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Django Unchained - Post-Release - Page 10

post #451 of 978

Saw this a couple of days ago. I'm still digesting it but damn what a blast it was. It's just so rich visually, every scene and shot is a joy to behold. At this point of his career I'm arguing that he is the

greatest director alive. I don't get this kind of feeling of pure cinematic joy from any other director.

 

And what a cast. I've allways had some trouble buying Foxx as a tough guy but he is really solid (spaghetti)western hero here. DiCaprio makes a delicious villain and Waltz again is magnificent. But

the biggest surprise to me was Samuel L. Jackson, he really is on fire here. I haven't seen him this engaged in years. " Jesus let me kill this nigger ! "

 

There were a couple of problems but I don't think they are going to bother me that much the next time I watch this. The film loses too much steam after Waltz and DiCaprio exit, and one climactic shoot out would have been better than two. Other thing is that Don Johnson posse stuff. We get this beautiful shot of riders with torches and then they raid the wagon, and then mid action it cuts to the bag scene. At this point the editing felt really off, I honestly thought that my theatre had messed up something and the scenes were in wrong order. The bag scene itself was really funny though, I rarely laugh out loud in movies but this time I did.

 

So anyway, great film. Tarantino has once again made a film only he could have made.

post #452 of 978

I celebrated MLK Day/Inauguration Day by catching Django at a matinee. After perusing this thread I've not much to add (loved the film, the cast QT), except.....

 

Stephen is the villain of the piece, not Candie. Partly this is due to Samuel L Jackson coming and and damn near hijacking the whole film (it reminded me of how Leonard Rossiter successfully did the same thing in Barry Lyndon. But he only had Ryan O'Neal and Maris Bersenson to contend with: Jackson is up against some high caliber talent here), and partly the way the part was written.

 

Stephen is a slave, but he's got the drive and intellect (he's the proverbial "1 in a 1,000 Nword") to run the plantation, but nonetheless he's considered less of a human than his Jackass owner Candie. Who he helped raise. The amount of conscious and unconscious loathing and self loathing, and the moral perversion in Stephan's character, make him one of the most interesting and complex characters I've seen in a film. It puts lie to the opinion I hear and read sometimes that film cannot equal the written word as an art form.

 

It also explains why he hates Django so much, and also why he manipulates Sister Candie (heh) into sending him off to work in a mine. Because to hang him, set dogs on him etc would be to recognize him, in sense, as a man, an individual who must be put down. Sending him to the mines is a way to "reaffirm" Django as a piece of property, a commodity to be traded.

 

I'm a bit surprised that Jamie Foxx isn't getting more praise here. He doesn't have the flashy monologues that DeCaprio and Waltz have, nor the opportunity to chew scenery the way Jackson does, but he's great at showing the arc of Django from defiant slave to fully self confident and self actualized human being. I could easily watch a trilogy with this character in it. Maybe QT can take a leaf from the Tintin production and hand off the sequel to a Guy Ritchie or a lesser known but interesting up and comer.

 

I will confess the way Schultz goes out didn't register well at all with me at first. Thinking about it on the walk home, and reading some of QT's comments, led me to "get" it. It doesn't satisfy me on a gut level (it just seems contrived, even though there is ample build up to it). On an intellectual level, I see how Schultz is a control freak who has a strong sense of justice (he only kills bad guys, "the badder they are, the bigger the bounty"), I see how he's affected by being in the "heart of darkness" of slavery (it's quite plausible he never encountered the Plantation society before this), how seeing the slave murdered by dogs (and for me watching that man beg for his life was the most uncomfortable part of that film), then having to listen to Candie pontificate on the supposed differences between whites and blacks (a fun book to read on the topic of Phrenology and Racism is The Mismeasure of Man), the pure evil, stupidity and hypocrisy embodied by Candie and Stephen, cause an almost psychotic break.

 

Oh and I may have missed it, but did no one in this thread wait till the end credits rolled by to catch the "secret scene". It was very brief but gave me a good laugh and a good buzz leaving the theater.

post #453 of 978

I could've accepted Schultz's decision if not for the fact that it should've been sentencing Django and Hilde to death as well. If Django hadn't been a superhero in disguise, Schulz would've been killing his only friend and the personification of his favorite cultural legend.

 

Schultz didn't shoot Candie because he watched a slave get torn apart; he killed him because there was no way Tarantino was going to let that scene end without a gunfight.

 

Great character, superb portrayal, and a terribly written ending.

post #454 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post


Schultz didn't shoot Candie because he watched a slave get torn apart; he killed him because there was no way Tarantino was going to let that scene end without a gunfight.

 

Great character, superb portrayal, and a terribly written ending.

 

 

If you mean Schultz's ending, yeah as you can tell from my previous post, I don't really think it works, but I get why QT did it the way he did.

 

Me, I'd have extended the Library scene and have Stephen convince Candie that Django is too dangerous to live: that an "Uppity Black" would be a subversive influence on the Plantation, and also that Django would make a good Mandingo Fighter himself, and who would argue that he was a Freedman and shouldn't be in chains. They would have contrived a way to kill Schultz, Django would have blown a few lackey's and Candie away, then Stephen would have sent Django off to the mines as per my reasoning above.

 

That would have kept the integrity of the story, and also highlighted even further the Racism and hypocrisy of the South. But that's the movie in my head, not the one Tarantino made.

post #455 of 978

Just got back from a showing. I wanted to see it in with a rowdy Black audience. Instead, I could only get tix for a theater in an ultra-hipster White neighborhood that also serves food and drink. So aside from the largely silent crowd, there were waiters and waitresses walking back and forth in front of the screen.

 

That said, I liked it but I didn't love it. While I think Foxx did an amazing job, and had some bad ass moments, the film quite frankly was about Waltz's character. He by far stole the show and the movie kinda halts after his exit. Jackson, DiCaprio and Washington all held their own. But in the end, th efilm is about Django and while I was rooting for him the whole time, I didn't feel connected to his plight the way I did Shoshanna's in Basterds. So unfortunately, I wasn't emotionally invested in the outcome.

 

I need to digest this a bit more, and I think I'll warm up to this a bit more over time. But right now, its not top Taratino for me.
 

post #456 of 978

Watching any film with Hipsters will skew your appreciation of any film. Hipster are so bad.

 

It's easy to overlook (relatively speaking) Foxx in this, because Walzm and DiCaprio get some really juicy dialogue, and Sam Jackson gets some Samuel L Jackson. But Foxx really delivers a great performance. Compare this film to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, where Eastwood is paired up with Eli Wallach. Wallach gets all the scenery chewing, while Eastwood serves as the center of "cool" gravity in that film. Foxx operates in exactly the same way (for me) in Django.

post #457 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

Just got back from a showing. I wanted to see it in with a rowdy Black audience. Instead, I could only get tix for a theater in an ultra-hipster White neighborhood that also serves food and drink. So aside from the largely silent crowd, there were waiters and waitresses walking back and forth in front of the screen.

 

Jee-zus.  Which theater is it?  The Nitehawk?  I'd rather sit at home and stare at the wall.  At least I'll have an uninterrupted view.

post #458 of 978

Seriously, what the helll were those waitresses serving? 40 oz popcorns and soda?

post #459 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post

I could've accepted Schultz's decision if not for the fact that it should've been sentencing Django and Hilde to death as well. If Django hadn't been a superhero in disguise, Schulz would've been killing his only friend and the personification of his favorite cultural legend.

 

I thought the fact that Schultz's decision was completely irrational was the point.  This is why his last words were an apology to Django.  He snapped.

 

I agree with the interpretation that as learned as Schultz was he had not seen the type of thing that went down at Candyland up close and personal before, and he proved to not have the stomach for it.  The movie even makes a moment out of Schultz noticing Django's whipped back in their first scene with a kind of horror.

 

I agree that the ensuing gunfight felt really forced, but it's not like it was a necessary extension of the demise of Schultz and Candie.  Indeed, the script simply had Django captured after Schultz is blown apart.

post #460 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Phibes View Post

Jee-zus.  Which theater is it?  The Nitehawk?  I'd rather sit at home and stare at the wall.  At least I'll have an uninterrupted view.

Nitehawk is great. Don't be hatin.
post #461 of 978

Had I been watching some fluff movie like Avengers, it'd be one thing. But I've been dying to see Django and wanted to pay attention, and everyone else was more interested in their tater tots.
 

post #462 of 978

Loved it. Loved it. It took me a while to really appreciate Basterds but this floored me.

 

I want to share a conversation I had with a friend of mine. I asked him what he thought of Jackson and he said Stephen made him feel very uncomfortable and hated watching the character. I confessed that as soon as Jackson shouted "Yeah, yeah, hello my ass. Who dis n****r on that nag!?" I burst out laughing. He couldn't believe I found the character funny and said I disappointed him.

 

Was Stephen's introduction is supposed to be humorous, as I thought? It's immediately clear in the film that It's all an act on his part, does that excuse me laughing?

 

I suddenly had this personal crisis over this.

post #463 of 978

It's all an act? Explain, please.
 

It's my opinion that Stephen is the real villain in the film. For all intents and purposes, it is Stephen who runs the plantation. Stephen having raised Candie, is in charge. Candie listens to him; depends on him to handle the staff. It's fitting, then, that Django's big revenge is against Stephen, not Candie.

post #464 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post

I could've accepted Schultz's decision if not for the fact that it should've been sentencing Django and Hilde to death as well. If Django hadn't been a superhero in disguise, Schulz would've been killing his only friend and the personification of his favorite cultural legend.

 

Schultz didn't shoot Candie because he watched a slave get torn apart; he killed him because there was no way Tarantino was going to let that scene end without a gunfight.

 

 

I still haven't seen the movie yet, but in the script the scene did end without a gunfight. Schultz is shot dead, and the next scene is of Django hanging upside down.

post #465 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3cii View Post

 

I still haven't seen the movie yet, but in the script the scene did end without a gunfight. Schultz is shot dead, and the next scene is of Django hanging upside down.

 

That makes more sense.

post #466 of 978

A lot more sense, since the gunfight/escape/second gunfight progression feels so spotty to me.

post #467 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

It's all an act? Explain, please.
 

 

By that I meant, Stephen is a cold and calculating man and the "Who that n*****r on that nag?" and the "I miss you like a baby misses mammy titty" was a show.

 

I took it that it was a "character" and that when he dropped his cane at the end that was him dropping that charade.

post #468 of 978

That's clearly the case. It's obviously a point in the movie that both Django and Stephen are putting on some kind of charade. Django is pretending to hate blacks and slaves to make himself interesting to Candie. And Stephen is playing the part of the foolish old house slave so he can secretly run the show. The difference is that Stephen actually likes slavery because he's found a way to work it to his personal advantage. He also genuinely cares for Candie. I don't think we're supposed to believe he's "acting" when Candie gets shot. We're intentionally show genuine emotion from him. Part of that might come from the fact that his whole way of life has just changed in an instant, but I think there's more to it than that. Both him and Django morn for their masters in touching, genuine ways (albeit differently). It's one of the most interesting aspects of the movie, and I say this as someone who's lukewarm about it. 

post #469 of 978

About the gunfight, capture, release gunfight structure thing; the interview with the editor Fred Raskin I posted on the last page gets into reasons why the first gunfight was added. Tarantino and Raskin both felt that after loosing Waltz and DiCaprio, the movie needed some momentum. They didn't think they could go from losing two pivotal performances to Django getting captured and added the gunfight in response. 

post #470 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Pants View Post

Loved it. Loved it. It took me a while to really appreciate Basterds but this floored me.

 

I want to share a conversation I had with a friend of mine. I asked him what he thought of Jackson and he said Stephen made him feel very uncomfortable and hated watching the character. I confessed that as soon as Jackson shouted "Yeah, yeah, hello my ass. Who dis n****r on that nag!?" I burst out laughing. He couldn't believe I found the character funny and said I disappointed him.

 

Was Stephen's introduction is supposed to be humorous, as I thought? It's immediately clear in the film that It's all an act on his part, does that excuse me laughing?

 

I suddenly had this personal crisis over this.

 

Oh I found Stephen's act to be hilarious, it's like a caricature of a caricature.

post #471 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

About the gunfight, capture, release gunfight structure thing; the interview with the editor Fred Raskin I posted on the last page gets into reasons why the first gunfight was added. Tarantino and Raskin both felt that after loosing Waltz and DiCaprio, the movie needed some momentum. They didn't think they could go from losing two pivotal performances to Django getting captured and added the gunfight in response. 

 

They have a point that the movie needed some sort of action there as opposed to a hard cut to Django hanging, but choosing to make it a gunfight, and essentially splitting Django's big moment in two was a misstep.

post #472 of 978

I love the first gunfight, and think its a lot more exciting than the finale, which is much more an execution than a fight.

post #473 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

 

I thought the fact that Schultz's decision was completely irrational was the point.  This is why his last words were an apology to Django.  He snapped.


Oh, I got how the film tried to justify it, I just didn't buy it. He's a guy who the film has shown to be a plotter. He repeatedly accepts the nastiness of others and talks his way out of bad situations so he can utilize better ones. Him snapping and basically giving up his life and those of the two people he was trying to save was a reversal that completely undercut the character for me.

 

It just felt like one of those times where the plot drove the character. Tarantino -needed- more gunplay before the end, so Schultz had to shoot Candie.

 

Making it even worse was that the film starts drifting once Schultz is gone. Much like the ending of Kill Bill, Django feels at least 20 minutes too long, and is a much better movie before the ending. The gunfight, capture, escape, return sequence seemed almost like a mediocre sequel they crammed in at the end for kicks.

post #474 of 978

I ultimately have to agree that I don't love the nature of Schultz's exit. Waltz acts the fuck out of that scene, and I emotionally like him have at least some semblance of a victory, but if DiCaprio had just had him shot, it would have really fueled the last half hour and had us screaming for blood. 

 

I think it will play better in the future for me, knowing that it's coming though.

post #475 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr Majestyk View Post

Other thing is that Don Johnson posse stuff. We get this beautiful shot of riders with torches and then they raid the wagon, and then mid action it cuts to the bag scene. At this point the editing felt really off, I honestly thought that my theatre had messed up something and the scenes were in wrong order. The bag scene itself was really funny though, I rarely laugh out loud in movies but this time I did.

 

 

The editing is jarring at first but it's edited to heighten the humor (which it does).  We see the posse riding in on them and it looks intimidating.  We cut to the scene on the other side of the hill and realize that first of all these people are idiots, and second of all they can't see very well (which explains why they so easily fall for the trap).  Lastly it gives us distance from seeing the dynamite stuffed into the tooth so that the explosion payoff is that much more satisfying.

post #476 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

 

They have a point that the movie needed some sort of action there as opposed to a hard cut to Django hanging, but choosing to make it a gunfight, and essentially splitting Django's big moment in two was a misstep.


I agree that it was a misstep. They could have cut from the Schultz/Candie homicides to Django being captured and hung upside down. That would have been a natural progression of the story, and wouldn't have slowed the momentum down more than in other similar movies  (Hero's Journey peoples!) Then make his escape and return a combination of both gunfights and you would have had a very satisfying climax.

post #477 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

I ultimately have to agree that I don't love the nature of Schultz's exit. Waltz acts the fuck out of that scene, and I emotionally like him have at least some semblance of a victory, but if DiCaprio had just had him shot, it would have really fueled the last half hour and had us screaming for blood. 

 

 

It only works if you can accept that Schultz has had a pyschotic break. I couldn't buy into it all on an emotional level. On an intellectual level, I can see what Tarantino was aiming for (I think): Schultz is an idealist,  a bullshitter, and a Sociopath at best. His crimes are on a micro level; he rationalizes them by saying to himself "Hey I'm killing the worst of the worst here!". Seeing the worst of Slavery in action, and hearing Candie's "justification" of it, Schultz is 1) offended on a deep level by the inhumanity at work but 2) had to see more than a faint reflection of himself in Candie's stupidity. And for a rampaging Egoist that second realization would be deadly.

 

Either that, or Schultz is the worst example of White Guilt ever.

post #478 of 978

"A sociopath at best?"   

 

Yeah, that's not even remotely accurate.

post #479 of 978

I really liked it, but I think it pales compared to Basterds. More than any other QT film, it felt like a lot of crucial footage was cut from it. The structure made it seem like 1 and 1/2 films, with the first hour serving as prequel to the 90 minutes that followed. I agree with others about the strange structure of the 3rd act as well.

 

Of course, this was still easily one of the best films of the year, merely wonderful instead of a masterpiece.

post #480 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

"A sociopath at best?"   

 

Yeah, that's not even remotely accurate.

 

Murdering people (including a Father in front his son) isn't considered the act of a Sociopath at best?

post #481 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post


Nitehawk is great. Don't be hatin.

 

Fuck that bullshit, two times over.  I go to the movies to watch a movie, not to order food or look at the backs of waiters.

Thanks for the warning, Diva.  I was suspicious of that place.  Now, I'll never give them my business.  Next time you want a noisy black crowd, go to Times Square on a Saturday night.

post #482 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

 

They have a point that the movie needed some sort of action there as opposed to a hard cut to Django hanging, but choosing to make it a gunfight, and essentially splitting Django's big moment in two was a misstep.

I don't disagree, but mostly I think the finale is far too cartoonish for the subject matter and unsatisfying either way. If Tarantino stuck the landing, I might not mind the wonky structure. 

post #483 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

 

Murdering people (including a Father in front his son) isn't considered the act of a Sociopath at best?

 

Not really. The phrase sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, frankly. The word "sociopath" gets tossed around far too loosely in general, but it definitely doesn't apply to Waltz's character.

post #484 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

I love the first gunfight, and think its a lot more exciting than the finale, which is much more an execution than a fight.

 

Also, we've already seen this moment before in Kill Bill Vol 1.  "Except for you, Sofie!  You stay right where you are."  The deja-vu undercut my enjoyment of what should have been a completely rousing finale.

post #485 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Pants View Post

Loved it. Loved it. It took me a while to really appreciate Basterds but this floored me.

 

I want to share a conversation I had with a friend of mine. I asked him what he thought of Jackson and he said Stephen made him feel very uncomfortable and hated watching the character. I confessed that as soon as Jackson shouted "Yeah, yeah, hello my ass. Who dis n****r on that nag!?" I burst out laughing. He couldn't believe I found the character funny and said I disappointed him.

 

Was Stephen's introduction is supposed to be humorous, as I thought? It's immediately clear in the film that It's all an act on his part, does that excuse me laughing?

 

I suddenly had this personal crisis over this.

 



It is funny. The humour comes from the contrast, I believe. Up to this point in the film we have witnessed all sorts of horrors. And then we are introduced to this character, who must be a slave too since he is black, but who talks just like the white racists have been talking through the film. It's so crazy that you just can't help but laugh.

 

About Stephen being the main villain, I didn't see it that way. He was the brains of Candyland but it was still Calvin who had the final say in things. Calvin was a frenologist, so those three dimples

would prevent Stephen ever being his equal, much less superior. Anyway, that was my take on it.

post #486 of 978

Well its pretty shitty, then, that the supposed protagonist of the film - Django - doesn't get to kill the main villain.
 

post #487 of 978

Stephen is totally the main villain. 

But I will say that as a protagonist, Django is pretty lacking. He's one of the least complex characters in the movie, which is a problem. 

post #488 of 978

Here's a link to a review Patrick Ripoll posted on Facebook. I didn't have time to read the whole thing yet, but it seems like a great discussion piece. A snippet:

 

Quote:

Django Unchained is less a movie about slavery as it is a movie about racism itself. And I’m not just talking within the historical context of the 19th century, but the very real and pervasive racism that exists and thrives today, nearly unchanged a century and a half later. Slavery is, bravely, not the point of this story of a slave.

This becomes instantly obvious early on in the film with the reactions to Django riding on a horse, or drinking in a bar, and the sudden and incredible horror of every ‘normal’ person around them. The knee jerk reaction isn’t based on slavery, but on a fundamental belief in a system of racial inequality that runs deep: from the phrenology that Candie spouts to the multiple acts of trade of human beings like chattel. It’s not about slavery, because we all can agree that slavery is bad. That would be a pretty unimpressive movie. Instead, it’s about racism itself, and the dehumanization that comes along with it. More importantly, it makes these concepts immediate and impossible to ignore, bringing them out of the past and grounding them through constant connections drawn to modern life.

 

<snip>


Waltz is dripping charisma, so it’s hard to dislike him, but it becomes increasingly apparent as the movie wears on that he’s as guilty as Calvin Candie and anyone else of the pervasive racism, just expressed in a more insidious, pitying sort of way. He originally helps Django out of a dim sense of amusement and pride; a condescending paternalistic ‘look at the slave I rescued, how determined he is’ sort of thing that speaks to a long tradition of white savior complexes. It’s not even that he realizes he’s doing it, it’s just so much a part of the culture that it seeps into his actions and words without him noticing."
 

post #489 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post



But I will say that as a protagonist, Django is pretty lacking. He's one of the least complex characters in the movie, which is a problem

 

 

See I don't get this at all. Sure the character of Django doesn't get a big monologue and his backstory is pretty simple: but that is in line with a million other protagonists in Westerns, Cop films etc.

 

Django goes from being a fucking slave who nonetheless has a certain self-confidence, someone who espies a life changing opportunity when Schultz shows up, to a totally cool, intelligent, witty and competent man. In a society which doesn't believe he can exist! Not complex, but to me at least a pretty compelling arc for that character.

 

Again I compare Django and Schultz to The Man With No Name and Tuco from GB&U. One character has the flash and the noise, the other has the gravity.

 

The difference is, Django has to learn from Schultz the basics of shooting, riding a horse, how business is conducted etc (things he would not have had the chance to learn as a slave). He also learns by observing Waltz and how he operates. The two start out as master and pupil: over time they become equals: I think a lot of people are so dazzled by how Schultz (and Candie) is (are) written and played that they discount some excellent work by Jamie Foxx.

 

I think people will come to realize how strong the character of Django is on re-watching the film.

post #490 of 978

I saw Schultz as less of a "white savior" than a "magical honky".  He's the one good white guy in a movie full of bad white guys, so the filmmakers can say "See? We don't hate white people."  He helps out the black hero and is generally awesome.  But he never gets laid (or has any discernible sexual desires) and dies before the end of the movie, leaving the black hero to ride off with his woman at the end.

 

I kid a little.  But it did strike me that he's that old movie cliche standing on its head.

post #491 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Phibes View Post

I saw Schultz as less of a "white savior" than a "magical honky".  He's the one good white guy in a movie full of bad white guys, so the filmmakers can say "See? We don't hate white people."  He helps out the black hero and is generally awesome.  But he never gets laid (or has any discernible sexual desires) and dies before the end of the movie, leaving the black hero to ride off with his woman at the end.

 

I kid a little.  But it did strike me that he's that old movie cliche standing on its head.

 

 

Good point, and by "Filmmakers" you mean Tarantino of course. Wish Fulfillment!

post #492 of 978

I can buy Waltz's attitude due to his being a foreigner. If his character were American, he would be more of the cliche "white knight" of the movie, but him not being American makes him a little more believable. I look at him a little bit like James Coburn's character in Duck You Sucker, an expatriate with a murky past who views the social system of the country he's in with a detached condescension. Coburn is caught up in the Mexican Revolution, but you don't truly believe he buys into it until his relationship with Rod Steiger blossoms. Steiger is also a cynic, not interested in grand ideas or revolutions, but after the violence hits him personally he becomes energized, and therefore Coburn gets energized with him. This is a bit like Waltz and Foxx's relationship. Waltz brings Django in, but at a certain point (on the road with Candie), it becomes Django who is bringing Waltz along for the ride.

post #493 of 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

 

The difference is, Django has to learn from Schultz the basics of shooting, riding a horse, how business is conducted etc (things he would not have had the chance to learn as a slave).

 

Django never learns to shoot - he is magically born an expert marksman.

 

Schultz really doesn't teach him anything. Even their acting riff is brief and ends with Django a master manipulator.

 

Django is essentially a modern black action hero dropped into the slave-era south. That makes him feel like a superhero within that world, with magical knowledge and skills. Besides being goofily unrealistic, it robs the character of anything approaching an arc. Without any real challenge to his journey, it's hard to become invested in Django. He doesn't struggle; from frame one he's stronger, smarter, and just plain better than everyone he faces. The only time Django ever faces a real challenge is when he has to pick his outfit.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Phibes View Post

I saw Schultz as less of a "white savior" than a "magical honky".  He's the one good white guy in a movie full of bad white guys, so the filmmakers can say "See? We don't hate white people."  He helps out the black hero and is generally awesome.

 

 

I think it's also key that Schultz is foreign. The film clearly wanted a very homogenized white America that could be slaughtered indiscriminately.

post #494 of 978
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

 

 

See I don't get this at all. Sure the character of Django doesn't get a big monologue and his backstory is pretty simple: but that is in line with a million other protagonists in Westerns, Cop films etc.

 

Django goes from being a fucking slave who nonetheless has a certain self-confidence, someone who espies a life changing opportunity when Schultz shows up, to a totally cool, intelligent, witty and competent man. In a society which doesn't believe he can exist! Not complex, but to me at least a pretty compelling arc for that character.

 

Again I compare Django and Schultz to The Man With No Name and Tuco from GB&U. One character has the flash and the noise, the other has the gravity.

 

The difference is, Django has to learn from Schultz the basics of shooting, riding a horse, how business is conducted etc (things he would not have had the chance to learn as a slave). He also learns by observing Waltz and how he operates. The two start out as master and pupil: over time they become equals: I think a lot of people are so dazzled by how Schultz (and Candie) is (are) written and played that they discount some excellent work by Jamie Foxx.

 

I think people will come to realize how strong the character of Django is on re-watching the film.

 

 

I found I appreciated him even more on second viewing. A very slow burn performance. Once you know where the story goes, you can really appreciate the characterization. It's soulful and subtle. There's a terrific emotional arc there from that opening scene to the final act. 

post #495 of 978

I liked this less than Basterds, but it's a solidly entertaining film. And to Tarantino's credit, the real-life horror of slavery intrudes on the comic book reality enough that I don't really think you can charge him with trivializing the issue.

 

That Franco Nero cameo was so bad though, Tarantino at his wink-wink fanboy worst.

 

Interesting to read the discussion on Waltz's foreigness being a key factor here. I do wonder if there isn't a bit of rose-tinted glasses to Tarantino's view; slavery was abolished in Europe, but people as enlightened as Waltz were still pretty thin on the ground. Not like Americans invented phrenology! And this ties into the homogenized white america to slaughter comment Farsight mentioned - I wonder if this is also why DiCaprio's character, though doubtleslly entertaining, is so much more of a buffoon, so much less of a charismatic figure, than previous Tarantino villains. As if, even after having done the same to a nazi character, Tarantino really wouldn't feel comfortable having a white racist villain that you find yourself feeling sympathetic to.

post #496 of 978

I agree about that Nero cameo. It was pretty much the clunkiest way possible to pay tribute to the guy. Contrast that with something like Sonny Chiba's turn as Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill, which paid tribute while also creating a wonderful character.

post #497 of 978

Quote:

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post

 

I think it's also key that Schultz is foreign. The film clearly wanted a very homogenized white America that could be slaughtered indiscriminately.

 

And yet, cake sharing guy.  Admittedly, if that part had gone to Nero, then it lines up perfectly.  The only good white guys in the movie are foreign.

post #498 of 978

This is a really great piece about Django's strengths and weaknesses that's a really good read, and a solid defense of the movie as silly, fun trash. A few mistakes here and there (he keeps getting Candie's name wrong) but overall very thoughtful about the film and Tarantino as a whole.

I especially liked this criticism:



 

 

Quote:

2. Tarantino the Racist Anti-Racist

Tarantino uses the n-word—a hundred and ten times, apparently—in a way that whites normally can’t use it. The word is all over hip-hop and street talk, of course, but the taboo against it is the most powerful of all taboos in journalism and public discourse. Tarantino must be amused by how those who like his work, and those who don’t, can’t operate with his freedom—the freedom, he claims, an artist must have. But freedom to do what? He tosses the word around again and again. Whites say it, blacks say it. They use it functionally, as a descriptive term, and contemptuously, in order to degrade. Samuel L. Jackson, as the unctuous and tyrannical Joseph, uses the word with especial vigor as a way of keeping down all the other blacks and ensuring his own predominance. When Tarantino was criticized for this n-wording by Spike Lee, he responded that that’s the way people spoke in 1858. Well, sure it is, but how much of that talk does Tarantino need to make his point? There’s something gleeful and opportunistic about his slinging around a word that now offends all but the congenital racists. How much of this n-wording is faithful reporting of the way people talked in 1858, or necessary dramatic emphasis, and how much of it is there to titillate and razz the audience? I’m with Spike Lee on this. By the end of the movie, the n-word loses its didactic value as a sign of racism. It seems like a word that Tarantino is very comfortable with—it was all over “Pulp Fiction,” too. In his own way, Tarantino has restored “nigger” to common usage in the movies.


Edited by Parker - 1/23/13 at 5:17pm
post #499 of 978

I've said it before in this thread, but racial invective is completely fair game on aesthetic grounds alone.

post #500 of 978

Aesthetic? 

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