I will be giving a brief analysis on the scene of Inglorious Basterds pipe scene where Col. Hans Landa is trying to intimidate the Dreyfus family. I find this a great example of subtextual content as Tarantino plays beautifully with the expectation of the audience and get them at the edge of their seats.
Now before this scene I would like to add that Tarantino leads up to the suspense-filled scene by using the anticipation and control of Landa’s character over the farmer family which we see as he enters the house with a superficial smile and asking for permission in the dialogues as he asks the farmer to switch from french to english and when Landa mentions that its house now in the literal sense the audience is not sure the true intentions but subtextually we are told that Landa is showing that even though he is asking for permission he is the actual one in control.
There are certain symbols that catch the eye in the opening scenes, As Dreyfus takes out his pipe to smoke Landa seeks permission to take out his pipe although he doesnt need to ask and when its revealed the pipe is a sherlock homes type pipe implying the character of intense interrogation skills but in a subtextual symbolic way it says “my pipe is bigger than yours” the rather playful act by Landa shows of his cunning nature.
The conversation goes forward the thing that has a lot of subtextual meaning is when Landa describes himself and the Nazi’s as the hawk and the Jews as the rat now in the literal sense it implies that they consider themselves a superior more powerful race while Jews as inferiors and have alienated them but more importantly when you go in the depth of this conversation you are revealed of the hiding of the Jews beneath the floor which shows that rats are usually hiding in hard to find places but upon finding them the outcome is always death.
This scene was 17 pages long and had only conversation but what makes this such an interesting scene is the narrative and how the director choose to play with tension and anticipation of the crowd by using metaphorical subtext and symbolism.