I have no idea how to fill it. There’s plenty of things I could be doing. I just don’t want to do any of those things. I should be catching up on my Bundesliga posts, I need to do that before the season resumes. I can put that off for the weekend at least and get back to work on those on Monday. I also keep putting off rewatching the final two episodes of The Bridge and writing the final post about them. I’ve had enough time to do so, but I keep putting it off. It’s almost like if I don’t watch the final two episodes again then I won’t have to let go of Henrik and Saga. And I won’t have to admit that Hans is gone. I still can’t believe that. That they killed Hans off. For me that reason alone makes me wish there’s not going to be another series. Her having a new partner in the form of Henrik is one thing, but the thought of replacing Hans in anyway is unbearable.

Along with counting down the days until the season resumes I’ve been trying to work out what film to watch next. I keep thinking about Inglourious Basterds. Partly because that film is never far from my thoughts and partly because I read an article in which Tarantino said that the opening scene of that is his most favourite scene that he’s ever written. I would say it’s mine too but the truth is any line or scene he’s written that has Christoph Waltz in it is my favourite. Tarantino’s right about that, Christoph really does make his words sing. I’m not sure I could pick a favourite but if I really had to I would say the “That’s a bingo” line is the best of them all. There’s just something priceless about that scene.

The only thing holding me back from watching it is that the last time I watched it was the last but one week of the previous season. It was the night before Freiburg beat Bayern, or to be more precise since it finished so late, it was the very same day. It’s almost like a curse of some kind, I know Freiburg did beat Bayern but it didn’t matter in the end. On the other hand it seems like that’s exactly why I should watch it now, when the season is on break so I can watch it and not feel like I’m cursing anyone. Plus it would be a good time to watch it and Django Unchained, as kind of a preparation for The Hateful Eight on Friday.

I may be feeling a little lost today but at least I’m not worrying quite as much as I was yesterday. I think getting some sleep helped on that count, as did the Matze adventure I’m working on. I didn’t get enough sleep but enough to be of some help. The problem is still there and I’m still avoiding dealing with it but that’s ok for the moment. It will still be there on Monday. Right now my mind is focused on other things, I know all I’m doing is running away from it but that’s not always such a bad thing. I don’t think I come up with a solution just yet so surely it’s a good thing I’m not obsessing over it. Nor am I sure that I should allow myself to make up my mind right now, not when I’m feeling so confused. Allowing myself to be focusing on Matze and making character related decisions is not the worst thing to happen. Though it’s probably a little misleading to say I’m letting it happen, that implies I have any control in that matter. When truth is that couldn’t be further from the truth. Normally when I wake up I write whatever I can in my dream journal and I may make a few story notes if I have any random ideas. This morning I wrote a full three pages of the the beginnings of a new story for Matze. That was before doing anything else, it was after waking up and writing about the vampire dream, the third thing I did this morning. Writing the start of that story was apparently important enough to put off getting breakfast. Given how hungry I always am in the morning that means he’s pretty important then.

There are two other things which brightened up my day today besides Matze. Whilst I don’t yet know what Freiburg and Dortmund have planned for the winter break I do know that Bayern are playing Karlsuher SC in a friendly two weeks from today. So I will at least have one Saturday accounted for in the next three weeks. The other thing is something I got in the post, a very special signed picture of Hansi. I always like it when he smiles but I especially like it in this picture. I have by now quite a few pictures of him from when he was younger and active as a player, in many of them it doesn’t look like him. In this picture not only is his smile as wonderful as it always is but it looks like him too:

Hansi Flick – 1.FC Köln signed photo

The Illustrated Man

Tattoo….You?

Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?

I don’t have any tattoos, I don’t really like them, not because I have anything against them, it’s just I’m squeamish when it comes to needles so getting one is not really an option. I think that’s a good thing given how impulsive I am and the number of interests I go through, because if I had a tattoo for every major special interest I’ve had over the last few years I’d look something like the illustrated man. And each one could tell it’s own story, it’s own tale of madness. A tale which regardless of what I say or believe, regardless of what happens in between almost always ends the same way.

I do have a few ideas as to what I would get as a tattoo. First would be this fantastic poster of Nils Petersen:

Nils Petersen - bannerSecond would be the SCF badge:

SC_FreiburgMy other two ideas don’t involve pictures at all but words. The first would be the words “Jogi tanzt mit Hansi Flick.” I had to fit them in somewhere. As cool as that is, it’s not my favourite idea, that would be the quote from Inglourious Basterds: “I think this may just be my masterpiece.” That’s amused me greatly, I can’t explain why because I don’t know why. All I know is I like it a great deal, it’s perfect in a way I can’t explain.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #21

This week the format is a little different, instead of answering questions it’s list making. Which is cool, it combines two of my favourite things, making lists and what was until Saturday my favourite number, four. I have to say, writing this has helped take my mind off the events of the weekend a little, at least whilst making the lists I hadn’t thought about it at all.

Stuff that makes you laugh:

1. Minions from Despicable Me. I love those guys, I can’t explain why exactly, they are just super cute. I don’t even like the films that much, I just watch them for the minions. So I was glad to find out that they have their own film coming out this summer.

2.  This scene from Inglourious Basterds, gets me every time, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen:

3. Gifs like these:

Roman - Mainz goal

Freiburg_celebrations_24. And these:

Jogi sings – Deutschland - Ein SommermärchenAngry_Jogi_4_Serbia_gameJogi - goal celebration - Germany v Turkey 2008Jogi und Hansi 2Jogi und Hansi - goal celebration - Poland 2008Angry_Jogi_Hansi_Klose_miss_Germany_v_ArgentinaFavorite actors/actresses:

1. Daniel Brühl.

2. Stellan Skarsgård

3. Michael Shannon

4. Karl Markovics

Fun things for a rainy day:

1.Watching films back to back whilst wrapped in a blanket and eating the sweetest snacks you can find.

2. Same as the above but with reading instead of watching films.

3. Doing nothing in particular, just lying around talking about random things, like film trivia or whatever comes into your head.

4. Building  a blanket fort or cushion wars. Not now, I mean I haven’t done either of those things as a grown up but if the brilliant blanket fort episode of Community is anything to go by, I bet it would still be a lot of fun now:

Movies to cheer you up:

1. The Guard

2. Toy Story

3. Iron Sky

4. Inglourious Basterds

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Be grateful for something, be happy, look forward to something, those things seem impossible right now. What should I be grateful for, that Freiburg finished 17th and not 18th in the table? That they at least had a shot at survival going into the final weekend of the season?

In another post I said I never wanted the season to end, now I really mean that. If the season never ends, Freiburg won’t get relegated and find themselves once more in the 2. Bundesliga. It feels like the end of the world right now. It’s felt that way since around 17:15 on Saturday. It took just five minutes for H96 to score, five minutes to score the goal that would threaten Freiburg’s safety.Seventy five minutes later their relegation was all but confirmed when in the 80th minute a certain Czech defender bundled the ball past his own keeper. Not just relegated, but relegated in a sense at your own hand, or rather foot in this case. There was a false ray of hope just ten minutes later when in the 90th minute Nils Petersen pulled one back. His 90th minute goal against Bayern meant the world last week. Here it wasn’t even a  consolation goal, just a painful reminder of what could have been. How things can change in the space of a week, to go from beating the German champions to losing to a team that won just two games in the second half of the season.

16th May 2015 – Freiburg make a little bit of history and beat Bayern, to make it even sweeter the player who scored the winning goal is a former Bayern player who actually scored his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern against Freiburg. After that most people think they will beat the drop, and I am as happy as can be.

23rd May 2015 – A week after beating the German champions, Freiburg lose to H96 and with that sacrifice their status as a Bundesliga team. The home of the mastermind of Germany’s world cup victory last summer no longer has a team in the top flight.

As for looking forward to anything, if the weekend had gone differently I would be very excited for the DFB Pokal final this weekend. Not just for the game itself, but because in the days leading up to it there are five previous Pokal finals on TV to watch. To make things even more special, I will have the place to myself for the entire weekend. It will be a very Germanic weekend, six games all in German and none of the English only speaking people will be here. How wonderful it would have been, to not hear a word of English all weekend. I am still a little bit happy about that last part, though it seems wrong to feel happy about anything right now.

Normally I would say Auf Wiedersehen….

Silver Screen

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

but since what Auf Wiedersehen actually means is until I see you again and I have no wish to see you again, to you sir I say goodbye.

Django Unchained is not my favourite film right now but that is my favourite line from it. I don’t have a favourite film right now, which is very weird for me. It took me almost fifteen minutes to come up with something which is even weirder. But once I started thinking about Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds I couldn’t stop quoting them, chunks of dialogue, word for word. Damn Tarantino and his über-quoteable dialogue. The source of my annoyance is that almost all of those quotes are lines of Christoph Waltz, whom I have no wish to see again as a special interest, hence the reason for the quote I settled on. Not just him but that type of special interest, that focus on one person.

I know Joachim Löw as a special interest is not perfect but at least I’m not just focused on him and at least it’s a little bit closer to reality than the CW one was. Though only a little bit closer, it seems I’m not actually ready to step into the real world yet. I keep trying to make plans to save for a trip to Germany and yet I keep wanting to spend my money on football stickers, trading cards and football shirts. I don’t get it, don’t I want to go to Freiburg and see the Schwarzwaldstadion in person and to go to Dortmund to see Signal Iduna Park? Or to see a Germany game live in person?

The only drawback from my interest in Joachim Löw is the fact that I now like Hans-Dieter Flick equally as much as him. A most troublesome fact given that he’s not his assistant anymore. I don’t know why but it’s like I just got that, like my brain has only just registered that fact. Schneider has been there for I think three games now, and only just now did I realise that he’s going to be there for the foreseeable future. At least I have plenty of old games to watch but to quote Monk that’s “a blessing and a curse.” A blessing for obvious reasons and a curse because it just reminds me that there will never be anymore of Jogi und Hansi.

It’s a shame it said from a film and not from a TV show, if it had been TV I would have picked the line from Columbo, “just one more thing.” A line which is also used a lot in many guises by one of my favourite detective characters, Robert Goren. The reason I would have picked that is that there’s always just one more thing with me. Always just one more thing I must have for my collection, this time being a Karlsruher SC card. Or like now for example, I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago, but I’m not, I’m here writing this because as Dr Schultz said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. I may not be the film nut I was a year ago, but traces still remain it seems. Some things really do die hard.

My first choice was a line from Inglourious Basterds that isn’t actually in the film, it’s the result of a mistake by a journalist from Sight and Sound. When Hans Landa says “I love rumors” they thought he said “I love numbers.” A line which is better than the real one, that is so funny in a very dark way, I appreciate that it may be too dark for most people, the Jew hunter saying that he loves numbers, but I got a kick out of that mistake, in fact I like their mistake better than the real line.

Another possible choice was a line from Reservior Dogs: “alright boys let’s get to work.” After coming up with that I pictured Jogi, Hansi and some of the team dressed up in the suits from the film and walking out onto the pitch like the opening credits, but other than that I had absolutely nothing to write about, so that got nixed.

I also thought about chosing a quote from The Miracle of Bern, maybe “Tor, Tor, Tor, ein Tor für Deutschland” or “Toni, du bist ein Fussball Got” but I decided against it, too obvious. Then I thought of Rush, but most of my favourite Niki Lauda moments are ones that don’t involve dialogue, like his reaction after driving a Ferrari for the first time. That would make a good GIF though, I think I’ll add that to my list.

On the subject of GIFs I’ve been having plenty of fun making GIFs of Jogi, like these:

9iYurI

Jogi und Hansi 2

JogiJogi 1Jogi 2

2015

I’m not a fan of the concept of New Year’s resolutions; nevertheless I do have a list of things I’d like to get done, some of which I’m already working on, why wait for the new year to start making improvements?

The fun stuff first:

  • to learn how to tie a scarf like Jogi Löw
  • to obtain copies of the following games: Germany vs Russia, Finland, China and Sweden (his first game in charge in 2006). And the rest of Germany’s Confederations Cup matches from 2005, I only have the Brazil one. There are more I need that I haven’t come across yet, but they are the important ones. For example I wouldn’t mind having copies of the 2008 and 2012 European Championship matches with German commentary.
  • to get a Bayern shirt from the time Hansi Flick played there and a Stuttgart shirt from when Klinsmann played there (it doesn’t have to actually be from that time, a retro one would suffice, I missed out on one on eBay last month so I know they exist). I think a Freiburg shirt from Jogi’s time would also be cool but I don’t know if that’s obtainable.
  • to write more of the Hansi und Jogi adventures, and to finish Jürgen and Roman’s “Zwölf kleine Fuβball Spieler” story.

And now, not so much the important stuff, because that would imply the previous ones are not important and the second point is especially important, more that these are not obsession related:

  • Make more time for German and put more effort into it. Maybe I should start watching German TV every day, if I’m going to watch TV I may as well get something out of it.
  • To be able to get beyond the first page of kicker magazine without a German dictionary.
  • To keep the number of sleepless nights to a minimum, and if there is any, no all night video game marathons, reading or making videos fine, but no all night Dragon Age adventures.
  • To spend a little more time outside and get some exercise.
  • Actually save some money this time around and don’t just blow it all on whatever obsession is currently ruling my mind. But don’t have absurdly high expectations and expect too much, don’t put too much pressure on yourself by calling it a Germany travel fund or something similar. Just call it the Bundesliga fund or the Freiburg fund or something similarly vague. And no excessively stupid purchases like £50 DVDs from Japan or action figures that cost £100 or more. In fact no buying of DVDs and blu-rays at all, unless it’s something that I really have to have like “Der Große Traum.” Not counting football related ones that is, I’m still getting the DFB Pokal box-set as planned, and more of Germany’s friendlies and this is the best yet, the match when Stuttgart won the Pokal when Jogi was in charge and their Cup Winner’s Cup match against Chelsea. I know I’ve partly broken this before I’ve even really began, with the winning of the signed football. Hopefully there won’t be too many repeats of this particular mistake in the months to come.
  • Related to the previous one, this year I’ve been downsizing in regards to my collection, partly because I wanted the money and partly because I felt like I had too many. I currently own 865 DVDs and 257 blu-rays. I think I should continue to reduce that number, one way or another. I used to think that my collection was the most important thing in the world; I’ve been reconsidering this for several months. Partly because of something CW said that I can’t let go (“collections weigh me down”) and partly because of something someone asked me a few months ago when discussing the subject of moving out and living in Germany, the question being: what would I take with me, what from my possessions did I absolutely have to have with me wherever in the world I was. I’ve been mulling over my answer since they asked and realised that there isn’t actually that much that I feel like I couldn’t part with, whether temporarily or permanently. I’m no longer as attached to my film collection as I once was, my books are a different story but I’m sure if I tried I could narrow it down to at least fifty that I would have to keep regardless of the circumstances. I think I would probably not want to leave my PS3 behind.
    As for the list, I think it would be the following: the contents of my Deutschland/Die Mannschaft shelf, all of my football t-shirts, shirts, shorts and socks, my pictures and posters, my laptop and hard-drives and whatever other gadgets I have, my notebooks and some DVDs/blu-rays that I most definitely could not part with; Inglourious Basterds (the UK special edition, the French steel-book and the German special edition), Rush, Django Unchained, The Grand Miracle of Bern, Das Leben der Anderen, Goodbye Lenin to name a few. Essentially the German ones mostly, with just a few non-German exceptions.
  • Read more books. Last year I read 97, this year so far only 71. I was hoping to improve upon last year, obviously that’s not going to happen.
  • To learn how to accept compliments, or at least to make such occasions a little less awkward. To have some understanding of the concept of social reciprocity  in general I suppose.  Before adding this to the list I read up a little on it, one of the things I read was that when someone asks you how you are, you’re not really supposed to answer, you’re meant to politely say “I’m fine” (this I knew) and then you are meant to ask how they are, to reciprocate in others words. I didn’t know that, if I didn’t know that, how am I ever going to get the rest of this stuff?
  • To do things that make me happy and that I want to do, and not what other people think I should be doing. That means not obsessing over the fact that some people find the videos I make strange, I like them a great deal and that is enough. In fact I like the videos and the subjects of said videos more than the people in question.
  • Same with the videos that I like that I didn’t make, it doesn’t matter if anyone finds it strange that I spend so much time watching them. Some of them have come in useful anyway, the EM version of Gimme Hope Joachim, I worked out a good deal of the lyrics by myself, it’s good listening practice, turns out songs are good for learning German.

Four things in 2015 I’m looking forward to:

  1. The Germany v USA friendly on the 10th June – I already know what I’m going to call the video, the Jogi vs. Klinsi highlights
  2. The last series of Justified
  3. The Bridge series 3 – I don’t know if it’s next year it’s on UK TV, I hope it is.
  4. The Face of an Angel – one of Daniel Brühl’s new films.

Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France

That was apparently what Tarantino wanted as the title of Inglourious Basterds, as much as I like the actual title with its characteristic Tarantino-esque misspelling, I really like that and wish they had kept it. I was also tempted to title this post “I love numbers” which isn’t actually a line from the film, it’s a comic mishearing by a critic (from Sight and Sound I think). They thought that’s what Landa had said when he uttered one of his best lines (I know all of his lines are his best lines, but it’s my favourite in particular) “I love rumours.” Though for obvious reasons it would have been, in a very dark way hilarious, if that’s what the Jew hunter had said.

Inglourious Basterds delivers upon what if offers on the poster, an uproarious, inglourious thrill ride of vengeance. It’s enjoyable for film buffs and casual fans alike, if you get the references it just adds to the fun and if you don’t it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

Some people have voiced the opinion that whilst the first twenty minutes or so is undeniably sheer genius, that the film loses its way later on, in particular what QT refers to as the “French film” segment being criticised for its slowness compared to the rest of the film. I don’t think so; my view on it can be summed up with a quote from The Wire: “and all the pieces matter.” I think it all fits together perfectly; each and every segment is required. The film is pretty long, two hours and thirty-two minutes (including in the credits) and yet I couldn’t imagine a single thing that could be cut or that would need to be.

Nor do I think that the film suffers when Landa is not on-screen, despite my considerable appreciation for the character, it’s almost a relief when he’s not on screen for the simple reason that the scenes he is in are so fraught with tension that it’s a relief not to see him for a while. The relative calmness of the French section counteracts the intensity of the rest of the film nicely I think.

I honestly don’t have a single thing to criticise, there isn’t anything I think could have been done better or improved in any way. From a writing perspective, I think it may be the best thing QT will ever do and maybe from a directorial standpoint as well. The casting was simply unbeatable, I obviously hugely appreciate the fact that you have Germans playing Germans; in fact my favourite thing about the film is that the correct languages are spoken. I also like how speaking or not speaking a particular language, or rather speaking it correctly is an important part of the story. On this note my favourite scene is the one with the solider in the bar after Hicox and the two Basterds have been shot. The exchange goes something like this:

Aldo: What are you?
Werner: I’m a German you idiot.
Aldo: You speak pretty good English for a German.
Werner: I agree.

To me, that was QT mocking all of the films that have had English speaking actors play Nazis over the years.

Overall, the film is so perfect it really is impossible to pick a favourite scene. If I were to list my favourite scenes I would just ending up describing the film from beginning to end. Nor could really I pick a favourite character, Landa I obviously like, but I equally like Wilhelm Wicki, Lt. Aldo, Frederick Zoller and there are many I like amongst the characters who don’t have a great deal of screen time as well such as Richard Sammel as Seargent Werner Rachtman, Christian Berkel as the bartender and Denis Ménochet as the farmer in the very first scene. And not forgetting the truly disturbingly perfect Sylvester Groth as Joseph Goebbels. Nevetheless Landa is the one I have written pages and pages about, in fact I have so many notes on him and my interpretation of his character that I think it’s best to give him a post of his own so that he doesn’t steal this post like he stole the film.

The film ends with the words “you know, I think this may be my masterpiece”. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. He may have won the Oscar for best original screenplay for Django Unchained but in my mind, he should have won it for this. Whilst both films have great quotable dialogue, Django obviously having the advantage given that almost all of the film is in English, for me it’s Inglourious Basterds that is better overall and that showcases Tarantino’s talents as a writer.

Imagination/Too close to reality

Impairments in imagination:
1. Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play appropriate to developmental level
2. Inability to tell, write or generate spontaneous, unscripted or unplagiarised fiction
3. Either lack of interest in fiction (written, or drama) appropriate to developmental level or interest in fiction is restricted to its possible basis in fact (e.g. science fiction, history, technical aspects of film)

The above is part of the criteria used for diagnosing adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. In my diagnostic report it says that all three of them apply to me (only one is required for a diagnosis to be made), though fails to explain to my satisfaction why that is. Unusually for me I can’t recall what the person in question said at the time, I can remember that I argued vehemently against this, I was insulted, I argued that I’m creative, I can write fiction and I like reading fiction. I can’t disagree with the first one being true, but at the time I definitely thought they had got it wrong on the other two.

With my interest in film, it’s not so much restricted to its possible basis in fact as it is to my current special interests which do tend to be based in fact. For example I like to watch films about Nazi Germany or the DDR. Large chunks of my film collection can be traced to a special interest of some sort. It’s not so much that I have an interest in film itself; it’s more that films are merely another aspect of my special interests.

I didn’t have the understanding of myself and the self-awareness that I posses now to see that they were dead on. They saw what I didn’t or didn’t want to see. Sure I like to read fiction, but I if I were to look back over the books I read recently, not only would I see a definite bias towards non-fiction but I would see that every single piece of fiction I read is directly connected to a special interest. Not only that but certain books connected to a special interest get re-read too many times to count.
I recall fondly my Star Wars books (my first foray into fiction) and how battered and beaten they were. I probably could have recited them word for word. Yet despite their terrible condition, I would not allow them to be replaced with new copies. They would look the same but they wouldn’t be the same, they wouldn’t be mine. That liking for familiarity again, both in holding on to those books and in re-reading them so often, it’s no wonder I quickly progressed to reading to myself as a small child. Besides the fact that no-one ever went fast enough for me, they were probably sick of reading the same book over and over again.

On the subject of writing fiction, it was not only I who disagreed with this characteristic applying to me.

A good friend disagreed with this as well, pointing out that I had lots of great ideas for stories and scripts. Then somewhere in the last year, for the first time they actually got to read something that I’d written. Their first comment was “too many references.” It seems I am worse than Tarantino on that front. But I can’t take out the references, without them the piece wouldn’t exist. If someone knows my interests and reads something I’ve written, they’ll be able to connect the dot and see all of the not so subtle influences. My English teacher thought I had a fantastic imagination and said so at parents evening; he changed his mind about this somewhat when we got talking one day about all the TV shows I liked to watch. Then he knew where my fascination and knowledge of law enforcement came from and where all those wild tales involving rogue FBI agents, prison breakouts and drug kingpins came from.

How I could have ever argued against this being true of me is a source of amusement now. I mean, my words, phrases, gestures and mannerisms are “borrowed” from other people, why wouldn’t this apply to everything else as well?

I’m not saying people with AS lack imagination, not entirely. I just think that it must work differently on some level. More real than real is what I always say about my special interests and alternate universes. In the book Multicoloured Mayhem, his mother said that Luke once called AS “a more extreme version of real life.” I get that in a way, everything is louder, more powerful, feelings and passions are stronger. Like with special interests, a strong passion in a NT becomes an all-consuming desire in an autistic person. The ironic thing is that the one thing that isn’t real to me is reality. It doesn’t feel real at all. Maybe because there’s too much of it? I don’t know, but I like what Ben said about in Young, Autistic & Stage-struck:

“Asperger’s in a few words, widens your imagination, sort of widens your brain power but it also severs your fantasy-reality bond severely”
I don’t know if he was talking about AS or his anger but he said that he felt like something had a hold on his soul and wasn’t letting go, or words to that effect.

I feel kind of the same way, that something has a hold of me. There’s a line in a film, Ben X, I didn’t like it when I first saw it, now I see the line is perfect. Ben (in the film) says I had autism, or rather autism had me.

It’s not the autism I feel owns me, just the obsessions, but then they wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for that, so it does in a way. I used to say obsessions were a good thing, they keep me occupied, they fill the space that should be taken up with social stuff. Do the obsessions exist because I can’t connect and make lasting friendships with people, or is it the existence of obsessions that prevent that from happening?

Some people would no doubt misinterpret what Ben said, maybe they would be thinking of some kind of mental illness that involves delusions or delusional thoughts. That’s not my problem. I know what is real and what is not. It just doesn’t feel real to me. My problem is that fiction and my alternate universes feel more real to me than reality does.

It does bother me a little, how disconnected I seem to real people. It’s been pointed out to me, how little I appear to care for other people’s feelings and the fact that those people don’t know if I even feel anything for them. I want to explain to them, I do, but I have no idea how and what good would come of it.

There is one person I talked to about this once, I said bluntly to them “I like you, I enjoy your company, you’re my favourite person in this dimension to talk to, but I’m happier in my alternate universe with alternate Christoph” (this was during my Inglourious Basterds/Christoph Waltz/Quentin Tarantino obsession) and their answer was “if someone else had said that, I would take offence, but knowing you, I don’t, I know what you mean.” I wonder how they knew what I meant, or if they really meant that, because as usual I had no idea what I was saying. The thing that scares me is that this doesn’t scare me, or at least it didn’t until recently. I think with this recent interest in Joachim Löw and the Bundesliga I may have gotten a little too close to reality. I have a special interest for the first time ever that is not rooted in fiction. There are no characters to obsess over and analyse, there are only real people.

I also think that getting too close to reality thing may have something to do with the impulse I’ve had lately to start digging things out from my childhood, as if I want to go back to then, when obsessions and everything else were much simpler. When I had zero or close to zero self awareness. When my world consisted of Pokemon, Championship Manager, the WC 2002 PC game, video games in general, Star Wars, riding my bike and playing football.  Back to when I had so little interest in other people.

It’s funny that I’m writing about imagination right now, since I just got a new idea for a story which has the working title of “Zwölf kleine Fußball Spieler.” It’s about a set of football figures (the kind that have tiny bodies and oversized heads) that come alive at night. The set of course comprises of Jogi und die Mannschaft. There is one of Hansi too, but he is introduced later, he’s not one of the original twelve. There are additional ones as well, the subs bench, Roman Weidenfeller is there of course. But there are twelve for a reason, it’s a special number.

The idea of course is partly inspired by The Unbeatables and Toy Story. I have for a long time wanted to write something inspired by Toy Story, acutally I wish Toy Story were real, but of course I wish the toys would be alive in the presence of humans, I would like someone to talk to sometimes. The title is a reference to a very funny song  Everything is from somewhere else.

The video that served as a source of inspiration:

This probably is somewhat rambling, maybe even more so than usual. It’s a combination of being unsure of exactly what I’m writing about, a lack of sleep (partly because of the impending government visit and partly because of a Löw related crisis – well not a crisis exactly but something of that nature, the documentary Die Mannschaft is released in cinemas in Germany today, and well all I can say is, it’s one of those days when I am extremely unhappy that I am not a German – to the point where I feel like I would rather not exist than not be a German) and being in a somewhat hyper state.

I think a quote from another abandoned show (Criminal Minds) and former special interest sums up all of this quite well though:

Spencer: I know what it’s like to be, to be afraid of your own mind.

Charting obsessions: Christoph Waltz

I can track the beginning and the end of my Christoph Waltz fascination, down not only to the exact day but the time too. This is definitely one of the good autistic traits (though applied to bad memories it can obviously work in a negative way too), I can remember everything about that day, the day I saw Django Unchained. It was a Saturday and a snow day. Unusual for the fact that I don’t like going to the cinema on Saturdays because there’s too many people there. Someone was meant to be joining us but couldn’t because of the weather. My normal reaction to a change like that would be to refuse to go out at all, rather than tolerate one change I would rather the whole thing not happen. But that’s not what happened.  I can remember being late to leave because I was making pictures of Sebastian who was my favourite German at the time. I remember being late and having to alter my plans, seeing Monsters Inc 3D first and Django later at 16:00. Another change dealt with and with a minimum of fuss. This Saturday also started the beginning of my book day tradition, the third Saturday in January, the cinema and books. That year I bought The Killing II, All That I Am and HHhH (it’s German for Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich).

Django Unchained marked only the second time in my entire life that I had gone to see a film in a crowded theatre (the first was Ratatouille). And it was awesome. For once I wasn’t worried about feeling uncomfortable, it was actually kind of fun, seeing what the audience laughed at and what they didn’t, I never paid any attention to that before.

The day after seeing Django I watched Inglourious Basterds for the first time (which I had gotten just before Christmas but hadn’t watched) and regrettably The Three Musketeers. With the former, I fell in love with CW as the sadistic Nazi Hans Landa. I think the first twenty minutes or so is the best opening of any film ever. I guess the question is, why? His charming and precise Austrian accented English, his whole manner of being,  the way he reveled in being so delightfully evil. I can’t really remember much now, about why. Looking back it seems kind of baffling to me. I know why I liked the two films, Django and Inglourious and why I liked Landa and Schultz, but CW in general, I’m not really sure.

I think the main reason is that his speech and manner of speaking is perfectly suited to Quentin Tarantino’s dialogue. Or as I put it once, Christoph Waltz is to the word Jew in Inglourious Basterds what Samuel L. Jackson is to the n-word in Pulp Fiction.

The time of CW really began with the day I saw Django Unchained at the cinema twice. In my defence, the first time I saw it I was alone and it was either that or Movie 43 (know I now that’s the kind of film that you’d be better off sitting in darkness staring at the wall for two hours, really dodged a bullet with that one) and the second time I saw it was with a friend. All in all I saw Django at the cinema fourteen times (the wonders of having an unlimited card) and I also saw Epic which was released later in the year seven times.

I beat the Django record however with Rush, becuase they brought it back twice, once for take two Thursdays and again in January of this year for the Bafta tour, with that I brought my final total for Rush to seventeen. I also broke the rule I devised, that you can only see a CW film twice in one day at the cinema and I did it on CW’s birthday on the 4th October, I saw Rush twice. That was when his time came to end.

Back then I would write pages of arguments to refute the assertion that he always played the same character, that August in Water for Elephants was basically just another version of Landa and now I’m not so sure that I can do that. The more I watched and studied his films, the more I could see Landa everywhere. That was the beginning of the end. I think it may have been also because I ran out of stuff to buy. There was more I could have got, but it was in German with no English subtitles, at the time I spoke and understood no German. It’s ironic, he was one of the main reasons I wanted to learn German (Sebastian Koch was another) and now that I know some German and can watch TV and films in German and be able to follow what is going on, I no longer care about doing so. Funnily enough him and Sebastian were in a German TV production together, I think it was called “Dance with the Devil: The Kidnapping of Richard Oetker” – something close to that anyway.

I amassed a huge amount of collectibles: signed photos, magazines, clippings, posters and press-books. I also spent a ludicrous amount of money buying an action figure of Hans Landa from Australia. And followed that up by spending a slightly less ludicrous amount getting one of Dr King Schultz. Two other big purchases were the banners, both of them about six feet tall I think, of Landa and Schultz. To think, just the money spent on all those, that would have been enough for at least a week in Germany. Mind boggling, to paraphrase Sheldon “obsessions be crazy.”

A random but related thought, the person who found my TK obsession baffling because he was too normal, not as strange as my usual choices, they didn’t find my CW obsession odd. If they did, they didn’t say so. What does that say about me? A normal, more conventionally handsome kind of guy equals strange. A kind of quirky Austrian who specialises in weirdly alluring psychopaths, not strange. That will be an interesting conversation. At the same time I’ll be sure to find out where Jogi Löw comes in on this strangeness scale of theirs.

I suppose since I posted my favourite pictures of Daniel in Rush, it would only be fair to post what were my favourites of CW as well:

FireShot Screen Capture #1642 - 'Christoph Waltz Fans_ Click image to close this window' - www_christophwaltzfans_com_photos_displayimage_php_pid=5391&fullsize=1

CW in Inspector Rex

FireShot Screen Capture #1643 - 'Christoph Waltz Fans_ Click image to close this window' - www_christophwaltzfans_com_photos_displayimage_php_pid=5384&fullsize=1

CW in Inspector Rex

 

 

 

 

 

 

FireShot Screen Capture #1638 - 'Pictures & Photos of Christoph Waltz - IMDb' - www_imdb_com_media_rm2562885888_nm0910607

SS Colonel Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds

 

Dr King Scultz

Dr King Schultz – Django Unchained

FireShot Screen Capture #1648 - 'Pictures & Photos of Christoph Waltz - IMDb' - www_imdb_com_media_rm3164320768_nm0910607

Dr King Schultz – Django Unchained

Charting obsessions – Daniel Brühl

I don’t consider Daniel to be one of my stand alone special interests, yet he gets a post devoted to him anyway for the simple fact that whilst the others inevitably fade into obscurity, he sticks around. I liked him from the very first time I saw him in Goodbye Lenin and then began to like him even more once I saw Inglourious Basterds. It wasn’t until September 2013 with the release of Rush that I really began to appreciate him. He quickly became my new favourite person and somewhat overtook my Christoph Waltz obsession. He then managed to survive and outlast my fascination with Gedeon Burkhard and the Austrian TV show Inspector Rex and Michael Fassbender that followed. Daniel cannot put a step wrong as far as I am concerned. He has the rare distinction that I have liked every film of his I have seen so far, even The Fifth Estate. There is a recent exception to this, but I don’t even count A Most Wanted Man on my list of Daniel films since I don’t think I’ll be adding that to my collection and him and most of the Germans in the film were just background characters. I don’t think you even get to hear his name in the film. In the interests of balance I have to admit that I haven’t seen Two Days in Paris yet, nor The Countess. I’m not particularly looking forward to seeing either of those, the former especially since I don’t like romantic type films.

Being half German and Spanish I wonder who he supports in terms of national football? I know he’s a big football fan, I don’t know if he has any interest in the Bundesliga, I think he’s a Barcelona fan. He has been in a German film about football, Der Große Traum which I haven’t seen yet, I really should bump that up my list, could there be a more perfect time to watch it? It would make a great double bill with Deutschland: Ein Sommermärchen.

As I said above its Rush that made me really like him, he was just perfect as Niki Lauda, more perfect than I ever could have imagined. He looked and sounded exactly like him. It’s rare for an actor to achieve such perfection when playing a real person. I love the fact that he looks so much like Niki that you can confuse people with pictures as to which is Daniel and which is the real Niki. I remember showing someone a picture of Niki from his book and they thought it was Daniel.  Some of my favourite pictures from Rush:

Rush signed02Rush signed 01]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rush120vlcsnap-2013-10-25-21h57m15s32

 

 

 

 

 

vlcsnap-2013-10-25-21h59m24s69Rush brought out an old interest in Formula One, with Christoph Waltz it was Nazis and European history and the Cold War (he was meant to play Gorbachev in a film about the Reykjavik summit but it never got made) however with Daniel it was the history of Formula One and the intrigue and politics that went on behind the scenes with the rivalry between Ferrari and McLaren. I quickly lost interest in modern-day Formula one though, it’s not the same as it used to be. There’s no real characters amongst the drivers. To be fair, I don’t think anyone could be as interesting as Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and any others you care to name from previous years.

It’s curious to think, he has a connection with several of my special interests from the past few years. Football connects him to Joachim Löw and the fact that he was one of the prominent people in a magazine feature where they were asking Joachim Löw questions about the upcoming World Cup, he’s been in a film with TK, In Tranzit. He was in Inglourious Basterds, as are Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Gedeon Burkhard and Richard Sammel. He has a more tenuous connection to Sebastian Koch, they have both been in films about the DDR, Daniel being in Goodbye Lenin and Sebastian in Das Leben der Anderen and Der Tunnel.

One of things I like about him best is that it’s impossible to pick a favourite film of his, he’s been in so many good things. Unlike with CW, SK and TK, liking Daniel doesn’t involve sitting through a pile of truly terrible films just to see him for a few scenes.  I have several favourites amongst his films: Rush, Goodbye Lenin, Love in Thoughts, The Edukators, Inglourious Basterds, The Coming Days, The White Noise and No Regrets.

He’s also got some great stuff coming out, The Face of An Angel, Woman in Gold, Ich und Kaminski (which reunites him with Goodbye Lenin director Wolfgang Becker) and Colonia Dignidad.

Even though he wasn’t my predominant special interest at the time (technically CW was) not long after Rush came out, I began assembling the beginnings of a collection. The difference was that it was centered around one film, Rush whereas with CW I collected pretty much anything I could find. The highlights of my Daniel/Niki Lauda collection are without a doubt the banner for the film I got from Germany (not as big as the one I got of Hans Landa or Dr. King Schultz but still pretty cool) and the signed postcard of Niki Lauda. A great find was also two of Niki Lauda’s books, I think that’s the most I’ve ever spent on a book, but it was worth it.

The other difference is that I haven’t put any of that stuff away, once I stopped liking CW so much I started taking down all of my pictures and posters. Not because I needed the space but because I just didn’t want them around anymore. To contrast with Daniel, I only took down the Rush poster when I needed the space for a banner of Jogi und die Mannschaft. And I still have two of his posters up, Inglourious Basterds and Merry Christmas.

I think the reason for Daniel outlasting most of the other Germans is that because he wasn’t a main special interest, I couldn’t really get bored with him in the same way as the others. Because I wasn’t so fixated on him, the usual process could be avoided. I wouldn’t go through the usual steps of really liking him, making everything about him and then turning against him when I got sick of him. In that sense he’s probably the healthiest of all my recent special interests.