25 January 2010 @ 03:14 am
The Projection Booth Scene: An analyzation, part 1.  
Tarantino has stated that the projection booth scene is both romantic and a consummation of Shosanna and Fredrick's relationship. After going over this previously in discussions with [livejournal.com profile] pellnell and [livejournal.com profile] piecesofalice (I love your brilliant minds), I decided to wrangle up screencaps and have at it. I've retread some previous ground, but it was necessary for the analyzation. Lots of screencaps along with key quotes from Tarantino and my rambling. Again, I'll let the actors' performances do most of the talking.

Now, I've gone over their scenes together in my previous analyzation, so if you've not gone over that, I suggest you do to get a better grasp on Shosanna and Fredrick, as I touch upon some things in this analyzation that I had been over previously.

Everything between Shosanna and Fredrick leads up to the projection booth, as their feelings for each other are fully realized and consummated; but even before that, a special trust and connection was established between the two of them. During the lunch meeting with Goebbels, Shosanna silently reaches out to Fredrick once Landa arrives, pleading desperately with him with her eyes for an understanding. The extended scene included on the Inglourious Basterds dvd supports this, as Fredrick comes to her defense as Goebbels lashes out at Shosanna for not showing his films on Le Gamaar's German Night. As I've stressed before - and will continue to do so - that it is important to pay special attention to Fredrick's facial expressions and his hands, as he conveys everything through them, just as how Shosanna expresses everything through subtle facial expressions. Tarantino has stated time and again that Fredrick's feelings for Shosanna are genuine; in the Goebbels lunch scene, Shosanna, too, realizes this, knowing that she can trust him:

Shosanna knows that Fredrick is her only ally; even though Fredrick is unknowingly damaging her, his intentions and feelings for her are entirely genuine. On some level, Shosanna knows this:

This of course, now leads to the projection booth scene, which Tarantino is extremely fond of.

Leading up to their consummation, we see both Shosanna and Fredrick in moments of confidence and vulnerability, demonstrating that there's more to these two than previously shown:

Despite any of her own inner conflict, Shosanna's plan cannot be compromised, as it is the unfortunate reality of her circumstance; she must make the most of the revenge that Fredrick has unknowingly given to her:

Unbeknownst to Fredrick, he has been continuously hurting Shosanna with the best of intentions, and here, he puts her in the most difficult position. Just as she had reached out to him in the restaurant, Fredrick reaches out to Shosanna in the projection booth; though masked with humor, it is clear that he is troubled. Just like their situation in the restaurant, here at the premiere, Shosanna is Fredrick's only ally; she keeps him grounded and makes him feel human. Again, her expressions here are magnificent as she runs through a gamut of emotions:

So here now is where it gets interesting, as Fredrick barges in; this is a turning point for many where they dismiss Fredrick as a potential rapist and evil Nazi (the notion that Tarantino would create such a 2-D character is highly laughable). Allow me to re-quote from my previous analyzation:

It is obvious that Fredrick is just as damaged from this war as Shosanna and because he is on the other side of it doesn't make his trauma any less valid. Shosanna is older than him, and in the four years after the massacre of her family, she was able to recover, to react, to heal, even if not fully. Fredrick, at the age of 19, has found himself trapped in a horrific situation and had to survive. For his experience, he is hailed as a hero, with fame thrust upon him; Fredrick has no time (or not enough) to recover. Part of Fredrick's outburst could pertain to abandonment issues as well; he's the baby of the family, his mother died, his father then left he and his sisters to take care of themselves and each other, added in with Zoller's enlistment and fending for himself alone in the bell tower. Fredrick then finds himself in a foreign country surrounded only by people too enamored with his celebrity and when he finally meets and cares for the one genuine person he's known during this whole mess, she turns him away, which was the last straw for Fredrick's delicate mental/emotional state. With nearly all of Germany and the Third Reich swooning over him, Fredrick grew to enjoy some of the perks of celebrity, despite his guilt. Like Audie Murphy, off of whom Fredrick was based, mentioning the war, even watching himself re-enacting his ordeal, can send him back to the bell tower. But ultimately, he would not have hurt Shosanna, as was discussed here.

Daniel's facial expressions are excellent here as he perfectly conveys Fredrick's anguish and heartbreak. Observe how he's bathed in red lighting and how it slowly fades and his face falls the more upset he grows:

Even Shosanna seems uncertain of how to handle this; all she knows is that her plan cannot be compromised:

With his hands on his hips, Fredrick is attempting to take an authoritative stance, but it seems apparent that - just as with his interactions with Goebbels and Landa - he's out of his element. Notice also the finger-pointing:

And how, with the mere suggestion of possible intimacy with Shosanna:

Fredrick retracts his finger, the red lighting has dissipated, and he wilts:

There's a palpable tension and discomfort, Shosanna's eyes darting from Fredrick's face to his chest full of medals. Her own apprehension at what she is about to do is almost imperceptible, but it's there:

It's evident that Shosanna wields the power and though Fredrick doesn't quite object, the possibility of having sex with her is both thrilling and frightening to him:

Now, I've discussed this with others, and due to Fredrick's young age and the time period he grew up in, it would be entirely plausible for him to be a virgin. From the very beginning, Fredrick has been set apart from those he associates with, which is why he's able to both hurt and affect Shosanna so deeply. He's a complete contradiction: he's both a boy and a man, an innocent and a killer, naive, yet knowing; most and worst of all, Fredrick is Germany's Great War Hero and he loves her, a Jewish girl.

Fredrick doesn't spout any of the rhetoric Landa, Hellstrom, Goebbels, Hitler and others spew, and he doesn't wear any Nazi insignia. He's just a young man made into a hero because he survived a hellish situation. Fredrick is a lamb amongst wolves.

As I'm constantly repeating, Tarantino doesn't do anything accidentally, and to have Fredrick dressed in white and Shosanna in red is very much on purpose. To re-quote some extremely helpful information on his dress uniform, as provided by [livejournal.com profile] piecesofalice:

Zoller is wearing a special uniform that was unique to his division. It was designed to ultimately replace their standard ones, but only a few hundred were developed, as conservative reaction stopped it from being adopted. It really stands out in contrast to other German uniforms, and is something of a oddity. It's like the militaria version of that weird Emil Jannings cameo in the same scene.

And of course, most important of all:

And aside from the eagle national emblem on his chest and iron cross, Fredrick's uniform contains no Nazi insignia.

Part 2

se sentent: awake
où: HOME.
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[identity profile] piecesofalice.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)

Wonderful! More! More!

His little face gets me every time.
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: As I'm breaking in two electric blue[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
Click to part 2 and go crazy, as Prince would recommend.

I know! Just look at him! He's a ruined boy, not some sociopath (which is only smiled upon if he were in some snazzy SS uniform, right?).
[identity profile] piecesofalice.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
Sociopaths are the new black, Butchie, didn't you know?

I reckon you should analyse Shosanna getting into the car out the front of Le Gamaar. There's obviously a stack of subtext there, and definitely worth analysing.
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: I am just a man[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
I am so gauche, I swear.

Well, according to what's in vogue these days, my brain is not capable enough of seeing what's so obvious.
[identity profile] piecesofalice.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
The question is - to mainstream, or substream?

http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: Hope for the hopeless[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)

[identity profile] piecesofalice.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)

Wait until I suggest something, like dinner because we're both hungry, then you complain.

http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: It's just the fear of losing you[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)

[identity profile] piecesofalice.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)

http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: FREDRICK IS NOT A TRANSFORMER[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on January 25th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)

[identity profile] perinolas.livejournal.com on June 22nd, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
I know the date says this analyzation is over a year old, but I still feel the need to comment and tell you I thought you did a wonderful job with it! Thank you for sharing your insights. Oh and,

"It is obvious that Fredrick is just as damaged from this war as Shosanna and because he is on the other side of it doesn't make his trauma any less valid."

^^^ THIS.
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: [film: IB; OTP] Don't take this away[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on June 22nd, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I actually love that after all this time, the occasional comment is posted, because I remain so stupidly in love with these characters and this scene (I've still been finding other little details).

It's amazing how much Shosanna and Fredrick are the same, such as with their traumas and their actions in the bell tower and the film premiere.

I love them too much, basically.
[identity profile] perinolas.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
You`re welcome! I just love when I`m able to find other folks who like this pairing and these characters as much as I do, so I had to praise you for it.

Yes, very true. It almost seems like most Inglourious Basterds fans tend to disregard the trauma that Fredrick experienced in the bell tower, which doesn`t really make much sense to me, because like you explored here, it definitely comes into play in the projection booth scene.

oh my, you can never love them too much.
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: [film: IB; OTP] My baby shot me down[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
I definitely feel the same! I was apprehensive at first to write all that I have for them, but I'm ultimately very glad I did, just because of all of the people I've found who feel the same (and all this time later, I'm finding more and more here on LJ and tumblr). And of course, we have Quentin Tarantino on our side, and to an extent, Daniel and Mélanie, as the deciding factor in the casting of Shosanna depended upon the actress' chemistry with Daniel (and the two of them got along very well on set).

So much of Fredrick is overlooked by the majority of fans, I've noticed, especially his own trauma and the importance of he and Shosanna have to each other. Every detail and interaction between them led up to their deaths together in the projection booth. Quentin has never been one for a conventional love story. I can see how the fact that Fredrick is a German soldier and Shosanna is a Jewish woman can be off-putting, even discomforting, but ultimately, their connection and story, which is so insular and separate from the rest of the film, cannot be denied.

Ha! I really can't.
[identity profile] perinolas.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Hmm... I`ll have to snoop around more. I track the "Inglourious Basterds" tag on tumblr, but it`s pretty much limited to Hans Landa and various Basterds gifs (don`t get me wrong, I love all of the characters to death and it makes me happy folks are still into the film, but sometimes I just would like of little more of Fred and Sho). And yes, we do have QT on our side! I saw those quotes on your other analyzation and couldn`t keep track of the number of times he compares Shosanna and Fredrick to Romeo and Juliet.

I think what some fans might be thinking, is that their dislike of Fredrick is justified because he`s a Nazi. I can see why his and Shosanna`s relationship could be seen as discomforting, but it`s importance to the rest of the film shouldn`t be overlooked. After all, he played a huge part in giving Shosanna her revenge. I`m actually glad Quentin steers away from the generic love story. I`ve always been drawn more to "star-crossed lovers/this can only end badly" romances more than what we often see on TV and various romantic comedies.

Ah, and now I`m probably boring you with my ramblings XD
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: [act: ML/DB] Kiss and swallow[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
I don't post constantly there (making graphics takes time as I'm too careful with it all), but when I do, I usually tag my Sho/Fred graphics under the actor names. I should probably retag them (oh, how time consuming that'd be). Though for starters, one of my friends - who, unlike me, properly tags things - has been making great gifs of them: http://shoppermania.tumblr.com/tagged/ShosannaxFredrick http://shoppermania.tumblr.com/tagged/my_gifs

It took me lots and lots of googling to find those quotes, and it delighted me to be validated over and over again. That's something I like about QT that interviewers should be more mindful of: ask him anything about his characters and films and he'll give an earful about them. He toured IB around to little theaters all over the U.S. before it opened nationally and had a Q&A session afterwards. According to one film blog, QT was very, very adamant about the romanticism that scene and how they're his Romeo and Juliet (another film blog was whining about that because the thought of Sho feeling for Fredrick really upset them).

I can understand that viewpoint, because when I first saw IB, I was completely shaken by what I had seen between the two of them. I felt like crying and was so confused by why I felt so strongly for them both when no one else seemed to. And yes, even as QT has said, Fredrick's a very important character to the film and to Shosanna. It's difficult, I think, for people in general to want to relate to someone like Fredrick who is on the side of the war in a WWII film, but to completely disregard him is so entirely wrong.

I do love Quentin for that. He had said in an interview that sexually, his films are chaste, but he really knows how to work in romance and sexuality in less obvious ways. For example, he uses bare feet the way other directors use nudity. Shosanna was only barefoot twice in IB, in the beginning when she's terrified for her life and at the end, with Fredrick (which adds to the fact that it's their love scene). He's the only person in the entire film she's alone with like that. I love two-against-the-world romances (Bonnie and Clyde and Sid & Nancy are a couple of films that are examples of this for me).

You're not boring me! I could go on about this forever, really.
[identity profile] perinolas.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
I only go on there when I have artwork to post, or the rest of the internet is being boring, but OMG LOOK AT THE PRETTY GIFS. Your friend is really talented! I`ll have to bookmark those links and look at them all again later.

Well, all that googling was worth it then. I do enjoy watching/reading the interviews QT gave about IB. You can definitely tell he cares for all of his characters, and it`s always interesting to hear the creator`s insights to the piece as well. As for the film blogs, well, I suppose everyone is going to interpret the quotes differently. You can`t make people see a relationship between characters if they don`t want to :/

I can understand it as well. I had felt something like the projection booth scene coming from the first moments those two were on screen together, but I was still shocked to see it play out. For me, there was just something about the way their relationship transforms throughout the course of the film. If you look at their first interactions, it all seems rather innocent, and then of course, the end is quite different. And yes, I can see how it would be tougher for people to connect with a character like Fredrick`s, especially considering he`s on the other side of a WWII movie, like you said.

Yes, I`ve noticed he used feet quite a bit (there was definitely some symbolism in the Bridget von Hammersmark losing her shoe/cast scenes). However, I didn`t realize that Shosanna was barefoot in the projection booth scene until you pointed it out. I think that somehow it`s the subtle sexuality of the whole thing that really makes the scene. Had it been a blatant sex scene, it would not`ve had the impact it had, on me anyway. And yes, two-against the world-romances <3

Haha, well that`s good to hear. I tend to lose my personality on LJ for some reason. I guess I`m just not on it enough.
http://suspiriorum.livejournal.com/: [act: DB & QT] Muse and Madman[identity profile] suspiriorum.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 08:35 am (UTC)
She was yet another person I met because of Sho/Fred. She really is! And sweet as pie, too. Also, I went snooping through your art and it is gorgeous. I love your style.

It really was, especially since I wanted answers and clarification, and finding all those quotes really, really helped. I love knowing an artist's creative process and inspiration, and I absolutely love any and all insight they can give on their work (films in particular). The guy's reaction was just so amusing to me, that he could sit in an audience and hear the director himself talk about their relationships and then get all bothered. I suppose that it's odd to me how such a major part of the film and story line can be so blatantly ignored.

I wasn't quite sure what their ending would be, but I knew the moment Fredrick first approached her that Quentin was going to hurt me in some way. They're still such innocents at the end, even though their actions weren't; it was something they were forced into, unlike the other characters who were actively fighting the war. Even in death they remained separated from the rest of it. In a way, setting aside the fact that they were meant to be together one or another, it was the kindest end both could've had. He could've been machine gunned to death and she could've burned to death alone.

Bridget's death was close to a sexual assault in a way, with her having to force her foot into his lap like that. If you look at when he tackles her frame by frame (someone on tumblr made a graphic of it), the way he's positioned on top of her and how her legs come up is quite sexual. I do love the subtlety of the projection booth scene. To watch it casually, it appears like any other simple death scene, but there's so much going on that is both obvious and just below the surface of it. I liked how though Marcel got the straightforward declarations of love, Fredrick was given much more from Shosanna; she revealed to him the parts of herself she kept hidden that no one else had access to.

Aw. I'm probably around here too much.
[identity profile] perinolas.livejournal.com on June 23rd, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Sho/Fred brings people together! She sounds sweet, I`ll have to check her tumblr from time to time. Awww, thanks so much, that made my day! I went through a lot of different phases with my style of art, so I`m glad to finally find something that works for me.

I think that knowing the artist`s creative process and inspiration can be very insightful, especially when exploring a lesser known character or pairing. There`s always some detail in films that I fail to catch and later have it explained in an interview with the creator. Maybe the guy had already made up his mind about Fredrick and Shosanna`s relationship, and couldn`t be shaken (no even by QT, which does bother me a little bit, as well).

I don`t remember what the script says about Fredrick`s enlistment (we hardly get any background about him at all in the film), but as far as I know, yes, he and Shosanna were the only two in the film that didn`t willing take part in the war. Despite their deaths` obvious violence, it`s still much better than what could`ve happened, and I think some fans who were angered over the projection booth scene tend to miss that. The thought of him getting machine gunned to death and Shosanna burning to death alone just rubs me the wrong way.

Very true, upon my first viewing of IB, I was nervous that Landa was actually going to rape her first. I`ll have to go back at some point, and watch the scene again, and look for those clues. It was very different than the projection booth scene, to say the least, which is why I suppose I get so worked up when people say that Fredrick was out to rape Shosanna after charging through the door. However subtle, there`s a lot to be touched on in that scene that most fans don`t bother thinking about. I`m not sure why, but Shosanna and Marcel`s relationship was hard for me to figure out (I guess my mind just has trouble seeing the obvious side of things sometimes haha). It`s almost like QT wanted us to have a more straightforward romance to compare Shosanna and Fredrick`s relationship to.

I`m a bit new to LJ, so it`s a little confusing at times, but I`m adjusting.