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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Django Unchained

Tarantino has been pretty consistent since he drew attention to himself with his magnificent Reservoir Dogs.
While some would claim that he has never put a foot wrong with his cinematic outings, there are others who would consider that he stumbled a bit with the grindhouse homage that was Death Proof, but it's doubtful that you will find anyone who would oppose the opinion that he came back from it in style with Inglorious Basterds.
For many it was the crowning glory of an already glittering career.

As with most crowning glories they are really a double edged sword though.
How do you follow the best of the best?

One way to do it is just don't fuck with the formula while going hell for leather to maintain your own signature style, and that's what he has done with Django Unchained.

If Inglorious Basterds was his definitive homage to the War movie, then this is his definitive Spaghetti Western.
That much is obvious, but what should really be focussed on is just how bloody good he is at dragging these genres into the present and giving them a gonzo-esque goose that has them jumping and yelping in shock.
He is the guy who is taking the paddles to the chest of the tired old clich̩ ridden movie star vehicles of yesteryear - and similar to how he has often resurrected careers Рto give them a shock to the system that doesn't just get them back on their feet to stumble around, but instead resurrects them to dance an energetic jig for us.

I have a sneaky suspicion that if you bought the DVD, and it has a directors commentary on it, then when you click on that option then all you will hear over the intro will be Quentin proclaiming 'Boooya muthafucka. Here's how to make a movie.' and that will be it.
Then you could imagine his sitting back with a smug smile on his face as he contemplates how he could make blacksploitation science fiction blockbuster that will feature robot pimps with synthetic afros.
(I wonder if he could get away with calling it Star Whores.)

Of course you can't get a Tarantino film without someone somewhere getting their knickers in a twist.
So there's been some rumbling about the flippant attitude taken to the issue of slavery, but as he didn't go into making the film with the intent of telling a morality story about that as a subject, then I'm not sure why those who are criticising him feel that their consideration of what the film should have been is relevant.
Slavery is bad.
We all know that, of course we do, and we have all seen plenty of cinematic tales reiterating that it is wrong.
So in my opinion it's a bit of a non-issue.
In no way does Django Unchained celebrate slavery, or portray it in a positive light, so maybe the soap boxes should be set aside and the film should be considered for what it really is, and what it really is is a boys own adventure with gallons of blood getting spilt and splashed about, some witty dialogue being uttered, and the promotion of a black hero who fucks the bad guys up bad (real bad), and gets the girl.
It's an age old tale of boy gets girl, loses girl, and gets girl back, wrapped up in over the top machismo.
On a very basic level it's a film that can be described as doing what it says on the tin.
This is just what Tarantino does best, and once again he's delivered in spades.*
Now all he has to do is top it with whatever he is going to do next.
I wouldn't bet that he wont.
Roll on StarWhores.

*Cue the crass slavery jokes..

1 comment:

  1. I did like this film and admit I'm a fan of Tarantino's work however felt that some moments in Django were a little self indulgent and it was perhaps went on a bit too long. However there are some excellent performances, good scenes and the story does keep you enticed (although I did notice it was a more linear story compared to a lot of his work). A friend pointed out that Tarantino seems to just be picking fim genres and making his interpretation of them now, which as much as I agree with him I thought it was interesting that he had now done a Western considering how many references to Westerns there are in his other works.There wasn't the same pop culture references either. We'll never have the Tarantino who revolutionised cinema in the 90's since he can't top that.

    But aye good film…