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The Strudel Scene


#1

Just joined this board as I am obsessed with this movie as well as most of his other work.



I’ve seen Basterds 3 times already at the theater and have taken something new from the film each time. This most recent time I paid close attention to the strudel scene with Landa and Shoshanna and took away something I thought interesting. Obviously there are various close up shots of the strudel and the creme and the way Landa devours the strudel as he begins to interrogate Shoshanna is interesting. What I found in making the strudel a semi-focus of the scene is that in fact, the strudel saves Shoshanna. It distracts Landa enough to where a cigarette is needed after, they share a cigarette and Landa forgets what he wanted to ask her. After he realizes he can’t remember, he puts his cigarette out in Shoshanna’s unfinished strudel, as if to say damn you strudel!! The closeups of the creme reflect the idea of this delicious treat coming to save Shoshanna’s life.



Then again I could be totally wrong. Your thoughts on the scene?


#2

[quote=“IncredibleEv”]Just joined this board as I am obsessed with this movie as well as most of his other work.



I’ve seen Basterds 3 times already at the theater and have taken something new from the film each time. This most recent time I paid close attention to the strudel scene with Landa and Shoshanna and took away something I thought interesting. Obviously there are various close up shots of the strudel and the creme and the way Landa devours the strudel as he begins to interrogate Shoshanna is interesting. What I found in making the strudel a semi-focus of the scene is that in fact, the strudel saves Shoshanna. It distracts Landa enough to where a cigarette is needed after, they share a cigarette and Landa forgets what he wanted to ask her. After he realizes he can’t remember, he puts his cigarette out in Shoshanna’s unfinished strudel, as if to say damn you strudel!! The closeups of the creme reflect the idea of this delicious treat coming to save Shoshanna’s life.



Then again I could be totally wrong. Your thoughts on the scene?[/quote]

I honestly never thought she was in any particular danger here. But I’m just one who thinks he had no idea who she really was.


#3

yea i too think he probably didn’t know, but you can also argue he had a line of questioning ready to investigate. He does start asking about how she owns the cinema and even asks specifically about her aunt and uncle. He is quite the master detective after all. it’s the great writing that makes you question what the hell is going on in the scene.


#4

I don’t think he knew who she was either since he never saw her face (he only saw her back when she was running) but he sure was ready to investigate and know about her. So she could have been on danger if she said something wrong. And of course, the strudel has two functions : 1) it distracts Landa enough and saves Shoshana cause he forgets what he wanted to ask her, and 2) I think it’s always a pure cinematic moment when the strudel looks both delicious in close up and disgusting with the way Landa eats it (the sound work is perfect in this scene). And Shoshana must feel exactly the same, the strudel is delicious but she feels sick eating it cause she’s with Landa who scares her and cause he’s eating it in a digusting way.


#5

I think he very much did know it was her. One, because of the glass of milk, and two, because he made her “wait for the cream” (for those who don’t know, cream isn’t kosher - that’s why she didn’t want to eat it). Landa’s no stupid man. I think he let her go because he probably found it more thrilling to let her know he found her and torture her with his mere presence than take her out in a whiff like he did the rest of her family. Though knowing him, he probably would have killed her eventually. Maybe.


#6

wow never gave it a thought but the milk/cream thing makes me wonder now. weird.


#7

[quote=“Gaiea”]I think he very much did know it was her. One, because of the glass of milk, and two, because he made her “wait for the cream” (for those who don’t know, cream isn’t kosher - that’s why she didn’t want to eat it). Landa’s no stupid man. I think he let her go because he probably found it more thrilling to let her know he found her and torture her with his mere presence than take her out in a whiff like he did the rest of her family. Though knowing him, he probably would have killed her eventually. Maybe.[/quote]
not saying you’re wrong at all…but she does eat the cream


#8

Yeah, she eats it, but she didn’t want to. Or at least, you could tell she forced it on herself (to keep her cover?).



Seemed that way, anyway.


#9

I wonder how much she gives a shit about traditions and the like after everything she’s been through. Sitting face to face with the man responsible for her entire families death I doubt what was on her mind was staying kosher.



Hey, speaking of her family getting killed: did anybody notice how when the camera dips into the floor, Shosanna is under his chair, and her family behind her; When Monsiour LaPadite points out where her family is hiding he never points anywhere near his seat, only where the rest of the Dreyfuses are. Does it matter? When the camera dipped was it showing where everyone was in relation to the table and chairs above or simply showing that they are indeed hiding. It’s been on mind every time I’ve seen the flick.

I’d like to believe that the farmer knew where everyone was hiding and made a last ditch effort to at least give one of them a chance.


#10

I never thought about the Milk=not kosher-thing. Is milk really an absoulte NO-NO for the Jews?


#11

I mostly mentioned Landa ordering Shoshana the glass of milk in reference to her hiding at the dairy farm (randomly, the way he downed that glass of milk in the opening scene made me crave the stuff :stuck_out_tongue: ). So no, my belief that Landa knew who Shoshana was isn’t all based simply on “staying kosher” in a time of crisis.



As for whether the farmer was trying to spare Shoshanna…maybe. I too noticed how he pointed across the room as opposed to directly underneath.


#12

[quote=“Col. Crazy Kenneth”]I never thought about the Milk=not kosher-thing. Is milk really an absoulte NO-NO for the Jews?[/quote]

Milk on its own is kosher. Some of the stricter guidelines have to do with making sure that the animal it came from was “pure” in some sense, and mixing dairy foods with meat is one of the most basic kosher “no-nos,” but there isn’t any general ban on milk or cream. So I don’t think that had anything to do with this scene…besides, many Jewish families at the time in Western Europe were fairly assimilated and might not have even kept kosher (Eastern European Jews tended to be more traditional). Shoshana’s family could easily have been among the less traditional types.



In any event, I think what this scene was really about was showing another example of Landa’s methods for keeping the people he questions off-balance. As mentioned in the Sight and Sound QT interview linked in another thread here, in the first sequence of the film, switching to English was partly a way for Landa to keep Lapadite somewhat on edge, and the pipe thing was also part of that. Tarantino mentioned it to Waltz as a possible explanation for the huge pipe, that Landa knew about Lapadite’s pipe before the interview, and thus decided to bring a gigantic one to keep Lapadite in his place. Waltz got excited and agreed that this was exactly the way he would approach the character.



So I think the cream/strudel business is the same sort of thing. Landa knows that she’s nervous, and while he puts on a show of telling her to relax (which he also did with Lapadite), he keeps her off guard in the middle of the questioning by making her wait for the server to return with the cream. And while the glass of milk thing strikes the audience very strongly, as it does Shoshana, QT sets it up so it doesn’t have to be about Landa recognizing her (which I don’t think he does, since he never saw her face when she escaped from the farm, as cyber-lili said upthread). Namely, it fits in with his method of controlling the interaction with the other person: he’s going to order for her, and he’s also going to make it a bit weird (how many people order milk in a restaurant?), just to keep her off balance. It’s how he deals with everyone he interviews.


#13

I HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED this movie.


#14

WE KNOW WE KNOW WE KNOW WE KNOW… Wait… Who doesn’t know it by the time ?? :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

With the constant mention of ‘milk’ and ‘cream’ coming from Col Landa there was some unspoken communication going on. He was basically saying to the girl “I know who you are but i’m going to let this one slide”. This is why he mde a show out of saying “There was something I was going to ask you but I cannot remember why…”. He did it to see her reaction because he knew she was the girl that fled.


#16

Landa TOTALLY knew who she was. He was fuckin with her the whole time… The “milk”, the “creme”, and the whole “one more thing I wanted to ask you…” with that look on his face that just says he’s letting her know that he knows.



I imagine he’d been keeping tabs on her since the day he let her go. I mean, he was always thinking three steps ahead of everyone else.



Check it out. Landa already KNEW about operation Kino, or at least knew the Basterds would be there to attempt an assassination, and he probably figured if they failed, with it being her cinema, she would have a plan too. He planned all along to allow the building to be blown-up so that he could make his deal.


#17

[quote=“Sgt. Geoi Donowitz”]
Check it out. Landa already KNEW about operation Kino, or at least knew the Basterds would be there to attempt an assassination, and he probably figured if they failed, with it being her cinema, she would have a plan too. He planned all along to allow the building to be blown-up so that he could make his deal.[/quote]

Right on, because he wanted to make sure his “deal”/turn wouldn’t come to bite him in the ass, so he already knew they were going to try to destory the cinema.