Quentin Tarantino gets on my nerves. I like (some of) his movies, but there is something about the guy that rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the way he comes across on camera. For starters, I wish he’d stop making crappy appearances in his movies. His last role in Django Unchained was particularly painful.
Tarantino’s lousy Australian accent not withstanding, his latest film greatly exceeded my expectations. I watched it with my sister and cousins shortly after it came out. I thought it would be another mindless smattering of violence and corny jokes. It turned out to be much more than that.
The Washington Post’s film critic recently wrote a piece that does a nice job of explaining the strengths of Tarantino’s latest film. She said it did a better job of addressing slavery than Lincoln, which is expected to do well at the Oscars.
“It could be that to capture the perversity of a system of kidnapped human beings who were routinely bought, sold, raped, maimed and murdered, it takes genre filmmaking at its most graphic and hyperbolic. How else can movies make proper symbolic sense of America’s bloodiest, most shameful chapter?”
Django made me laugh at times, but I don’t remember it ever doing so at the expense of any of the slaves being portrayed. It kept me interested and waiting to see what would happen next. And most importantly, it made me think. It’s not a feel good movie, nor is it meant to be one.
Spike Lee had major issues with it, as did many other people. I wonder how many of them would have been so critical if Quentin Tarantino wasn’t white. Hornaday is as white as they come, but her critique of Django seems far more accurate than Spike’s.
I look forward to the DVD release. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for something else…