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scary tyler moore 1
i like what Katt Williams said about the whole thing: "Steven Spielberg doesn't want to be black, while Quentin Tarantino thinks he is."
Posted by scary tyler moore on January 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Pithy Name 2
Saw it, liked it. Lee's entitled to his opinion, but it certainly didn't trivialize slavery to me.
Posted by Pithy Name on January 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Saw it last night and kept wondering what Nat Turner would think. I used to live down the street from where 30 or so of his fellow rebels were hanged. The tree (still living, and rather magnificently) features a heartbreaking commemorative plaque, and the street's name is Hanging Tree Road. The fantasy of the Django movie might be satisfying, or it might be disrespectful; I don't feel qualified to offer an opinion.
Posted by alight on January 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
And they wonder why the South still gets away with racial bias in everyday life ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 3, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
I would think Spike Lee would know how to write without Capitalizing Every Word In Every Sentence.
Posted by tacomagirl on January 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
theophrastus 6
The Holocaust was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. It was ...a Holocaust. My ancestors were Jews, and I honor them (whatever that means). and i thought "Inglorious Basterds" was very creative and interesting [shrug]
Posted by theophrastus on January 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Jaymz 7
Quit teasing us, Charles, go watch the damn movie, and THEN tell us what you think.
Posted by Jaymz on January 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
evilvolus 8
Since when does not seeing a movie prevent Mudede from having an opinion on it? He's got actual, published articles that argue the opposite.
Posted by evilvolus on January 3, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Anna Anna Anna 9
I want to see Jamie Fox and Samuel Jackson respond to Spike Lee's comment. Has that happened?
Posted by Anna Anna Anna on January 3, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Thoroughly entertaining movie, some unforgettable moments along with super cathartic, exhilarating ones. Not, nor meant to be, a be-and-and-end-all masterpiece. I think I read Tarantino describe it somewhere as intended to be just a hefty rock through a window. Color Purple was a generation ago, so of course people are hungry for more, certainly more than Tarantino means to offer. To me what he was aiming to do with Basterds he finally accomplished with Django.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 3, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
tainte 11
spike lee hasn't seen it either, but that didn't stop him from spouting off about it.

Posted by tainte on January 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 12
Obviously the only acceptable way for Hollywood to approach slavery is to keep churning out pablum that simultaneously minimizes the horror of slavery while humanizing slave owners. Django is one of the most uncompromising mainstream movies about slavery I've ever seen, and it's definitely the only one *other* people will see. Beloved was also uncompromising, but I was one of the only people who watched that heap of trash.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 13
The film didn't seem to trivialize the suffering and death engendered by slavery. Tarantino's last two movies have been revenge fantasies about fighting historical evils. Like anyone else, Spike needn't like 'Django', but it seems weird to complain that it doesn't recognize the hideousness of the practice which it very clearly rails against.
Posted by Post_Mortem on January 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
"for an age that is still not ready to talk about David Walker or John Brown..."

The mythical healing power of the "racial dialog" strikes again. This is always annoying in the general sense but just absurd in the American slavery sense. The discussion has been had. David Walker and John Brown have been documented. Slavery was abolished and no living person was involved with it. It surely caused some lasting scars but what good does it do to constantly reopen them? We already teach every school kid that blacks were brought from Africa and used as unpaid labor and routinely tied up and whipped. One could argue that "dialog" only serves to hurt race relations from the moment it is taught in elementary school.
Posted by cliche on January 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
blip 15
@14 How exactly would one go about arguing that? Show your work, please.
Posted by blip on January 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
sirkowski 16
Spike Lee as a Social Justice Sally? The same guy who produced a Broadway play with rapist/wife beater Mike Tyson? LOL Yeah, fuck off, Spike.
Posted by sirkowski on January 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Fuck, I don't know. Walter Williams took a stab at it:

"My yet-to-be-learned lesson — and perhaps that of Rep. Hubbard — is there are certain topics or arguments one should not bring up in the presence of children or those with little understanding.

Both might see explaining a phenomenon is the same as giving it moral sanction or justification."…
Posted by cliche on January 3, 2013 at 3:49 PM · Report this
schmacky 18
It's pretty damn rare to see any movie dramatize the actual horrors of slavery, and just how awful things were for black people in this country (and throughout most of history most anywhere) without some layer of "taste," and an abundance of fake, gauzy allusion. It's also rare to see a movie show how widely accepted it all was, the casual (and not so casual) cruelty inflicted, etc.

Django does all this in a visceral, unflinching way, and for that it should be lauded by the Spike Lees of the world, not lambasted. Instead everybody wrings their hands over how many times the script uses the word "nigger" (or rather, "the n-word"...a term, btw, that exists ostensibly to be polite and respectful, but has the potential effect of whitewashing (so to speak) the past).

Sure, it's entertaining. Can we only make movies about slavery that are not entertaining? Why does Lee get to decide what's OK and what isn't in terms of the limits of art? He needs to pull his head out of his ass, see the damn movie, and make criticisms regarding the actual merits of the thing.

Judgements based on pre-established, ordained opinion are exactly what true art sets out to destroy.
Posted by schmacky on January 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 19
Is this part of the "discussion" America must have about race?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
why the shot at Leone? Leone's movies are the best kind of Revisionism!
Posted by Max Solomon on January 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 21

A publication based in Lubbock? Who the fuck do you think you're fooling? I have neither the patience nor the inclination to pick apart all the idiotic pronouncements of the asshole who wrote that op-ed, so I'll just cite this:

Even the word slave is derived from the fact Slavic people were among the early European slaves.

Slavs didn't emigrate to Europe until well after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. So, either that fucking ignoramus doesn't know that fact or he's stupid enough to think that ancient Romans (and Greeks and Germanic peoples and Celts) didn't own slaves.

You're welcome.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
@21 - Haha... it's a syndicated column you moron. You can look up Walter Williams if you are concerned about his geographical credentials.

And you can actually read the piece if you want to see your own point being confirmed about Romans and Greeks owning slaves.
Posted by cliche on January 3, 2013 at 4:23 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 23
Spike Lee: Grump grump grumpa-grump!

[Someone makes a fun movie]

Posted by MacCrocodile on January 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 24

The idiot claimed that Slavs were among the first peoples enslaved in Europe when they didn't emigrate to Europe until halfway through the first millennium AD. Haha, yur stoopid.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
@24 - His point was more about the origin of the word slave in that sentence. I'm sorry for calling you a moron earlier. It's been eating me up inside.
Posted by cliche on January 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
wisepunk 26
"and no living person was involved with it."

I would say that any 5th generation American that has a sizable family inheritence has something to do with slavery in America, still.
Posted by wisepunk on January 3, 2013 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Maybe if Spike Lee watched the movie, he'd know how to make a good movie himself.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Since Americans only seem to get their history through the movies or TV, I would say we have a fair amount of material covering slavery. The Reconstruction Era, on the other hand, is basically left alone. Lincoln touched on it, but only just barely. Understanding reconstruction and the birth of Jim Crow would do the country much more good than another slavery film. One could argue that it had much more of an influence on people today since the post-reconstruction period could be considered the era from 1877 to the 1960s, which wasn't that long ago. Of course, understanding the African American diaspora, which was a big part of that, would help as well.
Posted by Ross on January 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
blip 29
@17 Fair enough, although I don't recall being formally taught about slavery until middle school. I thought your suggestion was that kids of any age should not be taught about our nation's history with slavery, lest we give them reasons to feel resentful. My bad.
Posted by blip on January 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
cracked 30
All I know is that Lincoln was a great movie, but at best preaching to the choir and at worst trying to be more soft and understanding toward the South than they deserve now that we know how they carried on the brutal racist oppression and segregation right on into to our lifetimes.

I haven't seen Django yet. Does it have sex scenes with muscular young men, ice and big breasted co-eds? I know Lee likes the hot bods in his topical movies challenging the vestiges of the Black Holocaust.
Posted by cracked on January 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM · Report this
I saw the movie last night with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. I left the theater a believer. Ironically, I think Spike would find many of the themes from his own movies echoed in Django, from the light skin / dark skin dichotomy of School Daze, to the similarities between the suppressed rage of Spike's portrayal of Mookie in Do the Right Thing and that of Foxx's Django. Samuel Jackson's role has shades of the blackface from Bamboozled.
As a revenge fantasy, the movie is nearly flawless, and as a spaghetti western the movie is nearly flawless.
Posted by Pol Pot on January 3, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Andy Niable 32
And then Spike threw a garbage can through the pizza shop window, right? /snark

(For the record, however clumsily, Mr. Lee has a point.)
Posted by Andy Niable on January 4, 2013 at 12:04 AM · Report this
Just going to copy and paste my comment from the Stangers review of Django as it seems on point to this slog post:

I would really like to hear Charles Mudede's take on this movie. I think this movie did a much better job at showing white people as racist then Lincoln did. Lincoln seemed to whitewash the ugliness of racism, with most of it's racism coming from wordy speeches. It also made white people look like the hero and whitewashed Lincoln's own racism.

Django Unchain showed white racists as the horrifying monstrosity that it was/is.

I saw Lincoln in Seattle in a theater of mostly white people, and there was this self congratulatory vibe in the theater. A feeling of WE DID IT, WE ENDED RACISM! Look at Daniel Day Lewis as wise old Lincoln ending RACISM! Man aren't white people great! Everything's going to be sunshine and roses from here!

I saw Django in a theater in Waterloo Canada, mostly filled with white people, and there was just a feeling of disgust for how the people acted. As a white person, seeing that many white people acting like that just makes you feel sick. But at the same time makes you realize that this is what racism is, this is shit that us white people have done to black people just because of their skin colour. Sure Tarantino doesn't show all the complexities of racism, but at least he shows the ugliness of it and makes his audience confront it head on.

Sorry for the rant, but since Charles thoughts on slog on race relations are always interesting I'd love to hear his take on the movie.
Posted by j2patter on January 4, 2013 at 12:25 AM · Report this

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