Hollywood can't win for losing these days with the German people, whose extra-defending litigious streak has nothing on the wounded national pride recently suffered after readings of Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards screenplay. While the thing has gathered dust on our computer desktop since midsummer, it's being voraciously consumed in Starbuchsens, on MeinSpace and around other social-gathering hotspots around the country; the ensuing national controversy condemns "scenes of vengeful Americans bashing, scalping, shooting and strangling German soldiers" and — worse yet — the almost certain state subsidies promised to the Deutschland-based production:
Germany's DFFF film fund gives automatic tax breaks for local shoots and Bastards is set to shoot almost entirely in Studio Babelsberg outside Berlin. "I don't see how it should not be eligible for DFFF money," said Kirsten Niehuus, director of the Berlin-Brandenburg regional film fund. Producers the Weinstein Co. declined comment but sources near the shoot said the controversy has had no effect on Tarantino or the German talent connected to the film, which includes Til Schweiger, Daniel Bruhl, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger. "Most in the German industry love it that Tarantino's in Berlin," one insider said. "They love it that this kind of popcorn film is getting made here."Got it, Harvey — thanks! Anyway, while we know it's slightly oversimplifying to suggest that the Nazis absolved their dignity by fighting on Adolf Hitler's behalf, let's just consider the tax credits a good-faith gesture toward the continued postwar rebuilding effort — and then call it good, OK? We promise we'll remember you guys when the dollar bounces back. Feel better yet?