Author Topic: DJANGO UNCHAINED  (Read 66855 times)

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #150 on: January 06, 2013, 05:45:58 pm »

   A note about authenticity -

    Django & Schultz are both packing too much firepower. There's a scene where both characters are wielding the iconic, Winchester Repeating Rifle. The shoulder fired weapon is known as one of the "guns that won the West". The earliest versions of the Winchester are from 1865 or 1866 {a few years after the film takes place}. I think the models from the film are the famous 1873 model. The Winchesters are used in the scenes/sequences of Django & Schultz putting down a group of criminals on horseback {from the "Winter" segment of the film.

   A minor detail. Most filmgoers would never notice.

 

I certainly didn't. Thanks for pointing that out.

Offline Pantherfan

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #151 on: January 07, 2013, 03:49:39 am »
I seen the film this weekend. It reminded of Fred "The Hammer" Williamson's flicks back in the seventies. Who here has seen Boss Nigga? I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel of Django Unchained either set during the Civil War or after it.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #152 on: January 07, 2013, 07:06:24 am »
MOTHER JONES:

In Defense of Django
—By Adam Serwer
| Mon Jan. 7, 2013 3:01 AM PST5.
Jamie Foxx as Django in the new Quentin Tarantino flick.
WARNING: This post contains multiple spoilers.


Every time Jamie Foxx’s character Django rides into town in Quentin Tarantino's new Spaghetti Western Django Unchained, set against the backdrop of American chattel slavery, someone asks some variation of the question, "What is that nigger doing on a horse?"

This is much a threat as an inquiry. Almost every character who asks it is involved in trying to tear Django off the horse, because a black man on a horse is a threat to a strict racial hierarchy that even those who cannot afford a horse hold dear. It's a question that Tarantino might even assume his own audience members are asking, since the iconic American gunslinger is nearly always white. It's also a question that might well have been asked by the protagonists of America's classic Westerns, from Rooster Cogburn to Ethan Edwards to Josey Wales—all former Confederate soldiers who committed treason in defense of slavery.
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The lionization of the Lost Cause and the Confederacy runs like an inedible streak of gristle through the revenge Western genre, where those who fought to protect the rights of whites to own blacks as property are humanized while those who fought to preserve the Union are recalled as monsters. Blacks, if they appear, serve merely to bolster the lie that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. The trope of the wronged former Confederate is alive and well, whether excised from its historical context (Firefly) or hilariously rationalized for new audiences (Hell on Wheels).

Django kills white people like he's trying to make up for a century of on-screen genocide in Western films.Django is an inversion of the genre, where the loner seeking revenge is a former slave instead of a former Confederate; where the alien savages who stole his life from him are white, as is the sidekick with the nonexistent past: Tarantino hasn't simply flipped the notion of a Western hero, he's even given him an inverted Magical Negro sidekick in the character of King Shultz, a German abolitionist bounty hunter who appears out of the ether to free Django, and dies to facilitate his revenge—much as the death of Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) sets off Clint Eastwood’s character in Unforgiven. Except in Django, deserves has everything to do with it. Django kills white people like he's trying to make up for a century of on-screen genocide in Western films where black, Latino, and Native American antagonists are treated like disposable pocket litter. The only white man in Tarantino's Mississippi who survives meeting Django is played by Franco Nero, his Italian namesake.

If the box office take is any indication, Tarantino has not only accomplished all of this genre-busting, but has managed to do it while making white people enjoy watching what is essentially a two-hour-plus lecture on racism in American film, an extended f*ck you to DW Griffith and John Ford, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

The film has provoked the usual controversy over language, violence, and historical accuracy—this is Tarantino, after all, and vivid cinematic depictions of American slavery are so rare in film that Django takes on outsize importance. It is also one of the few films to convey how arbitrary, cruel and brutal slavery was—Kerry Washington, who plays Django's wife Brumhilda, told Vibe that she had initially thought the gothic metal masks seen on slaves throughout the film were Tarantino's invention. (They were not.) Tarantino himself is aware that he hasn't even come close to portraying the horrors of slavery, telling an audience, "As bad as some of the sh*t is in this film, a lot worse sh*t was going on. This is the nice version."

 The acclaimed director Spike Lee slammed the film as disrespectful to slavery without having seen it. Writer Ishmael Reed called it an "abomination" and suggested white people avoid producing fiction about slavery. Part of the reason for the controversy is that the film is peppered with the word "nigger" throughout. It's hard to take seriously most critics who complain that their ears are too delicate to stand the repetition of such words—I assume that what guys like the esteemed film critic Matt Drudge most object to is white people being portrayed as overtly racist in a world where the line between racism and not racism has been reduced to whether or not one uses certain naughty words.

More worthy of consideration is Jelani Cobb in the New Yorker accusing the director of "racial ventriloquism, a kind of camouflage that allows Tarantino to use the word without recrimination." But Tarantino's previous offerings make far riper targets: The racial ventriloquism charge is more fittingly applied to a white person who "gets away" with using the loathsome word by channeling it through a black character. In Django it is racist whites who spout the word most frequently, thus obliterating any racial alibi.

The film's greatest weakness, particularly given its topic of resistance, is its lack of interest in gender.Django, like many Tarantino films, also has been criticized as cartoonishly violent, but it is only so when Django is killing slave owners and overseers. The violence against slaves is always appropriately terrifying. This, if nothing else, puts Django in the running for Tarantino's best film, the first one in which he discovers violence as horror rather than just spectacle. When Shultz turns his head away from a slave being torn apart by dogs, Django explains to Calvin Candie—the plantation owner played by Leo DiCaprio—that Shultz just isn't used to Americans.

Django works best as film criticism; it certainly doesn't work as history. A key plot point, wherein Django and Shultz pretend to be a slave traders seeking a champion "Mandingo fighter" from Candie, is ahistorical—slave fights to the death were relatively rare because slaves were expensive. (Tarantino appears to have drawn the idea from the 1970s blaxploitation flick Mandingo.) As Cobb points out in his critique, were this our only exposure to slavery, we might assume that violent resistance among slaves was rare, never mind the history of blacks fighting alongside the Union (Django is set two years before the Civil War) and the many rebellions and escape attempts that occurred before the war.

Cobb asks, "Is this how Americans actually perceive slavery?" and answers sadly that, yes, the idea that most blacks quietly acquiesced to slavery is pervasive and may even be enhanced by Django, despite Brumhilda's attempts to escape on her own or the scene at the beginning of the film in which a group of slaves kill a trapped slaver. I generally agree with Cobb on this question, though he fails to identify a similar problem with Tarantino's 2009 ethnic revenge flick, Inglourious Basterds. Both films might leave the impression that that Jews and blacks could have ended their persecution if only they had been gangsta guerilla superheroes.

Django's greatest weakness, particularly given the topic of resistance, are its women characters. The director of Kill Bill should have been able to make Brumhilda more than a damsel in distress, particularly since Shoshanna, the main female protagonist in Basterds, not only engineers Hitler's death but defies both the Nazis and her own Jewish heritage by falling in love with a non-Jew.

Issues of gender were central to slavery—modern gynecology began with nonconsensual medical experiments on enslaved woman—but Tarantino's lingering hang-ups about masculinity remain a severe blind spot. We learn that the shuffling of Samuel Jackson's Stephen is an act, but I kept waiting to learn whether the same was true of Candie's slave concubine Sheba—the film never considers her perspective important enough to make it clear.

Casting Samuel Jackson as a superficially subservient house negro was an act of great cinematic irony.The flipside of Cobb's argument, of course, is that given our general ignorance about slave resistance, Django's audiences may be learning of it for the first time and be inspired to learn more. For Django to communicate the misperception that slaves did not resist would require some initial knowledge that they resisted more than the movie suggests—Cobb himself notes that few people seem aware of any slave resistance at all.

Perhaps most disturbing to Cobb is that the primary antagonist in the end is not Candie, but his self-serving house slave Stephen, Jackson's character. Cobb complains that "a white director holds an obsequious black slave up for ridicule," and in doing so is "disrespectful to the history of slavery." The image of white folks in movie theaters guffawing at souls being ground to dust under the foundations of American civilization leaves a bitter taste. Even if Stephen is monstrous, what right have they to judge him, let alone laugh?

Part of the joke, it seems, is that casting Jackson as a superficially subservient house negro was an act of great cinematic irony. As Jackson put it in a recent interview, "Fifteen years ago I could have played Django, now I can't. Now you (Tarantino) want me to play the most hated Negro in cinematic history." Stephen is not simply some live-action Uncle Ruckus; he is as openly defiant of Candie as his mask will allow. When he summons Candie into a parlor to reveal Django and Shultz' plot to free Brumhilda, he sips from a snifter of brandy and his Uncle Ben accent is gone. Later, we learn that even his limp is fake. Unlike the happy slaves of prior films, Stephen doesn't appear to have any personal love for Candie, but the owner facilitates some limited freedom for Stephen because without him, Candie cannot hold his racial caste system together. As Jackson describes it, Stephen is the plantation's "Dick Cheney," wearing the mask that grins and lies only because it affords him some measure of agency within a system meant to deny it. He's the twisted mirror image of Django, because while Stephen is smart and capable enough to subvert the system, he has instead chosen to benefit from it. This provides narrative symmetry for Tarantino, but it also raises a question that the director seems ill-prepared to handle. Stephen's internalizing of his master's crank scientific racism is easy enough to understand, but as Cobb points out, it isn't not funny.

Flawed as Django may be, it remains a deeply satisfying rebuke to racism in Western cinema.Flawed as Django may be, it remains a deeply satisfying rebuke to racism in Western cinema. Cobb writes that "a response to slavery—even a cowardly, dishonorable one like what we witness with Stephen—highlights the depravity of the institution." I couldn't agree more, and that's why I think Django is far superior to Basterds. Nazis are the original disposable foreign antagonists, whereas Django's enemies are a part of American history and of a type occasionally viewed as Western heroes. Basterds gives Jews a taste of revenge fantasy by "killin Nazeez," but it's uninterested in the system of global anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust. With Django, the institution is the villain. We are constantly reminded, visually and narratively, that it that it is slavery that twists hearts, shatters lives, and erases families.

Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for.


Offline sherelled

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #153 on: January 07, 2013, 07:45:31 am »
Quote
Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for.
The movie was worth seeing and what ever one walks away with, it stirred something inside. That said "Swing down sweet chariot stop and let "it" ride". I tend to quote George Clinton songs. He was a master at saying $#!!. :D

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #154 on: January 07, 2013, 09:03:25 am »
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh man, I'm (more or less) glad this movie didn't come out back when I was in high school.. I don't know if I'd be here today.. I know mad fights would have been started..   "Whatcha call me?"  Bapp!!   For whatever reason, when the plantation house blew up I saw my old high-school building in its place, lol..  ;D  (Yes, sometimes I'm that far gone..)

..Oscar nominations are in a few weeks, right?  They'd better recognize!

Side note 1:  Jamie for a (Supreme Power) Nighthawk movie!
Side note 2: Kudos for the Tupac/James Brown posthumous collaboration; if 'pac were alive I know he'd have wanted in on this movie..
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 08:17:41 am by Hypestyle »
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Offline Kristopher

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #155 on: January 07, 2013, 06:45:18 pm »
even more so....

must add to collection...

hey, hats-off to John Legend's - "Who Did That To You?" from the soundtrack...  powerful song.

What's really kool about the comic, is that it's the first draft of the movie. Basically, "Django Uncut".
For example, the dialogue in panels 2-4 is not in the movie:

Offline Battle

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #156 on: January 08, 2013, 09:55:11 am »
Damn... :)

The artwork on "Django"  is so nicely layed out.

Where'd you get your issue of "Django", Kristopher, from a comic shop or directly from the Hudlin Entertainment online store?

Offline Kristopher

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #157 on: January 08, 2013, 10:02:59 am »
Damn... :)

The artwork on "Django"  is so nicely layed out.

Where'd you get your issue of "Django", Kristopher, from a comic shop or directly from the Hudlin Entertainment online store?

I bought the digital copy from Comixology. I picked up a hardcopy from a local store.

Offline Battle

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #158 on: January 08, 2013, 10:08:28 am »
I bought the digital copy from Comixology. I picked up a hardcopy from a local store.






Hey, thanks! :)


Good!
I want to see if I could get a copy from Barnes & Noble or Books-A-million around my way.

Offline Michael Jewett

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #159 on: January 08, 2013, 02:06:29 pm »

  "Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for."
   

  ......Adam Serwer. From the Mother Jones article review.


  Hmmm?  "Abolitionist sidekick"?.

   That wasn't my take on this character. I felt that Schultz was motivated by more of a personal angle; not the most pressing social justice issue of that age. Did I just misread the character?


Offline Rockscissorspaper

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #160 on: January 08, 2013, 05:54:36 pm »
   Hmmm?  "Abolitionist sidekick"?.

   That wasn't my take on this character. I felt that Schultz was motivated by more of a personal angle; not the most pressing social justice issue of that age. Did I just misread the character?

Nah. Maybe if he'd lived, he would have become an actual abolitionist. He was just a bounty hunter who didn't like slavery.
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Offline Vic Vega

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #161 on: January 09, 2013, 08:06:55 am »

  "Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for."
   

  ......Adam Serwer. From the Mother Jones article review.


  Hmmm?  "Abolitionist sidekick"?.

   That wasn't my take on this character. I felt that Schultz was motivated by more of a personal angle; not the most pressing social justice issue of that age. Did I just misread the character?

Not at all.

Schultz hated slavery and thought it was evil, but it was a personal objection for him NOT a dogma.

He wasn't John Brown, killing slavers wherever he saw them. He helped Django because it advanced his interests to do so. He freed Django later because he was a decent man.

Had the slavers at the beginning of the movies just sold him Django he wouldn't have killed them and he would have left the other "poor devils" to thier fate. Since they got in his way he killed his attacker and let the slaves who he sympathised with kill the other one for him and escape.

If Schultz had been a gunslinging abolitionst, he and Django would have just stormed Candieland by night and taken Broomhilda in a hail of gun(and considering how scary good they both Schultz and Django were with guns they could have won that way).


Offline Michael Jewett

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #162 on: January 09, 2013, 08:37:11 am »

  Re: "Django Unchained" - the comic book

   Couple of things....

     1} Should there be a thread in another section about the book? Yes, the book and the film are related. But, they are different pieces of work. Is discussing the film and comic in the same thread making things a little too cluttered?

    2} The DC and Vertigo FB pages announced that Issue #1 is going back for a 2nd printing. Don't fret if you missed out.

  and 3} I just checked with my FLCS. Issue #2 has been pushed BACK. I'm told that won't be out until 2/13/13.


Offline Kristopher

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #163 on: January 09, 2013, 08:40:01 am »

  "Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for."
   

  ......Adam Serwer. From the Mother Jones article review.


  Hmmm?  "Abolitionist sidekick"?.

   That wasn't my take on this character. I felt that Schultz was motivated by more of a personal angle; not the most pressing social justice issue of that age. Did I just misread the character?

Not at all.

Schultz hated slavery and thought it was evil, but it was a personal objection for him NOT a dogma.

He wasn't John Brown, killing slavers wherever he saw them. He helped Django because it advanced his interests to do so. He freed Django later because he was a decent man.

Had the slavers at the beginning of the movies just sold him Django he wouldn't have killed them and he would have left the other "poor devils" to thier fate. Since they got in his way he killed his attacker and let the slaves who he sympathised with kill the other one for him and escape.

If Schultz had been a gunslinging abolitionst, he and Django would have just stormed Candieland by night and taken Broomhilda in a hail of gun(and considering how scary good they both Schultz and Django were with guns they could have won that way).

I agree...until the last part. They were good, but not THAT good. Way too many guns on Candieland, Schultz was even a little trepidant at Django's boldness when they were riding with Candie and his men to the Big House. No way they were sneaking in and out there, they didn't even know where Broomhilda was.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: DJANGO UNCHAINED
« Reply #164 on: January 09, 2013, 09:09:32 am »

  "Even Schultz, the abolitionist sidekick, tells Django that he's relieved that Django, being a slave, cannot refuse to help him. Tarantino is saying that no white person, no matter how good, can extract themselves from a system so pervasive. No one—no one—walks away from Django with the perception that slavery was anything but monstrous. Perhaps lovers of Westerns may even walk out understanding what some of their most memorable "heroes" were actually fighting for."
   

  ......Adam Serwer. From the Mother Jones article review.


  Hmmm?  "Abolitionist sidekick"?.

   That wasn't my take on this character. I felt that Schultz was motivated by more of a personal angle; not the most pressing social justice issue of that age. Did I just misread the character?

Not at all.

Schultz hated slavery and thought it was evil, but it was a personal objection for him NOT a dogma.

He wasn't John Brown, killing slavers wherever he saw them. He helped Django because it advanced his interests to do so. He freed Django later because he was a decent man.

Had the slavers at the beginning of the movies just sold him Django he wouldn't have killed them and he would have left the other "poor devils" to thier fate. Since they got in his way he killed his attacker and let the slaves who he sympathised with kill the other one for him and escape.

If Schultz had been a gunslinging abolitionst, he and Django would have just stormed Candieland by night and taken Broomhilda in a hail of gun(and considering how scary good they both Schultz and Django were with guns they could have won that way).

I agree...until the last part. They were good, but not THAT good. Way too many guns on Candieland, Schultz was even a little trepidant at Django's boldness when they were riding with Candie and his men to the Big House. No way they were sneaking in and out there, they didn't even know where Broomhilda was.

Good point.

They would have had to FIND Broomhilda before they could rescue her and Candieland is HUGE.

I was only looking at the fact that Django killed about 10 of those guys by himself in the drawing room standoff (I figured Schultz was nearly as good with a gun) and both Django and Schultz were for all intents and purposes expert snipers.

They would have wreaked bloody havoc on Candieland, but would have died without even finding Broomhilda (if she didn't get killed in the crossfire).

They really had no choice but to use the subterfuge that they ended up using.