If your concern about Django Unchained is that it’ll be too *real* for you, in terms of the violent depictions of the cruelty of slavery in this country, then you’d better avoid the film altogether, because, as some early reactions have indicated, as well as the director himself speaking on the film’s honest brutality says, there’s plenty of that within the film’s lengthy running time.
But it’s a Quentin Tarantino film, so it comes with the territory. Plus, we are after all talking about slavery here, so would you prefer some sugar-coated, distant depictions of it, or a film that takes you right into it, and places you as close to the reality of it as possible – which is what Tarantino has said his film does, so I’m just quoting him here; I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t say.
I think I speak for some of us when I say that we’ve gotten over the fact that this isn’t the slavery movie we’ve wanted to see; no, this is not the Nat Turner story. Neither is it Toussaint L’Ouverture, done big-budget epic, Hollywood style. And, yes, the director is white, not black.
So it’s a take it or leave it kind of scenario.
I’m taking it for what it is, and will judge it on its own merits.
I hear Sergio has seen it and loved it; and I know Tambay sees it tomorrow. And I look forward to reading what each of them has to say about it in detail!
In an interview with BAFTA members in the UK, earlier today, Tarantino dished on the violence in the film when challenged about it, saying:
“We all intellectually ‘know’ the brutality and inhumanity of slavery… but after you do the research it’s no longer intellectual any more, no longer just historical record – you feel it in your bones. It makes you angry, and want to do something … I’m here to tell you, that however bad things get in the movie, a lot worse shit actually happened.”
And further more, he added that…
“I wanted to break that history-under-glass aspect, I wanted to throw a rock through that glass and shatter it for all times, and take you into it.”
He said he did a lot of research for the project, like…
“… on how the business of slavery worked, and what exactly was the social breakdown inside a plantation: the white families that owned the houses, the black servants who worked inside the house, the black servants that were in the fields, and the white overseers and workers that were hired to work there…”
Etc, etc, etc.
And finally, of most interest, Tarantino also revealed that he wants to make more films on the subject of slavery, adding…
“I’d like to do a couple more, dealing with the same issue: but different story, different characters.”
Interesting. 2 more Tarantino slavery epics. I can already hear some of your collective groans.
When you’re Quentin Tarantino, you get to play in whatever sandbox you like.
I do recall an older S&A post, prior to Django Unchained, when Tarantino said, during a Charlie Rose interview when Inglorious Basterds was opening, that he was interested in making a film about noted slavery abolitionist, John Brown, but not in the traditional “dreary, solemn, historical” manner biopics usually take form, he said.
His John Brown tale, he added, would then instead tell the story of Brown’s successful seizure of an armory, which would subsequently lead directly to the end of slavery, preventing the Civil War.
In real life, as it happened, abolitionist John Brown was unsuccessful in his attempt to start a slave revolt at Harper’s Ferry in 1859; however that occurrence helped fuel the movement that started the Civil War.
Could this be one of the two more slavery-themed films he mentions that he’d like to do? What could the other one be?