My Favorite Part of Django Unchained (Spoilers!)

26 02 2013

The pre-Civil War South is a land of insanity. The most loathesome, dehumanizing acts are protected by the law, and people of good conscience must move with utmost care. To stand up for simple decency could cost one everything.

Django’s wife Brunhilda is owned by Mr. Candie. Django and Schultz go to the plantation to buy her. They have to trick Candie into believing that they are as monstrous as Candie, as the whole society of a slaver nation. Candie must believe that they see Brunhilda as a commodity, not a person.

While Candie is entertaining them, a woman plays Beethoven on a harp. Schultz can’t stand it. The atrocities he’s witnessed play back in his mind, and he demands that the harpist stop. He can’t abide the beautiful culture of his native, eminently civilized Germany in the heart of the evil empire.

It’s a stunning reversal of every tale of American heroism in Nazi Germany– especially the one featuring Christoph Waltz as the Nazi, also by Tarantino.

It’s a subtle scene, and it happens fairly quickly, but it shook me much more than any of the amped-up spaghetti-western bloodshed. Somehow Tarantino’s signature goofiness serves to emphasize the deadly serious history lesson. The righteous happy ending of Django Unchained could only happen in a cartoonishly unreal Old South. Attitudes of American exceptionalism can only be maintained with a cartoonishly unreal grasp of history.

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2 responses

15 05 2013
Helen

First of all I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I’ve
had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any recommendations or tips? Kudos!

15 05 2013
skorpen

Thanks for the kind words Helen!
In answer to your question, I don’t really clear my thoughts before writing. Getting started is always the hardest part, but I find the only thing to do is just start typing. I may only write some key words at first, or phrases, just to get a framework in front of me. The actual text usually comes in fits and starts, with paragraphs getting moved around or abandoned halfway through and deleted. I find that centering happens somewhere during the process, after I splash around in nonsense for awhile. If this is what you’re doing for the first 10-15 minutes, don’t consider that time wasted.
If I’m really stuck I like to go to pen and paper, knowing I can scribble all over the page and type up a nice clean version later. Lynda Barry suggests that more physical ways of writing (on paper instead of typing) help creativity by stimulating different neurons. She drafted a novel writing by hand with a paintbrush!

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