Thursday, June 21, 2012

django unchained: ...pretty much a trailer!


and here we go with quentin tarantino's latest auteur de force (har!), django unchained.   django appears to be the second in what may be a series of historical revenge fantasies by quentin tarantino about communities of people to which he himself does not belong.  hmm.
questions of appropriation and ownership aside, inglourious basterds was immensely satisfying, save a few key moments/players.  and blaxploitation is a genre immensely suited for subversive commentary and ideas!  i suppose we'll have to reserve our judgment until xmas.

we start in the dead of night, with men being marched through the woods in chains. johnny cash plays.

they're eventually stopped by christoph waltz, driving a horse-drawn wagon.

"good, cold evening, gentlemen." so cordial! (link)

he claims to be a dr. king schultz.  wait, dr. king?  that seems as intentional as christoph waltz is white - and twice as confusing.  an intentional highlighting of the trope of white saviours, or an unconscious perpetuation of same?  possibly neither?

"what kind of doctor?"
schultz twists in his saddle to look up at the giant molar atop his wagon.
"a dentist."

i knew it!  that elfin meekness was masking a brutal lust for torture all along.  (link)

"amongst your inventory, i've been led to believe, is a specimen i'm keen to acquire," schultz states, as the camera flashes through the line-up while he waltzes past with a lantern, illuminating each man's face at a time before reaching jamie foxx.

"what's your name?"
"then you're exactly the one i'm looking for."

well now. he's no doctor. anyway, he wants django, but "hey, no sale."

the not-dentist doesn't take this too well.  or does he?  (music stops) he drops his lantern and fires off some quick gunshots in the ensuing dark/pleading-for-life frenzy before "freeing" django (music returns).  apparently it's cold, so he suggests django grab a coat off a dead man.

"if i were you, i'd take that winter coat."

that's one fine-looking coat you're wearing. (link)

django complies, treating us all to a shot of his whip-scarred upper back and raised arms.

in a conversation spliced in with scenes of wanted posters and calculated killings, it is revealed that christoph waltz, dds, is looking for some particularly bad men (the brittle brothers) whom django knows quite personally. they strike an accord to hunt them together! django is promised his freedom, and that they'll find his wife (sold by the brittle brothers to a then-unknown party), whom we learn more about soon.

"you kill people and they give you a reward?" -django

"the badder they are, the bigger the reward." -umm, herr waltz.

time passes!  this is helpfully outlined by text reading "next year."  the music takes a decidedly blaxsploitation-y turn away from the man in black as the duo is shown astride horses, and looking very dapper (i was a bit saddened by django's short hair, but i think in this context the haircut represent bodily autonomy).  they are shown hunting and killing a white man fleeing through a cottonfield.  the shots of his blood splattering against the plants are fucking exquisite.


now we learn that leo is in this, and is a plantation owner who enjoys sugar and watching a good fight.

"come on over, we've got us a fight going on that's a good bit o'fun!"

"coco, give me some sugar."


oh, also he's the one that bought django's wife off those aforementioned evil dickbags.  she is a gorgeous woman in saffron and gold dress, whose face is partially obscured by a fancy glass from which she drinks.

oh, and could you get me a soda?  in a crystal goblet. (link)

  sadly, we still don't know her name.  between the violence, the decadence, and the disregard for humanity, this scene is pretty effective.

back to django!  who, on the other hand, enjoys killing people and dressing like austin powers.

"so you really free?" a black woman who is presumably enslaved asks.
"you mean you wanna dress like that?"


a fun montage of violence including sprays of bloody flesh into the snow, django whipping the shit out of a slave-owner (not literally, as far as we are shown), and the explosion of a horse-drawn carriage - including the horses.  damn.  can't say i care for that, although the edit makes leo seem to be pretty excited by it.

splashy actor rundown!  jamie foxx!  christoph waltz!  leonardo dicaprio!  kerry washington! and samuel l. jackson!

"i like the way you die, boy," django tells a man after shooting him in the chest (seen above).  it is a fantastic line that will undoubtedly be revealed to be a call-back to an earlier line, a la batman begins.


"gentlemen," leo flourishes while stirring his drink, "you had my curiosity.  but now, you have my attention."

he's so sociopathic, it's amazing - the complete and utter disconnect required to take such glee in manipulating people and their lives!  fuck, i can't wait!

we close with a shot of jamie foxx smoking at a bar next to what the internet informs me is the original django.

"what's your name?"
*shot of django shooting a gun*
"the 'd' is silent."

new tagline: the chains come off!  glad to see they abandoned off the chain, although to be honest, the trailer was exciting enough i considered give them a grudging pardon to keep it.

poc count: approximately 17
poc count (speaking): 2

our verdict?
...pretty much a trailer!

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