Author Topic: Django Unchained  (Read 60639 times)

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Reelist

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #285 on: December 19, 2012, 04:29:21 AM »
+1
way to bring it back around, Neil.


I don't even remember what this conversation is about
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Alexandro

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #286 on: December 19, 2012, 09:55:39 AM »
+2
that's hilarious!! the dude actually makes a black voice when he's around black people. he's like zelig.

Just Withnail

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #287 on: December 19, 2012, 10:18:45 AM »
+2
it's important to address what kind of conversation will be stimulated from Django Unchained, or the importance of box office gross sales (see also Avatar), or the importance of awards (see also Crash), and whether or not the fact that a film is beloved by a lot of people means anything.

This gets to the heart of what I meant when I said that I find QT uninteresting. To me the answer to your question is that it obviously doesn't mean anything how many people like it, and the important thing, as you say, is what kinds over commentary it will stimulate. Which will always start with what kind of thoughts it generates in me myself, and these last few films I really haven't been stimulated in at all. Of course there's a lot of interesting filmmaking going on, of course there will be virtuosic moments, of course there will be some interesting angle on something. But less and less I feel there are "oh my, that's interesting and intriguing and why did he do that I must know and discuss, why why why" and more "that's badass. but i feel like i know why he did that and even if that gut feeling is wrong, i can still go with it and be in peace"

There's little mystery in a QT film these days, little room for me to "join" with the film. I feel bombarded, more than seduced. Hell, some of the most worthwhile relationships I have with films are the one's where have to do some seducing myself. "Does the film like that I approach it with this idea? Nope! Let's try something different." QT-films are slutty.

And even when there is mystery, some idea you need to get down to, i don't feel that the thoughts and discussions are any interesting. i guess it might just come down to a question of liking or not liking a style. had he made these films with a cinematic language that really drew me in for repeat viewings, then I would be more intrigued to get to the bottoms of its ideas (which there is always plenty of in the cinema you find interesting as stick your own head into the mix). but his style just bores me to death.

His last three films haven't excited me enough to make me revisit them, because they don't haunt and revisit me the way the films that really stimulate me usually does. The only image from his last three that comes back once in a while is the fantastically executed climax of IB with the burning canvas. The climax forces me to think about why these images are so incredibly potent (though the answer may be pretty straight forward). While a film like Pulp Fiction has a thousand little mystieries that draws me back.

I expect to see this and be entertained, but I don't expect to be haunted.
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Neil

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #288 on: December 19, 2012, 01:43:07 PM »
0
There's no doubt it'll be entertaining, and i'm sure i'll enjoy myself in the theater, but QT has this problem where he likes to use heavy handed themes so that way the film appears to have this cerebral edge, but it really doesn't.  It's kind of like the briefcase in PF and what withnail was saying. It's neat, it just really doesn't mean a whole lot the closer you look at it. 

it'll be fun, and I don't need  someone to preach to me or teach me something, i just want substance and stlye, not necessarily style over substance, or style with the appearance of substance.
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Alexandro

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #289 on: December 19, 2012, 02:14:12 PM »
+1
I really don't understand this Tarantino bashing. He's clearly one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, even more so because he has never tried to be "serious". How many writers and directors are around who have been able to develop their unique genre/brand and survive in an industry that despises uniqueness. Not only survive, but be successful enough to enjoy the freedom he has.

Someone brought up Wes Anderson earlier, and there's no real resemblance at all. There's a guy who seems content with exploring the exact same territory aesthetically and intellectually in every single movie, with various results (I think he's made mostly great films, but a couple are pretty bad). But meatheads don't like his films so he gets a pass? And Tarantino is popular with meatheads so let's hate on the guy.

I think Tarantino's take and mashups on the crime/war/western genres and other subgenres have all been worthy of discussion, both in ideas as in cinematic language. Just like Sergio Leone, who is so clearly his biggest influence. I don't know how any serious cinephile can watch Inglorious Basterds and declare it empty entertainment. Really? I think there's enough essays online by now to offer a different perspective and at least "prove" that these films offer more than just that. If you don't like it, fine. But it's different when a filmmaker's take on things rubs you the wrong way than to say there is nothing but kool-aid behind an ouvre that's clearly richer than what a lot of Tarantino's detractors are implying.


jenkins

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #290 on: December 19, 2012, 02:55:38 PM »
+1
The war you're waging right now, Alexandro, the defense of QT, that happens inside me while I watch his movies. Cinematically, who is better than QT? Who has his infectious passions, his giddy playfulness, his earnest reverence for cinema culture? Like, just a few others, and not all of them are as skilled and creative as he is.

But, I don't like or dislike the movies based on extraneous principles or QT's career's admirable qualities, I like or dislike his movies based on his movies and how I respond to them. The basement sequence in Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, IB, and now this -- whatever ideas he smuggles through, the narratives themselves, these revenge fantasies, are wearing me down. I can celebrate brutal retaliation against only so many clear enemies.
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Neil

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #291 on: December 19, 2012, 03:16:20 PM »
0
I will say Alexandro, that I like the idea that he's not "serious," in the context other directors want to be considered and I also like that  you've pointed out that his brand is working for him in such a way that promotes a sort of artistic freedom for him and that is a really great thing for him.

it seems a little one dimensional to sum up anti-qt posts under the category, "because meat heads like his films." 

I wouldn't say his films are empty entertainment, I enjoy watching all his films, still to this day-it's just that maybe if he knew how to match spectacle and narrative (see also Kubrick) then i wouldn't be making statements like this. That's wishing a lot, I know.
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Just Withnail

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #292 on: December 19, 2012, 03:24:06 PM »
+1
I really don't understand this Tarantino bashing. He's clearly one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, even more so because he has never tried to be "serious". How many writers and directors are around who have been able to develop their unique genre/brand and survive in an industry that despises uniqueness. Not only survive, but be successful enough to enjoy the freedom he has.

A very admirable accomplishment for him, but has little bearing on how I watch his films.

Quote from: Alexandro
Someone brought up Wes Anderson earlier, and there's no real resemblance at all. There's a guy who seems content with exploring the exact same territory aesthetically and intellectually in every single movie, with various results (I think he's made mostly great films, but a couple are pretty bad). But meatheads don't like his films so he gets a pass? And Tarantino is popular with meatheads so let's hate on the guy.

Well I brought up WA but I don't know where you got that last part from. And the opinion you seem to hold of WA is pretty much exactly the opinion I hold of QT. There's nothing wrong film the films individually, mostly there on a scale from good to great, but for me I'm talking about that giddy excitement that makes me want to read and write about them. For me it's just not there. And if I do want to write about them, I'll pick their best films, because they're so similar that would I end up writing about them it wouldn't make a difference (if I wrote about them. A lot of people of course do, but what I usually read about them, I don't find particularly interesting. You pick your battles and how to spend your time.

Quote from: Alexandro
I think Tarantino's take and mashups on the crime/war/western genres and other subgenres have all been worthy of discussion, both in ideas as in cinematic language. Just like Sergio Leone, who is so clearly his biggest influence. I don't know how any serious cinephile can watch Inglorious Basterds and declare it empty entertainment. Really? I think there's enough essays online by now to offer a different perspective and at least "prove" that these films offer more than just that.


Just because he quotes Leone doesn't mean he's anywhere near him. Sure, IB is much more than empty entertainment, but so is so any other films, all of which inspire me much much more than him. He doesn't inspire me to go deep and think about it. I don't feel there's any mystery and room for me in there, more like statements from QT. And when there's so much cinema I find wildly more exciting, I think about that instead. There's not enough there for me on the first or even second viewing to make me want to revisit them. I feel like the thoughts that Tarantino usually invites me to think are not as interesting as the thoughts I think after other films. Too much cinema, too little time for Tarantino.

Quote from: Alexandro
If you don't like it, fine.


Exactly :)

But it's different when a filmmaker's take on things rubs you the wrong way than to say there is nothing but kool-aid behind an ouvre that's clearly richer than what a lot of Tarantino's detractors are implying.

Well, I don't think there is, to me. Someone else, with their own lived life behind them, will of course think something else.
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modage

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #293 on: December 19, 2012, 03:36:08 PM »
0
I have no beef with QT (other than having to listen to him in interviews) but still found the film to be a disappointment. I feel like he's been in kind of the same gear since Kill Bill V.1, sometimes it works (KB1, IB), sometimes it doesn't work as well (KB2, DP, DU). If the movie rules, I don't mind that he may be leaning on some of the same tricks that worked for him in the past, but when it doesn't work I can't help but wish he'd stretch himself a little more. I'd still prob consider him one of my top 5 filmmakers working today so when he makes a film that's not capital-G GREAT, it's hard to not be disappointed.
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Sleepless

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #294 on: December 19, 2012, 04:34:20 PM »
0
Just tell me does he sneak in a gratuitous foot shot or not?

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #295 on: December 19, 2012, 04:39:07 PM »
0
He said in the Opie and Anthony clip I posted pages back no, just dirty slave feet walking through the mud.


I don't know after hearing what all you guys have had to say, all I can think of is:


" Watch a Freed slave kill white people and get paid for it, what's not to like? "


..I'll weigh in on my thoughts about Tarantino in general after I've seen the movie, leave you foreigners to bicker about that.


and as an aside, I've been having a lot fun on twitter lately telling Jonah Hill I can't wait to see his fatass get killed.
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polkablues

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #296 on: December 19, 2012, 05:09:13 PM »
+2
Is he fat again?  I can never keep track.
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Alexandro

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #297 on: December 19, 2012, 05:50:27 PM »
+1
About the meathead part of my brief rant: I'm just commenting on some vibe I've been picking up concerning this, particularly after the response to that comment about how the film was gonna win more awards and generate more discussion, the one with the pic of the meathead defending QT and recommending Boondock Saints. I think there's that perception of Tarantino being a director for meatheads, and not particularly for bright or film cultured people, that those who dig his stuff are in love with stylization of violence and like things that are "cool", but that behind that there cannot possibly be anything else. That is all fetishistic impulses and cinematic masturbation. I can't enumerate specific comments I've seen of this here or elsewhere, it's just something I feel happening sometimes regarding this guy, it may or not be "real".

Just Withnail, maybe you don't feel a giddy excitement to write or read about films by QT, but the material (not written by you of course) is around. I used to believe QT was just about crime scenarios and movie universes, but reading some stuff by other people about his films made me appreciate his work on other levels.

I don't want to shit on Wes Anderson cause I like his films, but where I find Tarantino branching out and finding new spins on those "revenge" stories I find Wes just changing settings to explore the "asshole dad / abandoned child" theme. Despite being variations on the same revenge theme, QT's films always surprise me. I keep talking about Inglorious Basterds because that film is filled with subtext and explores a bunch of subjects that he never really tackled on before, particularly the idea of film as an agent of power and as a weapon in war. Even though I don't like Kill Bill Vol. 2, I appreciate the deconstruction of the super hero mythology he makes during the course of the two parts: one as a full action film, the other dialogue driven.

Also, of course he's no fucking Kubrick! Who is? But I guess he's as interesting if not more interesting than Sergio Leone.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of suddenly liking these films, but to say "oh no he's boring, there's nothing there, he keeps doing the same shit", well, I completely disagree.

Just Withnail

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #298 on: December 19, 2012, 06:05:43 PM »
0
Quote from: Alexandro
Just Withnail, maybe you don't feel a giddy excitement to write or read about films by QT, but the material (not written by you of course) is around. I used to believe QT was just about crime scenarios and movie universes, but reading some stuff by other people about his films made me appreciate his work on other levels.

And where you find the commentary interesting, I don't, and his films don't get me excited enough to warrant re-watching.

Quote from: Alexandro
I don't want to shit on Wes Anderson cause I like his films, but where I find Tarantino branching out and finding new spins on those "revenge" stories I find Wes just changing settings to explore the "asshole dad / abandoned child" theme.

But material exploring other angles than that is around, so why don't you appreciate his films more?

Anyway, I want to talk about things I like now.
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Neil

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Re: Django Unchained
« Reply #299 on: December 19, 2012, 10:48:07 PM »
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I keep talking about Inglorious Basterds because that film is filled with subtext and explores a bunch of subjects that he never really tackled on before, particularly the idea of film as an agent of power and as a weapon in war.

OK, so while I grant you this. most write ups regarding IB I've seen involve comparisons and nods that QT used stylistically in Ib and the other topic focused on the stigma behind such a loaded theme (Hitler etc).

Now here is where I address the idea of this film as an agent of, " power as a weapon against war."  I believe he dealt with this theme the way Truffaut dealt with a bunch of powerful themes, and that is they deal with them briefly. These are themes you could focus a whole movie on.

 Now with this being said, that idea you've presented is barely a footnote in IB. I mean come on. You yourself say, that he's not "serious," yet this film is making a very potent/serious statement? There is thought provoking shit peppered into his films but they, almost always take a backseat to the spectacle/style that he's always been pushing. I'm not saying every message has to be heavy handed didactic preaching, but I do expect more than brushing the surface.

Again I like the guy, but much like Pete mentioned about, "Treme," is it not okay to expect more? Shouldn't this art lead somewhere?

I'd call him a genius, and that's why I get let down.

post script, Alexandro, link up any other articles that got your gears turning. I'd love to check'em out.
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