Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

Witness Protection

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

This is yesterday’s prompt but I didn’t have any thoughts on the matter then. Also I didn’t find today’s prompt particularly interesting which is ironic given the prompt in question asks what bores you. Logically it would be better to be surrounded by strangers, after all if you do something stupid or make a mistake then you’ll never have to face them again. But on days like today being surrounded by friends is a better idea. Well not surrounded, I don’t want to be surrounded by anyone. I don’t like groups of people, no matter how many people.

Today I went to an unfamiliar place, a cinema I’d never been to before and one I never plan to visit again. All of this was in aid of seeing The Hateful Eight, and it pains me to say it but it wasn’t worth it. I never thought I’d see the day when Quentin Tarantino disappointed me. I missed Freiburg’s friendly against FC Basel for this. For three mind numbing hours I had to be subjected to scenes which from a visual perspective felt very familiar, plenty of long and over indulgent scenes and substandard dialogue. The former I can live with, I actually quite enjoyed picking out the similarity of certain shots to scenes from Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. But the latter is not acceptable at all. It’s not the violence I have a problem with or the racist language used. Django features a lot of both those things, difference is in Django it had a purpose and was in context. Here it was just a gore-fest. And Tim Roth was doing a bad impression of Christoph Waltz, he was veering between Hans Landa and King Schultz.

But none of that is my point. My point is today wasn’t easy to deal with, having to deal with change or an unfamiliar situation of some kind never is. One thing which made it slightly easier is the thought that I was doing it for a good reason. That I would be rewarded for my suffering. Whilst that wasn’t true today wasn’t a lost cause. Today did prove to me that sometimes it’s good to have other people around, not only that but it’s ok to let them help you. It was just a small thing they did to help me out. It’s not what they did that’s so important to me, it’s how they did it. I’ve been on edge the past few days, mostly because of today and partly because of Friday. I’m both excited and yet apprehensive. More than anything I just don’t want something to go wrong. But getting back to today, being on edge and not having gotten much sleep meant I’ve been a little bit more twitchy and uncoordinated than usual. My friend was worried I would drop my popcorn and drink, as they put it “it was an accident waiting to happen.” Like I said it’s not only what they did but how. They didn’t make a big deal of it, they didn’t fuss over me or anything like that. They just took it from my hands and gave it back to me when I could take hold of it properly. I’m not good at letting people help me but I didn’t really have a choice. It was either let them take it or risk having no popcorn to eat. Sometimes practicality has to trump my own stubbornness and need to do everything myself. Even better is the fact I’m not beating myself up about it which is what usually happens. It’s odd that way, whenever I need someone to speak for me or help someone else understand what I’m saying I feel stupid about it and obsess endlessly over it. But when it’s something that requires physical help I’m less obsessive about it. I wonder why one is easier to accept than the other.

There’s also two other good things about today, one of which might not have happened if I’d stayed at home. Talking about how unsatisfying the new Millennium book is we naturally got to talking about August. It’s my view that August would be better off far away from his mother and that she doesn’t deserve a second chance at taking care of him. In discussing how lackluster the ending is I got the idea of writing my own version. Not only that but writing a back story of sorts for August. I came up with the idea partly because of a comment made by someone else about one of my stories. They want to know more of what the autistic character is thinking. I told them I’m not doing that, not yet anyway. Because the reader not knowing what he’s thinking gives some idea of how his parents feel. Why should the reader get to know things they don’t? Not knowing what he thinks gives the reader a better understanding of how frustrating such a situation can be for all parties. Despite my position on that story I do like the idea of doing such a thing for August. The second good thing was getting someone else’s opinion on the first Matze chapter. Not only am I happy they liked it but their comments really mean a lot to me.

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

Numbers fun/Roman’s misfortune

Continuing the world cup numbers fun yesterday I got some views from the US and from France,  France being the 1998 hosts and the US the 1994 hosts.  In another amusing twist I also got some views from Croatia, funny given that just the other day I watched the Euro 2008 match in which they beat Germany 2-1. Sadly no views from Italy, then it would have been perfect, given that the hosted the 1990 world cup when Germany won it.

I’ve also had some fun making a GIF of Roman’s moment of misfortune, I’m sorry Roman I really am but it was too good a moment not to make a GIF of:

Roman - Mainz goal

I keep watching it again and again, waiting for it to make some sense. No matter how many times you watch it, that doesn’t happen, it does however get funnier every time I see it.

I guarantee that moment will make the list when they put together the funniest moments of the second half of the season. It’s funny, Weidenfeller made the list of funniest moments for the first half of the season as well because of the time he threw the ball out, straight into the back of the head of his own team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Other than watching the Europa league last night, I also did something else that was a little different. I wrote and posted something that I wasn’t 100% sure of, I like what I’ve written but I’m not sure as to how good it is. It’s not easy writing dialogue for a character like Dr. King Schultz, not when his creator is someone as skilled with words as Quentin Tarantino is. Knowing that I’ll never be able to write dialogue that is of that standard made it a little easier to just have some fun with it all.

Also having fun with numbers at the moment is Dutchman Bas Dost, he scored two goals for Wolfsburg last night in their Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon, bringing his tally to six goals in two games now after he scored four last Saturday against Leverkusen. The game was fun to watch and it was great to get to see Wolfsburg play, I don’t often get a chance to do so. However it feels weird watching football on Thursday, it’s an aberration since I don’t usually watch the Europa League. I think next week I may record the game and watch it on a Friday, just to make it a little less strange.

On a slightly related note, I finally finished reading the book about Robert Enke. I could have finished it a few days ago, I only had six pages left but I kept putting it off. Where I left it, it was two days before he died. I know it’s illogical and stupid but I kept thinking if I don’t read it then he won’t die. And the more I kept thinking that, the harder it was to convince myself to finish the book. The last few pages were as difficult as I expected them to be, reading about his wife thinking that he may be getting better because he was smiling again. No-one knew of course that he had already decided to kill himself, that was why he was able to smile, because he knew he would be free from the darkness soon.

Fireside Challenge

Fireside Chat

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

I would pick Quentin Tarantino, I don’t know him that well in real life, all I know of him comes from books I’ve read about him, so I guess that satisfies the critera. It will have to anyway, because there is no-one in my immediate reality that I would want to choose, I don’t exactly get to meet a lot of other people, let alone ones I would like to have a conversation with.

I would pick him not just because I would like to hear about his creative processes and where the ideas for certain things came from but because I would like the challenge of having to listen to someone who talks as much as I do. Someone who dominates a conversation as much as I do. Also, to see which of us talks faster. I would also like to know if he’s a random sort of person in conversation as I am or whether or not he can keep focused and not go off on a tangent (or what other people see as a tangent anyway).

I didn’t pick Joachim Löw or any related people, that would be too obvious. Plus it’s good to write about other people and other topics once in a while. Though if Jürgen Klinsmann were to be my choice he would be only with the proviso that he not speak any English, at least not for an extended amount of time anyway. The reason for this is when he does so, a slight American accent creeps in, completely ruining his otherwise beatifully perfect South-western German accent.

I know it says real person, but I’ll add this one for fun anyway. Another choice would be Ichabod Crane from the TV show Sleepy Hollow. Whilst I’m not keen overall on the show, I’m very fond of him and would relish the chance to have such a conversation with him. Partly because of the rants and tangents he would go off on about things from the modern world that he simply cannot fathom. Also such a conversation would resemble a history lesson, the best kind of conversation of them all. I’m not very interested in British or American history, from then or now, but he makes it interesting.

Films in 2015 to look forward to

Alone in Berlin – I just found out that a film is being made of this. Alone in Berlin is one of my favourite books ever; this is really great, though it’s not so great that the film will be in English, I’m a stickler for realism and it’s really distracting to have a film set in Germany and the characters speaking English, especially when one of the actors in question is actually German. I hope it turns out to be better The Book Thief last year.

Colonia Dignidad – Daniel Brühl and Michael Nyqvist in the same film, I don’t need to know what it’s about that’s enough of a reason right there to be excited and to add it to my must see list. As it happens the film itself sounds like something I would enjoy. To make things even more interesting Martin Wuttke (Inglourious Basterds Hitler) is in it too. The director is Florian Gallenberger who’s worked with Daniel Brühl before on City of War: The Story of John Rabe which is a fairly decent film, not flawless but not as bad as some people make it out to be.

The Face of an Angel – another Daniel Brühl film, the reviews I’ve read online so far have been negative, that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm any, I’d rather make my own mind up and truth is I’d go to see practically anything Daniel is in regardless of how bad anyone says it is.

Inherent Vice – I’m currently reading the book, it’s the first Thomas Pynchon book I’ve attempted on the advice of someone online. They said it was a less intimidating introduction to Pynchon than say Gravity’s Rainbow which I have up next to read. I’m 100 pages into Inherent Vice so far and loving it, so I can’t wait for the film. I’m not a big fan of Paul Thomas Anderson though I do have fond memories of Magnolia. I’ve also seen Punch Drunk Love which I couldn’t get on with and There Will Be Blood which I’m still trying to make my mind up about. I want to see it a second time to decide once and for all but I keep putting it off which probably says it all. I am psyched to see Joaquin Phoenix play Doc, he’s the best thing about Gladiator and I really liked him in Her last year.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter – “A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.” – I bet this gets a limited release and I won’t get a chance to see it at the cinema, that’s a shame since I would put that in my top five of films I really want to see. It sounds fantastic, exactly the kind of thing I would enjoy, partly of course because I love the Coen brothers and Fargo.

Stones for the Rampart – Another one I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD release for. Nazis and the Polish resistance, like I could resist that.

Chappie – I like Neill Blomkamp and count District 9 as one of my favourite films, true Elysium was a little disappointing but I’m sure this will be excellent (despite Hugh Jackman who I don’t like being in it) not least because Sharlto Copley is in it.

Soldiers of the Damned – this probably won’t be very good, a low budget horror film, Nazis and the occult, but I’m a sucker for stuff like this so I’ll see it if I can.

Child 44 – One of the reasons I’ll dislike this is the same reason I’ll dislike Alone in Berlin, they’ll be speaking English (hopefully not with Russian accents, I find that doubly distracting). Despite the language issue, they have assembled a mostly excellent cast. I think Tom Hardy will be perfect as Leo, Noomi Rapace as his wife less so. I find her very overrated, I didn’t rate her performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I’ve yet to see her impress me in anything else either.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – obviously I’m less excited about this since I no longer have any interest in TK. I also found the first Avengers film kind of dull, it has lots of funny moments but overall the film is very forgettable. Still I feel compelled to have it on my list, if not just because of the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo. I also really like Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I would be more excited for it if Dr Eric Selvig was in it, I don’t care that Loki isn’t, I can live without him.

Rosewater – Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, it sounds interesting and as a bonus Kim Bodnia (Martin from The Bridge is in it).

Kicking Off – It’s about football, I’m sold. Basic summary of the plot, their team needs a win to avoid relegation; they don’t get that win, so the two main characters plan to kidnap the referee, sounds fun.

Red Army – a documentary about the Red Army hockey team. Cool, a sports documentary and the former USSR, will be lucky to see this at the cinema, very unlikely to happen.

Minions – I saw Despicable Me 2 before the first one and I’m glad I did because if I had seen them in the proper order I would not have bothered going to see the second one. I didn’t find it as funny or entertaining as the second one. I do love minions though; they are incredibly cute, simply irresistible.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E – on my list purely because Christian Berkel and Alicia Vikander are in it. I wish Henry Cavill wasn’t the main character, Man of Steel, two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Midnight Special – the latest collaboration between Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon. I don’t care what it’s about, doesn’t matter, anything with Michael Shannon in is worth seeing. He also has Freeheld and Frank & Lola coming out this year.

Spectre – I’m not fond of Daniel Craig as James Bond (my all time favourite is Timothy Dalton with Pierce Brosnan coming a close second) but I have to see this. Not just because I got my wish, there’s a note on my iPod from the 10th March 2013 saying that one of the roles I’d like CW to play is a Bond villain. In a conversation about the same subject I said that he would be perfect to play Blofeld, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to picture him like that. And that’s who he’s rumoured to be playing.

The Hateful Eight – where better to end the list than with Quentin Tarantino’s latest project. With or without CW this will be undeniably awesome. The US date is listed as being the 13th November. Shame that’s not the UK date, it would make a fantastic birthday present.

A new year?

Today is the first day of a new year and it feels no different to yesterday. The only difference is that where my Quentin Tarantino calendar was there is now a huge Die Mannschaft one, the picture for January is the team celebrating after the Argentina match. The one other indicator that it’s the New Year is that there’s no post, it’s weird, the middle of the week and no mail. Plus I’m expecting quite a good few packages in the mail, some which I cannot wait to get my hands on, so it’s frustrating on that count as well.

At the beginning of each and every year, it’s impossible not to think the same thing, where did all that time go? When you look at the months ahead, it seems like such a long time but it’s always gone before you know it. You always feel like you should have got more done and read more books. And spent less time watching things you’ve already seen. That’s sort of taken care of itself, for whatever reason I’m less interested in watching TV at the moment. I’m not going to bother analysing the possible reasons, I’m just going to accept it and treat it like a gift, and hopefully the time can be put to better use and not solely spent playing Playstation.

Another thing I can’t stop thinking about is how I sometimes wish I could go back in time and relive certain events, not to do anything differently, just because I’d like to experience those things again. Like seeing Rush at the cinema or Django Unchained.

I normally don’t do anything to celebrate, nor do I watch any of the stuff on TV, I treat it like just another day. I made one exception to that this time around; I celebrated the New Year on German time because I watched online the celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate. I’m very glad I did since they showed all that has happened there this year and one of the things they showed was of course the homecoming ceremony for Joachim Löw and the team.

I don’t understand why people get drunk on New Year’s, unlike some people I wasn’t one of the unlucky idiots who woke up with a hang-over today, of course that’s not just because I didn’t consume any alcohol last night but also because due to the odd time at which I got to sleep yesterday, I haven’t been to bed yet. Apart from fireworks it was strangely quiet here, well at least in the sense that no-one in the vicinity threw a party, there was still some very talkative and not at all quiet idiots close to home. Another reason not to get drunk, people who do so don’t seem to know that they are talking rubbish and that they should shut up.

My only plans for the first day of the year were to watch Germany v Portugal (their first WM 2014 game) and the 1998 and 2002 official World Cup films. The 1998 one providing the most entertainment despite the fact that Germany was eliminated in the quarter finals by Croatia. The source of the fun is that the German team featured none other than Oliver Bierhoff, Jürgen Klinsmann and Andreas Köpke. The last game I watched of 2014 was Germany v Portugal, the third place match from the WM 2006 and it’s perfectly mirrored by my choice for today’s game. It wasn’t intentional, in fact it wasn’t my first choice, I was going to watch the final since I’ve only seen it once and to be honest I don’t remember a great deal of it. But it bothered me to watch them out of order, so I decided to start from the beginning and watch them all.

In some ways 2014 was similar to 2013, in both years the focus of my obsessions switched at almost the same time. In January/February of 2013 it was Christoph Waltz, then in September I abandoned him for Daniel Brühl. In 2014 Thomas Kretschmann replaced Daniel in February, and then of course he himself was replaced in the summer by Joachim Löw. The summer was when he replaced him but it was in September that I began my collection.

I hope this truly is a new year, that I can avoid a repeat of that, not least because I don’t have another German lined up to replace him. And because I don’t want him to be replaced, plus it would be rather inconvenient given the amount of money and time I’ve spent on my collection, that didn’t prevent the others from falling out of favour though.

Whereas with 2013 I feel like I can easily divide the year up according to my obsessions, it’s not so easy to do so for the past year, not so much because it all seems the same, it just seems a little murkier. Maybe it’s because in 2013, in terms of progress and me being less helpless and doing more for myself, it was so much more noticeable. The steps taken were bigger. So now it feels like I’m hardly moving at all.

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.