In my semi-professional opinion, Quentin Tarantino is the greatest living director. Not Scorsese or Zemeckis, Howard or Cameron. Pound for pound, Tarantino is the best we’ve got. Whether it’s a slick crime film his debut Reservoir Dogs, an American classic in Pulp Fiction, a karate flick like Kill Bill or a Western like Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight, Tarantino can do it all, and does it better.
During a panel in front of a sold-out crowd at Jerusalem Cinematheque, Tarantino discussed many tidbits about his career, including which character of his he loves the most. Via Screen Daily:
“Landa is the best character I’ve ever written and maybe the best I ever will write,” he said. “I didn’t realise [when I was first writing him] that he was a linguistic genius. He’s probably one of the only Nazis in history who could speak perfect Yiddish.”
In fact, it was of Landa’s perfection that Inglorious Basterds almost never got made:
“I was getting worried. Unless I found the perfect Landa, I was going to pull the movie. I gave myself one more week and then I was going to pull the plug. Then Christoph Waltz came in and it was obvious that he was the guy; he could do everything. He was amazing, he gave us our movie back.”
It’s easy to see where he’s coming from. Right from the start of the movie, literally the opening scene, you could feel what kind of presence he was going to be. Obviously, everyone else agreed, as Christoph Waltz won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Hans Landa.