cgmw wrote:Tarentino clearly has ADD. He's a dude. He likes explosions, blood splatter, cool weapons, violent killings, more violent killings, catchy songs, cool panoramas, action camera shots, provokative ladies, bare balls, and will go out of his way to find outrageous ways to display violence. What he doesn't do is create any sort of emotional depth to his characters. I think he tries, but IMO fails almost completely. Instead what you get is a bunch of cool stuff overlaying a simple, often cliched, and entirely predictable hollywood plot line.
For a cool movie with no emotional depth, I think Django does in fact cheapen the unfathomable emotional significance of slavery. Problem is, nobody will go see a movie that conveys the true emotional depth of such a serious and depressing subject. Remi, I think you're right that Django if nothing else reaches a wide audience and gets them thinking and talking. But IMO it reaches a wide audience the same way as a blurb on the wrapper of a Big Mac or McRib.
Ok, maybe a Wendy's Bacon Cheeseburger. Those things are amazing.
I wouldn't argue about QT being more glamor and less depth with most characters...In Reservoir Dogs and in True Romance (which he wrote), I think you could connect with characters more than in his works since mainly because he introduces a ton of characters instead of building a small core of strong ones. His most developed characters are ALWAYS his villains and the strongest emotion you get is a serious dislike for those characters whereas rather than relating to most of his protagonists, you just kinda think "that's a cool ass character."
However, I don't think his inability to create a powerful emotional connection cheapens slavery...I just don't. If you didn't feel disgusted by Candie and Stephen, sympathetic toward Dartanian and Hilda or at least some admiration for Django and Schultz...Well then yeah the impact of his narrative is lessened...but I doubt anyone will forget the dog scene, the mandingo fight or the whip scars. Had he built a stronger love story (and I admire his attempt this time what with Django picturing her and a damn good performance from Washington) then yes, the emotional impact would match the visual impact...but I don't think it cheapens it. That's pretty harsh imo.
As far as the attention to slavery being equivalent to a snapple fact, no way. Just the fact that you have Spike Lee and some others complaining about it, this takes on a whole new significance. Anyone who takes a while to look up if that's really how slaves were treated (something I could picture happening at least to some extent in this wikipedia age we live in) is going to feel things that QT couldn't manage in his script. Granted, slavery was more a back drop and the themes of Django focused more on love story and action scenes...but just calling attention to it for almost three hours and reminding people that it was THAT UGLY gives it some kind of impact. I think one issue here, which easily could lead to complaints and being offended, is that there's no real message about slavery in the flick besides "it's bad." But what statements about slavery are there to be made? That's partially why it's such a difficult topic. Plus, like you said, if someone tried to make a movie that matches the serious and depressing points of slavery...they likely wouldn't get any production money. I don't know that anyone could make a script that could ever actually live up to all that.
An Aside: I think it's interesting that there was no outcry over the Catcher Freeman episode of Boondocks in light of how offended people have been about this having a lot of comedy in it. That episode was all jokes, had no real depth and dealt with slavery as well...I guess smaller audience = less reaction.