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Thread: Django Unchained

  1. #1
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    Django Unchained

    I liked this movie a lot.

    First off, it isn't related at all to the original Django movie(s); it is only related due to the lead character's (Jamie Foxx) name only. Tarantino also borrowed tracks from old spaghetti westerns, including the original Django theme by Luis Bacalov, the Day of Anger theme by Riz Ortolani, and other work by Ennio Morricone, etc. He does this a lot in his movies, and I must say that QT has good musical tastes.

    I won't go into a full review, but only say that I rate a movie by how engrossed I became in it, and the percentage or bored time to interested time. I can't say that I was bored at any point in the film, but YMMV. As with all of QT's works, the big features are the long stretches of dialogue with the occasional sudden violence.

    All the actors did excellent work. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DeCaprio, etc. Even the original Django, Franco Nero, makes a very brief guest appearance. But IMO, the actor who stole the show was Samual L. Jackson.

    I don't necessarily like all of Tarantino's films, but this is one of those that I definitely put into the excellent category.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 12-30-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Haven't seen this yet...

    ...but I was wondering if if would elicit controversy.

    'Django Unchained' Debate Rages Among African-Americans: Is It Entertainment or Abomination?
    By Steve Pond

    Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" has become embroiled in the second major controversy of awards season. The director's liberal use of the N-word, and his temerity in tackling the issue of slavery, has drawn fire from some prominent African-Americans and impassioned defenses from others.

    Django UnchainedLike the turmoil stirred up by the depiction of CIA-sponsored torture in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," the "Django" fuss has been caused by a filmmaker tackling a hot-button issue – though Tarantino's use of slavery as the backdrop for a joke-filled, Spaghetti-Western-style revenge fantasy is light years removed from Bigelow's dead-serious depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

    But both films have drawn largely rave reviews, and both have been pilloried by those who object to their content.

    Spike Lee bashed it sight unseen. Antoine Fuqua defended it, also before seeing it. Louis Farrakhan said it was designed to prepare America for a race war. Samuel L. Jackson wouldn't be drawn into a discussion unless his (white) interviewer used the N-word.

    The movie has become both a flash point and a free-for-all, and the issue is particularly sensitive among African-American viewers – not a large audience for the film, but a key one for principals like Jamie Foxx, who plays the title role.

    "If this movie does what it does and black people hate it, that doesn't do nothing for me," Foxx said on BET. "Because I feel like the reason I exist is the black audience."

    Django UnchainedLee was one of the first to weigh in, saying that he would refuse to see the film out of respect for his ancestors.

    "Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a Holocaust," he wrote on Twitter.

    Others, including "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua and "Chappelle's Show" star Donnell Rawlings, immediately came to Tarantino's defense. Fuqua blasted Lee for making his criticisms public and added, "I don't think Quentin Tarantino has a racist bone in his body," while Rawlings told a TMZ video crew that Lee should tone down his complaints.

    "Let us live, man," he said. "We shootin' white people in this movie. The black dude leaves with his girl into the sunset. There can be no happier movie than that."

    He added, "It's a very entertaining movie. Spike Lee – yo, relax, man. It's only a **** movie."

    Then again, TMZ also caught up with comic Katt Williams, who threatened to punch Tarantino in the face over his use of the N-word. "Quentin Tarantino thinks he can say the N-word," said Williams. "But I checked with all of n-----dom and nobody knows where he got his pass from."

    African-American film critic Steven Boone also came to Tarantino's defense at indieWIRE, pitting the filmmaker against his accuser: "Both Spike and Quentin have a Sam Fuller tendency to go all-caps, tabloid large when staging bits of provocation that would be juicy all on their own.

    But let's just lay it on the table: Tarantino is the better filmmaker, by many miles ."

    "Tarantino has more interesting things on the 'Django' plate than the ugliness or savage beauty of the word n-----, but they all orbit around the global condition for which that word is merely a place card."

    Author and political correspondent Keli Goff, who participated in a roundtable discussion that touched on the film on BET's "Don't Sleep" show, concluded that Tarantino's use of the N-word was justified, given the circumstances he was depicting, but that its explicit violence directed at black characters was gratuitous.

    "[W]hy in 'Django Unchained' did Tarantino feel it was necessary to depict black men being pummeled and tortured in such graphic, gory, and yes, gratuitous ways?" she wrote at the Huffington Post. "Yes, slavery was brutal, but when films like 'Roots' depict a slave being maimed it is not done in a voyeuristic way that goes on for several minutes, and that film was not any less effective in conveying the institution's brutality."

    On The Root, writer Hillary Crosley said she was one of only about 10 African Americans who attended a screening of the film that was followed by a Q&A with Tarantino moderated by director Peter Bogdanovich.

    "[A] black woman interrupted their conversation, saying, 'A lot of black people are not going to like this movie. I'm about to have a heart attack,'" wrote Crosley. "Then a few audience members began to heckle Tarantino from the balcony, shouting: 'This is bulls---.'" Tarantino, she said, offered to speak to the hecklers later.

    Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington"Let's all agree up front that a film about a newly freed slave enacting revenge on those who abused him and his wife can seem problematic when the director is a white man," wrote Crosley, who said she hadn't been a fan of Tarantino's since his use of the N-word in "Pulp Fiction." "There is no way around this."

    But despite that, and despite scenes that she found difficult to watch, Crosley came down in favor of the film. "Taking the film at face value, without dipping too far into the visceral hurt of slavery, I enjoyed 'Django Unchained,'" she wrote.

    Ishmael Reed at Speakeasy sharply disagreed. He wrote that the movie “was the talk among blacks during two Christmas parties that I attended," comparing African-Americans to said they wanted to see "Django" to "When Time Ran Out: Coming of Age in the Third Reich" author Frederic Zeller, who said that as a child he applauded the Aryan characters in pre-World War II German cinema.

    "Django," he wrote, is an "abomination" that distorts history: "It’s a Tarantino home movie with all of the racist licks that appear in his other movies."

    Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, didn't agreed with the film's harshest critics when asked about "Django." He discerned a deeper motive in the film, which presents a former slave rising up and gunning down his and his wife's captors.

    Said Farrakhan in a video interview with Your Black World, “To me, the movie had a purpose. If a black man came out of that movie thinking like Django and white people came out of that movie seeing the slaughter of white people and they are armed to the teeth, it’s preparation for a race war …

    Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio“Do you think that they don’t think that if black folk had a chance to do what they had done to us… that is what the movie is saying, that one out of 10,000 will be like that and maybe more.”

    African-American critic Armond White, a noted contrarian, savaged both the movie ("a white hipster’s voyeuristic pleasure in black vengeance") and co-star Jackson, saying his role as the house slave who supports his racist, vicious boss (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the climax of "the profane, deceitful racial self-hatred that he has accustomed us to in his detestable roles for … Tarantino."

    Jackson would not doubt disagree, but you have to be careful how you approach him on the topic. When the actor was asked by a Houston television reporter to address the controversy over the film's use of the N-word, he refused to answer the question until the (white) reporter used the word himself.

    When reporter Jake Hamilton refused, Jackson laughed and declined to address the topic. "We're not going to have this conversation unless you try it," said Jackson. "You wanna move on to another question?"

    As for Tarantino, he has defended the film's violence by saying that slavery is much worse, and defended the language by saying it's appropriate to the time.

    "I do want to shake up the conversation," he told BET. "Here's the deal: I want the conversation to start."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
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    I thought people knew to expect to hear racial slurs in Tarantino's films.

    Oddly enough, I was browsing on another website where someone started a thread calling Jamie Foxx a racist 'for wanting to kill all the white people', misquoted from a line in Django Unchained. I was surprised at the number of (white) posters who vehemently agreed with that OP's assertion. Apparently it's a hot issue on both sides.

    I guess that, for myself, the cruelty and liberal use of the N-word really served to highlight just how horrible slavery was, even if only in a cinematic context. Many people today have become blasé about violence and the subject of slavery and man's inhumanity to man. IMO, the scenes of cruelty and torture against the slaves were MEANT to make people uncomfortable. Those particular scenes are NOT played for comedic or entertainment value.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 01-02-2013 at 07:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I thought people knew to expect to hear racial slurs in Tarantino's films.

    Oddly enough, I was browsing on another website where someone started a thread calling Jamie Foxx a racist 'for wanting to kill all the white people', misquoted from a line in Django Unchained. I was surprised at the number of (white) posters who vehemently agreed with that OP's assertion. Apparently it's a hot issue on both sides.

    I guess that, for myself, the cruelty and liberal use of the N-word really served to highlight just how horrible slavery was, even if only in a cinematic context. Many people today have become blasé about violence and the subject of slavery and man's inhumanity to man. IMO, the scenes of cruelty and torture against the slaves were MEANT to make people uncomfortable. Those particular scenes are NOT played for comedic or entertainment value.
    I haven't seen the film yet, but I look at it like a grittier version of Blazing Saddles (apparently I'm not the only one.). If you've seen that golden oldie, it shouldn't be hard to pick out the basic similarities. It's hell having to watch it on cable because the networks bleep out all of the slurs. They were put there for a reason, just like, as you pointed out, they were in Django Unchained.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    All the actors did excellent work. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DeCaprio, etc. Even the original Django, Franco Nero, makes a very brief guest appearance. But IMO, the actor who stole the show was Samual L. Jackson.
    .
    I agree with that! And who knew a black guy wrote "the Three Musketeers"? They've made dozens of cartoons, movies and action figures based on that series. Who'd've thunk it, lol? Not that it makes any difference. Its just surprising. And I don't know where I stand on the Q Tarantino "N" word controversy. I mean "the Confederate States of America" was probably even a more racist film. If it was just Q's use of the word in "Django", I don't know that there'd be one. And the fact that a black guy was buggered in "Pulp Fiction" could sure lead to accusations of racism by black conspiracy theorists since how often is a character buggered in a film period? Extremely rare. But a buddy at work told me Q Tarantino was raised in a crazy living situation, so I can understand why his work's so extreme. I don't think he's necessarily any more racist than the next guy, but just like Steven King, I'd think something's definitely wrong with him, lol...
    I was on the metro earlier, deep in meditation, when a ruffian came over and started causing trouble. He started pushing me with his bag, steadily increasing the force until it became very annoying. When I turned to him, before I could ask him to stop, he immediately started hurling abuse like a scoundrel. I performed a basic chin na - carotid artery strike combination and sent him to sleep. The rest of my journey was very peaceful, and passersby hailed me as a hero - Warrior Man

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    ...but I was wondering if if would elicit controversy.
    I realize people get their history from movies as opposed to "history books" (what's that, they say?) and that is their fault.
    Am I to imagine that masters curtsied to their slaves to get work done during slavery and segration? I think not, and besides the 'N" word was a cornerstone of US misguided history. And plantations were not called Disneyland for black people!

    Be for real, people
    "[W]hy in 'Django Unchained' did Tarantino feel it was necessary to depict black men being pummeled and tortured in such graphic, gory, and yes, gratuitous ways?" she wrote at the Huffington Post. "Yes, slavery was brutal, but when films like 'Roots' depict a slave being maimed it is not done in a voyeuristic way that goes on for several minutes, and that film was not any less effective in conveying the institution's brutality."
    Why do we think it was called slavery?

  7. #7
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    Django seems to be a film for black people that is similar to how inglorious basterds was a film for Jewish people.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Django seems to be a film for black people that is similar to how inglorious basterds was a film for Jewish people.
    And Kill Bill was for international assassins who are named after poisonous snakes, people who like to kill mass groups of yakuza while wearing a yellow onesy, and bigots who hate people named Bill!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawali View Post
    Be for real, people Why do we think it was called slavery?
    Yeah, that chick from the Huffington Post is stupid. Roots was not just as effective. Visitors from other countries like the character Christoph Waltz played
    probably threw up, had nightmares and maybe even some form of PTSD after seeing real slavery. I mean really, it could only make you blood thirsty and make you want to get in on the violence; or disgust you, make you vomit and have nightmares? Roots didn't give me any of that, and though I could understand some of what went on in slavery, Roots didn't get into half of the worst practices that were carried on.
    I was on the metro earlier, deep in meditation, when a ruffian came over and started causing trouble. He started pushing me with his bag, steadily increasing the force until it became very annoying. When I turned to him, before I could ask him to stop, he immediately started hurling abuse like a scoundrel. I performed a basic chin na - carotid artery strike combination and sent him to sleep. The rest of my journey was very peaceful, and passersby hailed me as a hero - Warrior Man

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Django seems to be a film for black people that is similar to how inglorious basterds was a film for Jewish people.
    I don't know, when I saw it downtown on Saturday, the theater was packed with mostly White people. Blacks were only maybe 20%. That being said, I think those people were fans of Tarantino movies, not slavery movies.
    I was on the metro earlier, deep in meditation, when a ruffian came over and started causing trouble. He started pushing me with his bag, steadily increasing the force until it became very annoying. When I turned to him, before I could ask him to stop, he immediately started hurling abuse like a scoundrel. I performed a basic chin na - carotid artery strike combination and sent him to sleep. The rest of my journey was very peaceful, and passersby hailed me as a hero - Warrior Man

  11. #11
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    i need 100 black coffins

    finally saw this last night, and i loved it. ill keep it breath, but ill say this all this issue around slavery and the n word in this film is stupid..it doesnt trivialize slavery, but slavery is not the central theme of the story, the story is about a former slave who will stop at nothing to get his wife back. set against the backdrop of slavery.

    it was just a bad ass western or southern, loved it.

  12. #12
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    Oscar noms

    2013 Oscar Nominees
    Lincoln leads with 12. Life of Pi = 11.

    Django noms:
    Best Picture
    Christoph Waltz for Supporting
    Robert Richardson for Cinematography
    Wylie Stateman for Sound Editing
    QT for writing (original screenplay).

    Those are some decent nods.
    Gene Ching
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    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    2013 Oscar Nominees
    Lincoln leads with 12. Life of Pi = 11.

    Django noms:
    Best Picture
    Christoph Waltz for Supporting
    Robert Richardson for Cinematography
    Wylie Stateman for Sound Editing
    QT for writing (original screenplay).

    Those are some decent nods.
    no nod for jamie thou, which doesnt matter since daniel day lewis is gonna win for lincoln, so not even worth it. also no best director for qt. i hope bob richardson gets another oscar, he is my favorite dop in the game today.

  14. #14
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    Surprises at the Golden Globes

    I only caught Adele's win, which I totally predicted.
    Golden Globes 2013: ‘Argo’ and ‘Django Unchained’ Surge Ahead
    January 14, 2013
    By Christine Spines

    Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony played out like an alternate reality Comi-Con, where masters of the universe mingled among themselves, complimenting each other on their ingenuity, passion, and commitment to pop culture’s cause. Only at the Globes, those titans and demi-gods weren’t sporting threadbare homemade costumes and papier mache masks — they came decked out as the extreme fantasy version of … themselves. This display of power and influence crystallized the moment Bill Clinton glided onto the stage to deliver his implied endorsement of “Lincoln,” meant to reinforce the prevailing assumption that Steven Spielberg’s granular look at presidential politics will need a flatbed truck to haul away its trophies.

    But power dynamics did not play out as planned at Hollywood’s annual pre-Oscar prom. There’s an argument to be made that merit trumped might last night, filling the Golden Globes’ winner’s circle with more long-shot contenders than establishment favorites. The first big surprise of the evening came when Christoph Waltz scored the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting role over his “Django Unchained” confrere, Leonardo DiCaprio, whose flashy role as an effete sadistic plantation owner had been touted as his best work since “The Departed.” The Hollywood Foreign Press, which oversees the Globes, has always taken them upon themselves to reward the superstars whose work often goes overlooked by Oscar, which is why no one expected DiCaprio to go home empty-handed.

    Then came Quentin Tarantino’s Best Screenplay win, which had the whole Beverly Hilton ballroom doing double takes. Even the notoriously humility-challenged “Django Unchained” writer-director seemed caught off-guard when his name was called instead of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner, whose refined script for “Lincoln” had long made him the pacesetter in that race. After muscling his way to the stage, Tarantino winged it through a rambling speech before ending a solipsistic digression about his “process” saying, “This is a **** surprise and I like surprises.”

    The midsection of the show played out pretty much according to what Vegas oddsmakers had predicted. Jennifer Lawrence was widely expected to claim the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy for her feisty and fearless role in “Silver Linings Playbook” as an unbalanced widow who uses promiscuity to shield her intense vulnerability. It was a spellbinding performance that stood little chance of falling prey to a late-breaking surge by one of her august competitors – two Dames (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith) and default winner, Meryl Streep.

    The other acting categories also stuck to the script laid out by the the growing cadre of awards Nostradamuses (Nostradami?). Anne Hathaway floated up to the stage, oozing gamine charm and looking like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn as she accepted the Best Supporting Actress award for her anguished rendition of Les Miserables’ besieged street urchin, Fantine. Likewise, pulse-racing thrills went missing when Hathaway’s “Les Miz” colleague Hugh Jackman won Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical and when Daniel Day-Lewis uttered his stentorian thanks for the Best Actor in a Drama trophy. And Jessica Chastain has had a dramatic acting award in the bag since critics began polishing their celebratory odes to her acting versatility and virtuosity in “Zero Dark Thirty.” The only big disappointment here is that Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” didn’t receive its due props for a film that amounted to a master-class in modern movie acting.

    The Hollywood Foreign Press saved the big bombshell revelation for the end. And we’re not just talking about Jodie Foster’s genuinely moving speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, unveiling one of her most intimate truths about growing up famous, her desire for privacy around her sexual identity (which she insists has never been a secret among friends and family), and what it’s like to step into the next unknown phase of her career.

    The night’s big reveal arrived just on cue as the winner of night’s biggest award was announced. Bill Clinton doesn’t just show up at any cheesy awards show to throw his weight behind a film unless it seems as destined to win as he was back in ’94. So when “Argo” swooped in and snatched the trophy right from Lincoln’s bony grasp, twitter exploded in a display of shocked and bewildered awards junkies. “Lincoln” had it in the bag. Steven Spielberg is the godfather and kissing the ring – in the form of awards love – has become a time-honored tradition. How could this happen?

    As we mentioned in last week’s Oscar nominations post, this topsy-turvy year has laid the groundwork for major upset. We previously predicted “Silver Linings Playbook” stood the best chance of unseating “Lincoln.” But now it looks like “Argo” has re-entered the fray, making this an exciting three-way race.

    What are your thoughts on how the Globes may or may not have expected the Academy’s voting? Which dark horse contender would you most like to see stage a last-minute surge? Which snubs and losses irked you most?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    I watched it the other night online (you can see it here). I really liked it. I agree with everyone that the hubbub over the slavery issue and the use of the N word was stupid.

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