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Django Unchained

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

USA, 2012

Cornerhouse, 19 January 2013

Django Unchained

Quentin did World War Two last time, and has therefore got the Holocaust covered; now he tackles the subject of slavery.

True to his principles, the film contains plenty of cartoon violence, well choreographed as always, and plentiful utterances of the ‘N’ word.  However, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson create interesting characters for themselves (Jackson’s might be described as an ersatz Uncle Tom) and so raise the film above being simply the usual revenge orgy.

That Tarantino gets or understands slavery is in no doubt: he doesn’t.  Or if he does, he can’t make films that show it.  As we have seen in the past, he struggles to broach reality, never mind significant historical happenings, events and circumstances.  This is clear from the superficial albeit spectacular ending here: dig those anachronistic shades.  He can do cinematic pyrotechnics, mind, so savour the film on that level.