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by Jay A. Fernandez
December 31, 2012 11:06 AM
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Debate Continues to Rage Over 'Django Unchained' as It Gallops Past $64 Million at the Box Office

Notable figures both in and out of Hollywood continue to weigh in on Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” taking sides on the film’s treatment of slavery, adherence to the racist lingo of the era and ethics of placing it all in a spaghetti Western context. The latest is “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua, who voiced some criticism of Spike Lee’s recent swipes at Tarantino while visiting the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival in Italy Sunday, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Eric J. Lyman.

READ MORE: Bigger Than 'Pulp Fiction'? Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' Earns $34 Million in its First 3 Days

Fuqua took issue with both the content of Lee’s criticism and the way he delivered it. "If you disagree with the way a colleague did something, call him up, invite him out for a coffee, talk about it. But don’t do it publicly,” said Fuqua, who knows both Tarantino and Lee but is not close with either. "I don’t think Quentin Tarantino has a racist bone in his body. Besides, I’m good friends with [‘Django Unchained’ star] Jamie Foxx and he wouldn’t have anything to do with a film that had anything racist to it."

"Django Unchained." TWC

Fuqua had more detailed commentary on the film, which he said he still hasn’t seen, as reported by Lyman. You can read the full article here.

READ MORE: The 'Django Unchained' Cheat Sheet: 10 Things That Will Help You Understand Tarantino's Referential Bloodfest

Meanwhile, “Django” continues its strong opening run, grossing another $30.7 million over its first weekend in release to bring its six-day total to $64 million domestic. The ongoing debate about the film can only help its prospects — “Django” is now more than halfway to the domestic box office total of “Inglourious Basterds,” Tarantino’s highest-grossing film, and it’s galloping there at a faster rate. “Basterds” needed another four days to pass $64 million.


  • Julio | January 5, 2013 4:20 AMReply

    It looks on track and I think the discussion of racism can be given through this movie but always telling a love story.

  • Steve | January 2, 2013 1:21 AMReply

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  • Long range | December 31, 2012 2:33 PMReply

    I found Django to be typical Tarantino. It's bold, it has a bone to pick , it's fantasy, it's controversial. It's also Art. We are entitled to love it or bash it as we see fit. If it inspires honest dialogue about where we are as a culture, that's a plus.

  • nimorphi | December 31, 2012 12:04 PMReply

    So why is it ok to show blacks being enslaved and tourtured (which happened) in a movie and not call them the n-word (which also happened) in the same movie?

  • THEMOREYOUKNOW | December 31, 2012 9:44 PM

    Because the film is not grounded in reality at all, nor does it purport itself to be. It's as laughable as Tarantino claiming that his use of the n-word in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction is "real", as if any one of those characters exists, or resemble people that exist. People compare his films to porn so often because, like porn, it just isn't like that at all. If you want to know what sex is really like, watch a mumblecore film; you'll find then that it's not enlightening, nor does it warrant any viewership whatsoever. Certain levels of truth enhance meaning, as does the extrapolation of history or experience into an imaginative story. However, Django is neither imaginative or a story -- it is pure fantasy, a string of set pieces, exhaustively self-referential. It is so outlandish that, yes, it's probably going to offend people. In the Internet Age, offensive material gets blown out of proportion, but the argument of, "He's trying to evoke you" is useless and will go nowhere, and unfalsifiable. Even then, if he is trying to evoke, that gives no merit to the film. If he made a film of himself jacking off, someone could say the same exact thing. I personally also don't think he is trying to evoke me, or he would have publicly expressed an intention to do so, as is his public responsibility as an artist dealing with a sensitive subject, but all he's ever said is, I want to make my Spaghetti Western. He could have made any version of a Spaghetti Western, but he chose to make this.