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Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds” Essay


Baudrillard is a French philosopher who advanced the notion of Hyperrealism and simulation. His concept, in regard to simulation, involves creation of real things through models, which are mythological, and which are not connected in anyway or have no reality concerning their origin.

It is through these models that our perception of the definition of reality is determined. Still, it is through the media that attributes such as fashion, art, homes among others, that ideal model become dictated (Barsanti 126).

Our changed perception is what causes a break down of the boundary existing between reality, simulation, as well as images. Due to this breakdown, an aspect of hyperrealism is created. As such, the distinction between the real and the unreal things tend to become blurred. Precisely, it is an individual’s inability to consciously infer a distinction between reality and fantasy.

This is because; both reality and fantasy tend to become blurred in one (Baudrillard 147). According to the French philosopher, what we experience today are just realities that have been subjected to preparations such as a war footage edition as well as reality TV shows. Here, an individual is unable to give a distinction between real and fictional things.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which the movie, Inglorious Basterds, directed by Tarantino engages in the notion of simulation and hyperrealism as advanced by Baudrillard, a French theorist (Baudrillard 149)

The director of this movie, Tarantino, tends to play with Baudrillard’ idea as he mixes references as well as famous images, with reality therefore creating a mixture which can be termed as his own. Inglorious Basterds is plotted on the 1940s world, which has been functionalized.

G.W. Pabst, an Australian born film director is first mentioned in Inglorious Basterds in a scene outside the cinema, where Shoshanna is presented on a ladder changing a marquee. This marquee contained information scripted in French which the camera is passed over a number of times. As a result, the viewer of the film is given multiple reading opportunities.

Again, the script in the marquee also included a voice cover from the narrator. This was, “To work on a cinema in Paris in the period of occupation, one is faced with two choices which includes; to either show new propaganda films from the Germans, which have been produced with close monitoring from Joseph Goebbels or one could go to a German night in his or her weekly schedule and watch a classic German film.” Here, the narrator indeed played an important role in the script as compared to the entire film (Baudrillard 150).

As such, his words are educative and explanatory in nature. When a viewer infers this information, he gets an explanation as to why Shoshanna is going to have a German night at her cinema. A viewer is also likely to infer that Shoshanna is not thrilled by the German nights, and she gives a statement that, she does not have a choice. Irrespective of these views by Shoshanna, there is no indication that there are regulations, which mandate this scene.

Again, in the scene that Shoshanna affirms her intentions to select the German films; a character called Zoller commends the choices done by her. He does this when he indicates that he loves films involving Riefenstahl Mountains (Lister 55). Shoshanna gives him a cold reply in regard to admiration of Riefenstahl Mountains.

Zoller declares that he is upbeat for finding a fellow admirer of Riefenstahl. Zoller admits that he has a great admiration for director Pabst since Shoshanna made a choice to include Pabst’s name on the marquee, she tells him off by saying that she is French and in France, they respect their movie directors.

This is in fact an attempt to signify that, even in Shoshanna’s eyes, it is not that all the Germans are barbaric. Perhaps, both Zioller and Shoshanna, in another place or time, could be involved in a big discussion concerning the film makers but their efforts are not forthcoming as the Uniform worn by Nazi creates barrier of which, Shoshanna does not wish to penetrate (Lister 55).

Pabst is also mentioned lengthily in the scene involving Lieutenant Archie Hicox where he is briefed on Kino operation. Here, the lieutenant is briefed by General Fenech with full observation of Winston Churchill. The lieutenant gives a description of his occupation just before the war. He says that he was a critic of films, writing for several publications of which are fictional. According to him, he is also an Author who is has published two books.

For instance, in his second book, “Twenty –four Frame Da Vinci”, the lieutenant gives a description that it as a study whose aim is to criticize the sub textual films of G.W. Pabst. These 24 frames per second rate in reality are what the sound motion picture standards became in the early twentieth century. As such, the title’s aspect of Da Vinci clearly infers Inglorious Basterd’s director views on Pabst as an artist who has mastered in his field and crafting canvas like frames.

In the movie Inglorious Basterd, the movie director, Tarantino, employs a hyperreal aspect where Shoshanna replaces the marquee texts. The original texts were small and unnoticeable. On realizing this, she curves out extra ordinary letters and glues them to the signpost holding the marquee (Lister 55).

Still, during the time where Major Hellstrom gives a revelation of his personality, an interrogation ensues involving him and the lieutenant regarding the latter’s German accent. The Lieutenant insists that he is from a village near Piz Palu. As such, a person from Piz Palu is a Swiz but speaks German.

The lieutenant also claims that, when Pabst film was being shot in Piz Palu, his family was extensively featured. He further claims that his brother was given a handsome close up by Pabst. Hellstorm initially believes the story being told. Bridget and the Basterds are then engaged by Major Hellstrom in a game (Merrin 108).

A card, which had been scripted G.W Pabst, lands on Bridget’s forehead. It is then clear that the card was scripted by Hicox. Earlier, he had already been termed as a person with great knowledge concerning Pabst and as such, it is sensible that Hicox gives reference to Pabst name more often but this consistent recurrence of the name Pabst do happen more often enough in such a way that it would only prevail in a Tarantino-like reality.

The theme of Hyperreality is further elaborated in the many of Inglorious Basterd scenes. For instance, the film is a straight narration of a man against a machine. The battle lines are by far drawn in an ambiguous manner. It is correct to say that the machines are bent in an effort to destroy the human beings but the character Zoller acts as a guardian angel.

As such, he is reprogrammed such that he is able to love and learn. The boundary between the copy and the real in the movie tend to collapse and in an effort to survive, Soshanna has to overcome the technophobia she has and must befriend the world of simulacra (Merrin 118). Inglorious Basterd depicts Zoller as subject to Baudrillard’s paradoxical terminology, which is, copying without regarding the original.

Naya forcefully enters into the Pabst’s laboratory. Here, he is conceived thereby terminating the state of the self, which is unborn. This leads to destruction of the equipments as well as researches that were use to develop it. The machine, Zoller, comes into a temporal loop, which had been closed and of which is in the outer side of the linear time. As such, the copy is literally constituted in an original form. Furthermore, the hyperreal entity acts as the foster-father to the character called John.

This character is a representative of the news generation referred to as the techno-savvy generation. He is a hyperreal construct and circumstances under which John was conceived were actually orchestrated by him. Both John and the machine, Zoller, are hyperreal and are detached from nature versus technology, future versus the past as well as artificial versus authenticity old binaries.

The mother to John Connor naturally realizes that the hyperreal machine is the perfect fit for a father to her hyperreal son. As such, the simulacrum tends to be more of a human than the actual or the real human beings. The new world, which is in nature brave, leaves us compelled to reassess the prejudices in the 20th century in regard to the technology as well as the nature.

Still, Tarantino brings into light a character, which is artificially made and an ideal figure to feature as a father (Miller, Vandome, & John 1110). The film depicts a story of Shoshanna who travels between two worlds, that is, the fiction world and the real world. These two worlds regard his hard body movie franchise which exists as Tarantino’s favorite.

The difference between the two characters, Zoller and Soshanna, are played subject to laughs as the climax of the movie tend to bring back the integrity of the boundary existing between the real world and the fictional world which suggests that the movie is supposed to be an attempt to reaffirm fundamental conservation of the reality and unreality separation.

When the character, Zoller, comes into the fictional world, he comes to establish that the fictional characters in the movie indeed had real sentiments and emotions. As such, even Soshanna, who is a real person, has a life full of emotions which are centered on the events of the movie, which are fictional (Miller, Vandome, & John 1116).

Still, in the scene that the character goes to war in the southern part of Germany, the Nazis improvise a human like character and inbuilt a machine in him. As such, the character performs super action of which a normal human being is incapable of. The character is given priority to lead the troop while the Nazi soldiers rally behind.

Irrespective of the efforts by the enemies to shoot down the robot character, they fail terribly. The enemies realize too late that their ammunitions are getting depleted and as a result, they flee. These hyperreal actions in a hyperreal situation are a perfect fit in the scene as they produce a magnificent piece of artwork. Consequently, a platform is established from where the sense of appeal from the audience is created (Tarantino 136).

From the above analysis, it is clear that Baudrillard’s notion of Hyperrealism and simulation are widely used in Inglorious Basterd. In this context, the concept, in regard to simulation, involves creation of something that is real through models, which are mythological, and which are not connected in anyway or have no reality considering their origin.

It is through this model that our perception of what is reality incorporated in the movie is determined (Tarantino 139). Still, it is through the media that things such as fashion, art, homes, among others, that ideal model become dictated. Our changed perception is what causes a break down of the boundary existing between reality, simulation as well as images.

Due to this breakdown, hyperreality is created. As such, the distinction between the real things and the unreal things becomes blurred. Precisely, it is an individual’s inability to consciously infer a distinction between reality and fantasy. This is because; both reality and fantasy tend to become blurred in one (Zimmerman 45).

According to the French philosopher, what we experience today are just realities that have been subjected to preparations such as a war footage edition as well as reality TV shows. Here, an individual is unable to give a distinction between real and fictional things. Therefore, the notion of Hyperreality as well as simulation plays an important role in delivering a quality film that the audience would loves and enjoy to see.

Works Cited

Barsanti, Chris. Filmology. Avon: Adams Media, 2010. Print

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and simulation. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1984. Print

Lister, Martín. New media: a critical introduction. London: Routledge, 2003.Print

Merrin, William. Baudrillard and the media: a critical introduction. Cambridge: Polity, 2005. Print

Miller, P. Frederic, Agnes F. Vandome, & McBrewster John. Inglourious Basterds. Saarbrücken: VDM Publishing, 2010. Print.

Tarantino, Quentin. Inglorious Basterds: A Screenplay. Mason: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

Zimmerman, Susan. Shakespeare Studies, Volume 38. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2010. Print

This Essay on Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds” was written and submitted by user Kamren Baxter to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Kamren Baxter studied at Baylor University, USA, with average GPA 3.77 out of 4.0.

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Baxter, K. (2019, March 29). Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds” [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/baudrillards-notion-of-hyperrealism-and-simulation-in-inglourious-basterds/

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Baxter, Kamren. "Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds”." IvyPanda, 29 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/baudrillards-notion-of-hyperrealism-and-simulation-in-inglourious-basterds/.

1. Kamren Baxter. "Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds”." IvyPanda (blog), March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/baudrillards-notion-of-hyperrealism-and-simulation-in-inglourious-basterds/.


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Baxter, Kamren. "Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds”." IvyPanda (blog), March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/baudrillards-notion-of-hyperrealism-and-simulation-in-inglourious-basterds/.

References

Baxter, Kamren. 2019. "Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds”." IvyPanda (blog), March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/baudrillards-notion-of-hyperrealism-and-simulation-in-inglourious-basterds/.

References

Baxter, K. (2019) 'Baudrillard’s Notion of Hyperrealism and Simulation in “Inglourious Basterds”'. IvyPanda, 29 March.

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