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I've Read Tarantino's "Django Unchained" Script, And, Well, It's Not Nat Turner's Revolt...

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 9, 2011 5:55 AM
142 Comments
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So I finally got through reading Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay for Django Unchained. And, well, I'm sorry to say that it’s not at all what a lot of you seem to think, or rather hope it will be, as the title of this post suggests.

Recall when I had Wendell B Harris Jr (Chameleon Street) on the Shadow & Act Livecast a couple of years ago, in 2009, and he relayed a time when he boldly pitched a contemporary lynching retribution film to studio execs, who, not-so-surprisingly weren’t interested? And, in a later post, I made connections between Wendell's idea and another Tarantino movie (which hadn't been released at the time), Inglorious Basterds - the revisionist history movie on how WWII ended, set in Nazi-occupied France. It’s a revenge flick; as Jeffrey Wells put it: “a Jewish payback movie in which all kinds of brutal and sadistic killings of Germans are presented as not only righteous but delicious, because “them Nazis”… are viciously anti-Semitic and deserve it all to hell.

Revenge in Basterds, unlike Wendell Harris’ lynching retribution idea, does not take place almost a century after the crime. It happens synchronously, in the era it references – essentially one man’s fantasy about what could have been, and not what actually was.

So, it got me thinking… what if Wendell B Harris’ lynching revenge flick followed a similar story strategy? Again, revisionist history, set during the days in which the lynching of black people were de facto commonplace.

Thus, like Tarantino’s Basterds, two story lines converge. Borrowing almost verbatim from the Basterds synopsis, with some obvious alterations made with purpose: One story follows a ragtag group of black men whose mission is to take down as many offending whites as they can get their hands on. They ambush and kill white men responsible for the hangings of blacks (whether members of the KKK, officers of the so-called law, and members of any white supremacist mobs usually found at the center of lynchings), unabashedly desecrating their corpses, always leaving one alive, so that he can tell others. And the second storyline follows a young black woman who seeks to avenge the death of her family at the hands of white supremacists, by sabotaging the premiere of some supremacist group’s latest propaganda film release, by luring all the offending parties and their leaders into her theatre, with the intent to seal them all in, and burn the building down, killing them all. And, given the time the movie will take place, we’ll make the propaganda film in question being shown, D.W. Griffith’s Birth Of A Nation!

The title of Wendell Harris’s version can stay the same – Inglorious Basterds. It still works, right?

Well… sorry, but that’s not quite the kind of film you’re going to see here, with Django Unchained. It’s not Inglorious Basterds with black Basterds, and white supremacists getting their skulls crushed with baseball bats.

To be frank, I’m not so sure why the script is attracting so much acclaim, from those who’ve read it. I don’t think I’ve read one single negative reaction to it yet. So, I suppose mine may attract the wrath of fanboys and girls across the blogosphere.

I, unfortunately, can’t reveal plot details. I can only give you the vaguest idea of what to expect.

Yes, I know it’s essentially a parody of spaghetti westerns, with a little blaxploitation elements thrown into the mix. In fact, you’ll find pieces of films like Drum and Mandingo in it. I believe Tarantino once previously referenced the latter as an influence of sorts.

But I found this to be maybe his most contrived work. It looks and feels too much like a "Tarantino film," if that makes any sense, in terms of the pastiche of stylistic elements and substance that generally characterize his works. In essence, it feels kind of stale to me, despite the subject matter, and not really what I’d call a reinvention, which I was expecting.

As for the story itself… Call it the frivolity of slavery... superficial and gratuitous. It’s exploitation cinema, and, I think it would have worked much better, and been an easier pill to swallow 40 years ago.

Django isn’t quite the hero here – not the way you’re probably expecting. For a good 2/3 of the script, he’s pretty much playing second fiddle to Christoph Waltz’s character who is essentially Django’s mentor, and the man responsible for his freedom, later providing him with the necessary skills Django needs to eventually challenge the plantation owner who holds his wife captive. Waltz is pretty much playing Hans Landa, the same character her portrayed in Inglorious Basterds... the difference being he's on the side of “good” here. But, as I read it, I saw Landa all the way - multi-lingual, professorial, cunning, but efficient and deadly when necessary.

In fact, I’d say that Django doesn’t really, fully, come alive until about the last 25 minutes of this almost 3-hour script/movie. And there are circumstances that accommodate that transition, which I can’t reveal here – circumstances that felt all-too-convenient. Suffice it to say that just as it takes the assist of a white man to set Django free and on course towards saving his damsel in distress, it also takes the assist (however unintentional) of a white man to finally allow Django his moment to really shine, and get out of the white man's shadow. And even those last 20 minutes, aren't very satisfying.

Waltz is pretty much the show for much of the film, with the occasional unintentionally comedic line from Django, as well as flashback sequences to provide back-story.

Speaking of its blaxploitation influences… regarding the lead female character in this, named Broomhilda, Django’s slave wife, whom he’s separated from, and seeks. She’s the lead female in the film, but her part is limited to really just physicalities. She has the most screen time of any other woman in the film, which is why I call her the lead female character, but, really, there’s no Shosanna in this one, as there was in Inglorious Basterds. The black female “lead” here doesn’t get the same kind of dignified treatment that Tarantino gave Shosanna. Not even close. Yes, I know it’s a different time altogether, but, I’m sure he could have afforded Broomhilda some complexities, and maybe even made her a heroine in her own right.

There are some 4 or 5 scenes in which the she's, shall we say, "exposed"… i.e. naked; and they felt gratuitous to me; 2 in which she's raped by white men. When we first meet her, she's on the auction block and asked to bare her breasts to potential buyers; later, she's chased through a hotel, through hallways, and lobbies, etc, by a slave master, completely naked, after being woken up from sleep, with a whip across her naked body; and still later, she's locked up naked in a steel box as punishment for trying to run away. Yes, I’m sure these are all scenarios that very well likely could have played out at the time; however, Tarantino could have opted to depict her in another light altogether, but instead chose this less flattering, exploitative one. If the intent here is to elicit sympathy for her, and, in turn, ensure that we hate her captors even more, justifying their eventual comeuppance, it certainly doesn't. Not for me anyway, as someone who's already familiar with the atrocities of slavery, and didn't feel like I needed to see a character that's really the female lead in the film, essentially exhibited almost like Saartje Baartman (aka the Hottentot Venus) was. I'm betting Tarantino will likely get a well-endowed black actress to play the part, not-so unlike, as I already made comparisons to, the blaxploitation films of the 70s, the most famous female face (and body) of the era, Pam Grier.

Who exactly will take this particular role, I don’t know. It’s not the most glamorous, nor complex. Although, I’m sure there are a lot of actresses who’d gladly sign up for it.

As for Django, I'd be shocked if Will Smith agrees to do this, as is. I can't see it AT ALL! Not only because the part doesn't suit him; not in the slightest (the character is described as scrawny, first of all); but also because this isn't what I'd really call leading man material. As I already noted, Will Smith would essentially have to play second fiddle to Christoph Waltz for about 2/3rds of the film, and I just can't see him signing up for that.

To make a comparison, this is essentially Will and Tommy Lee Jones in the first Men In Black movie, wherein Tommy Lee scouts and recruits Will, is impressed with his abilities, and brings him into the collective. It's not the strongest comparison, since, in that film, Will’s character is pretty much already his own man (obviously, he’s not a slave in it); but I think you get the point.

What I think a lot of us would prefer, given your reactions to the initial announcement of this project, is something more akin to a story centered on some brute slave, fed up with the oppressive system he’s been subjected to for all his life, seething with rage, who courageously takes it upon himself, in the face of near-insurmountable, even deadly adversity, to restore some humanity and dignity to the life he and his family lead. Sure, like Nat Turner, he most likely would be killed in the end, but, I’d rather have that, than this, essentially, black/white buddy action/comedy movie, in the most basic sense.

Django Unchained feels more regressive than transgressive.

It’s unnecessarily long. Why did this need to be 166 pages? It’s dialogue-heavy, which, as we all know, is Tarantino's forte, after all. He loves a riveting, humorous verbal exchange; the battles of wits. There’s a lot of that here. Though, the script could easily be 66 pages less, and I don't know if you'd lose much, except chunks of dialogue that don't really add a hell of a lot to the narrative, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe reducing the number of times the word “Nigger” is used may actually kill off about 10 pages, because its use here is heavy; and even though it’s representative of the times, will probably make some uncomfortable… just like the now infamous “Dead Nigger Storage” scene in Pulp Fiction, which Tarantino was criticized for – notably by Spike Lee.

To use Hollywood parlance, this is a role more for a "character actor," than the proverbial "leading man," and, again, I just can't see Will Smith taking this role... at least, not without having some input on script changes. If the Men In Black III shooting was postponed twice because Will wasn't happy with the script, well... do the math here. But given that Tarantino's ego is just about as massive, I don't see him altering the script, not for Will; not even for God.

I'm sorry to say that I think a lot of you will be sorely disappointed with this. This isn't the revenge fantasy tale that most seem to be think it is, and want to see. This isn't Inglorious Basterds part 2; no KKK skulls being crushed with baseball bats; this isn't inspired by Nat Turner's revolt nor Toussaint L'Ouverture.

I know Jug has read it, but not sure who else may have. I’d like to hear what those of you who have read it think of Django Unchained. Am I just missing something here? And if so, what? School me…

Lastly, I’ve heard Michael K Williams’ name mentioned by a few folks, and I think he’d be a much better fit here, in terms of the way the character is described and depicted. The folks over at one of our sister sites, The Playlist, posted a thorough writeup, listing their choices for what actors would be best for just about every single major role in the film, and it's worth a read. Find it HERE.

I’ll leave you with this scene from Boardwalk Empire to give you the idea (although I'd say that there's actually more meat and subtlety in the character he portrays in this short 3 1/2 clip than there is in Django):

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142 Comments

  • tim | January 22, 2014 7:54 AMReply

    lol this was a great movie.

  • yemi toure | December 20, 2012 8:10 PMReply

    Quentin Tarantino has the word "nigger" in "Django Unchained" 110 times. What??? What is his underlying point for using it *that many* times? And if you say, "That's just how it was, back then," how many times will we hear "cracker"?

  • Donella | January 6, 2013 4:50 PM

    Quentin Tarantino also uses N*gger to an excessive level in Crimson Tide, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, etc--films set in contemporary times. The ability to shout N*gger whenever, however an over-privileged, narcissistic, spoiled little boy wants to is Tarantino's reason for breathing. Whether in slave era or contemporary films, Tarantino will find a reason. I thought Mel Gibson had issues with Jews, but Tarantino's really got some beserk, bent, and unhealthy fixation on Black people. BTW, for those clueless cult of personality fanboys, Blacksploitation does not equal Black culture. Blacksploitation is a phony, inauthentic creation of 1970s White directors.

  • RobThom | December 30, 2012 12:45 PM

    "What is his underlying point for using it *that many* times?"

    Because he thinks its totally cool and awesome word dude.

    And that he's so totally cool and awesome himself that he has a right to do that.

  • DanGoh | December 18, 2012 1:48 AMReply

    The script was brilliant, and I can guarantee there will be Oscar buzz and in all likelyhood numerous awards which it richly deserves.

  • Jodie | July 29, 2012 11:19 AMReply

    Give me a damned break - why should anyone patronize a movie like this in 2012. This is not history and we all know what a lot of white think about black men and women. The movie would only be sensationalism and continue to further the myth of hate mongering among non blacks. This is so stupid - I dare any of you to not buy a ticket to this bullshit - this director is know for the bizarre. Personally, I do not watch movies llike this and have no intention of reading any of the material beforehand. I would just hope that those of you who desire to move away from the prejudices and racist images of Black people. However, this is America and we can go around via media and trash, kill, maime, others through what we read and see, so while there may not be a Auroa,CO out of this it will definitely lean toward lynchings again in 2012 because some idiot will seek revenge on what they think Black people did to them or even some Black will say hell naw - as see revenge, either way this can be the beginning of either an all out or subtle race war. Normally, the middle class or poor, the wealthy have already been active for centuries.

  • Donella | October 25, 2012 7:08 PM

    I believe I'll watch the Hobbit instead.

  • Enow | July 15, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    i haven't read any comments and to tell the truth i didn't read the article, even tho it looks interesting as hell. what i did just read is that fucking screenplay and holy german shepard dog shit, that is one bad mother fucker of a script.
    i love it, love it, love it. i was starting to get nervous that the worm was about to turn during the dinner scene, and that the best was over with, but tarantino bitch smacked me right back into the reality of who i was dealing with.
    i cannot wait to see this flick.
    i don't even know what to say. witness...

  • retards, the whole lot of you | July 13, 2012 3:37 AMReply

    If you think Inglorious Basterds is a revenge flick that glorifies killing "nazis" then you are the butt of Tarantino's joke.
    (hint, hint: remember the propaganda film being showed in the cinema and then maybe you'll understand.)

  • Tom | June 8, 2012 12:01 AMReply

    "...so what do white people use for their reasons to commit heinous crimes?"

    Various reasons, but the point is that they commit violent crime at a rate that is 9x lower than blacks, even when adjusted for socioeconomics. So, the poster was making the point that slavery is often used as an excuse as to why present day blacks can't control their impulse to be violent to a degree that is statistically on par with other races.

  • John | December 27, 2012 5:21 PM

    Really? Whites Killed Native Americans, Lynched Blacks for years, Killed Chinese working on the Railroads, Killed Jews, Columbine, Oklahoma City, Connecticut school shooting, Firemen Shot and killed. When Columbus landed the killing started and hasent stopped yet. Whites have killed more people than anyone else on this planet. Don't believe it go read a book. Blacks do commit "socioeconomic " street crimes and there is no excuse for that. But if thats all whites did there would be so many more people alive today.

  • Steph | May 10, 2012 6:58 PMReply

    I’m wondering why The Weinstein Company and Quentin Tarantino chose not to highlight/emphasize/showcase/splash the rape and humiliation of Jewish (by German nazis) and Italian (by Allied soldiers) women during World War II in Inglorious Basterds. But then decided to satisfy demands “for authentic representation” of slavery with multiple rape scenes for the Black woman–and then refer to that Black rape victim as a prostitute and a pony in their marketing and propaganda for their fanboys. You didn’t see scenes like this in Defiance or Schindler’s List, but apparently The Weinstein Company feels it should be seen on an excessive and gratuitous level in Django Unchained.

  • anthony fuller | December 11, 2012 1:42 PM

    Saw a screening for this film last night. You are 100% correct in your question about the baselessness of Tarantino & Weinstein's claim for authentification of the times, yet this "authenticity", in regards to violent lynching, rape and dehumanization, that was NOT shown in "Inglorious Basterds" but shown often in Django Unchained.

  • Papa Joe Jackson | May 4, 2012 1:11 PMReply

    Guess what? The fundamental bottom line failure of any business is when people don't pay for it. So I'm not buying a ticket to see this. Guess what? End of debate. (sometimes the simplest of action is the most revolutionary)

  • Steph | May 4, 2012 12:43 PMReply

    How many graphic scenes of the rape of Italian/Jewish women did Tarantino/Weinstein greenlight for Inglorious Bastards (since this occurred on a massive scale during WW2)?

  • Steph | July 28, 2012 3:56 PM

    Yeah, I didn't think anyone had the nerve to answer this. The silence is deafening and tells me all I need to know.

  • Nuclearplanet | May 3, 2012 1:09 PMReply

    "And the second storyline follows a young black woman who seeks to avenge the death of her family at the hands of white supremacists, by sabotaging the premiere of some supremacist group’s latest propaganda film release, by luring all the offending parties and their leaders into her theatre, with the intent to seal them all in, and burn the building down, killing them all. And, given the time the movie will take place, we’ll make the propaganda film in question being shown, D.W. Griffith’s Birth Of A Nation!"

    0_0 I doubt anything written here is true. First of all as it's a western, it more then likely that i will be set in mid 1800s not 1915, the year Birth Of A Nation. Second, It's already been released that the film features a slave plantation owner, Abolition of slavery occurred in 1n 1864. So....your full of crap seeing how you templates Inglorious Basterds.

  • Brandon | April 29, 2012 11:51 PMReply

    Oh and one last thing. I am a complete coward and need the internet to say these generalizing, non-accurate, poor white people bullshit rhetoric that is in this peanut in my head that is supposed to be my brain.

  • Brandon | April 29, 2012 11:41 PMReply

    By the way, I have to say I don't believe all the rhetoric concerning how white men raped black women in that era. If that was true, why do white men completely despise black women these days. It's not like they can't bang black women because black women love white men. White men are unwilling to date black women because they are butt ugly. That's why even black men don't want them anymore. That and they try to throw it in the mans face that they got a fat white girl with a low self esteem.

  • G-Lucky | June 28, 2012 3:27 PM

    HEY ASS HOLE AFRICAN AMERICANS IS PART WHITE YOU RETARD!!!! Of course Black women was getting Raped Back then You dont Have to be in Love to Rape someone Like Them SAME F*CKS dont have to be in Love to Rape a PIG on there Farm They was Sick ASS WHITE FOLKS WHO WAS LAZY ASS SHIT !



    PS Black Women Stay Beautiful White Women Crack by the Age 28 That's why they get BOTOX

  • angela | May 22, 2012 4:37 AM

    Wow. Its bad enough that so many young girls and women were sexually abused back than (not just during slavery, but well up to the civil rights movement) but to go on and claim that it didn't even happen? (And based on what? What do white males of 2012 have to do with the white slaveowners/overseers in the slave era anyway?) Rape isn't an act of love. In every instance of human slavery the women (sometimes men and even children) are raped, the African slave trade was no difference. Hell at this rate, I wont be surprised people will start denying slavery existed in the first place.

  • Moionfire | May 10, 2012 3:20 AM

    I shouldn't even bother to reply to you (since you are trolling and a racist)- but rape has nothing to do with sexual interest or arousal. It is an act of violence and hatrade.

  • Carl | April 29, 2012 11:57 PM

    Glad the scene pissed you off Billy Bob.

  • Brandon | April 29, 2012 11:34 PMReply

    Well this should continue to set race relations back a couple of more decades. I can't wait to watch black people going around wreaking bloody revenge on white people. In fact, we dint have to watch a movie to see this it's still happening right now. Black people use slavery as a reason to commit heinous crimes all across the country every day. Now, we need movies to glorify it. This is great for America... I know I know, after this comes out he should make a movie where the slave masters relatives come back and start killing all the nigs. Oh, nevermind it wouldn't be acceptable.. :/

  • angela | May 22, 2012 4:31 AM

    ...so what do white people use for their reasons to commit heinous crimes?

  • Chris | May 11, 2012 12:12 PM

    Well I live in a conceal and carry state if any thug wants to come and inflict some revenge for something I had nothing to do with and they themselves are so far removed from it effected neither of us I will gladly oblige! I'm not going to be a victim to some jackboot reverse racism thug! Locked and loaded!

    Great timing for the film release too, why not Christmas Day?

    Hollywood will never let racism die.. Too much money to be made from exploiting it. Funny many blacks today moved from the slave plantation to the democratic plantation where they are continuously used as tool's and pawns for them all the while keeping them oppressed and use language that speaks clearly they do not believe a black man or woman can ever stop being a victim full of excuses. Did you know who fought against Civil Rights and who were responsible for much of the Jim Crowe stuff? Democrats! The same party most blacks associate with! Stupid is as stupid does..

  • al | March 21, 2012 7:28 AMReply

    You need to monitor the comments on this blog.

  • GINNY KILLING | March 21, 2012 1:49 AMReply

    I HATE I HATE THAT QT GINNY BASTARD!!!

  • GINNY KILLER | March 21, 2012 1:47 AMReply

    QT is a nigger hating GINNY DAGO WOP BASTARD !!THAT SHOULD BE KILL!!!!HIM A THAT OTHER RACIST GINNY MARTYGOOD FELLA S.

  • john | March 30, 2012 10:26 PM

    Tarantino a racist? the dude is a SELF-HATING CAUCASIAN. he doesn't hate blacks, trust me

  • Patricia Kayden | February 28, 2012 8:18 PMReply

    Good to hear that a film about Touissant L'Overture is coming out. Read the book "The Black Jacobins" at University and loved how it portrayed the enslaved Haitians who overcame their oppressors.

    Will not be watching DU -- not a Tarantino fan at all. Never watched any of his films and it seems like I, as a Black female, am not missing anything.

  • Donella | February 24, 2012 5:34 PMReply

    I'm so looking forward to Touissant (Touissant L'Overture) and 12 Years a Slave (Solomon Northrup), two projects that I anticipate will depict a relatively realistic view of slavery since they're both based upon true histories of former slaves. In fact, I anticipate the history of Haiti's slave rebellion will do amazing business in the States.

  • James | September 27, 2012 4:33 PM

    You mean someone's finally going to make a Touissant film? About damn time. If the guy hadn't been Black this film would've been made decades ago!

  • kate | February 11, 2012 4:42 AMReply

    Perhaps there is a reason why the script was leaked in the first place.

  • Tamer | February 5, 2012 5:41 AMReply

    I love tha Tarantino doesn't shy away from movie making to release timid work like 99% of the garbage that comes out of Hollywood.
    You found the nudity 'gratuitous'? Don't watch it. You're upset that he depicts slavery in a realistic manner? Go watch Disney.
    They are few and far between (Tarantino, Kubrick, the Coen bros.) - even your darling Speilberg doesn't come close.

  • Donella | December 10, 2011 5:24 PMReply

    Django Unchained reveals Tarantino's limitations as a writer. He writes Black men to be submissive and emasculated [1] Pulp Fiction/Samuel L. Jackson's character responds to nXXXX repeatedly thrown at him by Tarantino's character with an apology and a bowed head. Ving Rhames' character is sodomized by Peter Green's character. [2] In Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx's character attempts to rescue his wife only after Christopher Waltz's character tells him its time to do so. Also, Jamie Foxx's character has his genitals fondled by Samuel L. Jackson's character who also threatens to cut them off. Regarding Black women there are also issues in that Tarantino seems to think the main purpose of a Black woman in his movies is to curse and/or fight. Tracie Thoms & Sydney Poitier in Death Proof. Vivica A. Fox in Kill Bill. Jackie Brown was a fully-realized strong character who was not created by Tarantino, but instead a white character from Rum Punch adapted by Tarantino and colored... Brown. The character of Broomhilda in Django Unchained as written by Tarantino is a human mattress. She is raped at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of his story. She is made to stand unclothed in front of a crowd, pacified with JELLY BEANS, then bet in a card game like a horse, whipped naked from a hotel into mud, forced naked into a sweatbox, then raped again while crying. No character growth, no story arc, no hopes, dreams, thoughts, expectations, or will of her own. No triumph. No humanization. She is a victim, victim, victim. Rape, cry, rape, cry, rape, cry, rape. The End. Roll credits. These are Quentin Tarantino's visions of Black people.

  • postman | November 13, 2011 9:28 PMReply

    Read the script, and although long, it's great / original / new. Does a great job putting the audience in the times of that era - the brutality and ignorance of it. Dynamic characters, interesting scenes, thick rich world. The first thing a film has to do is entertain, then slip in some teach. This script does that - and when most movies and scripts and pure cookie cutter, formulaic **** , this one's a breathe of fresh air. Perhaps the largest of my gripe is only at the end of script, Tarantino puts 'written and directed by Quentin Tarantino' - when all he needs is 'the end.'

  • JB | October 31, 2011 12:44 PMReply

    LL, I would say Tarantino probably gets more work than Spike Lee because he continues to write original scripts that are critically acclaimed. From Reservoir Dogs to Pulp Fiction to the KilL Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds & now Django Unchained.. Is Spike Lee's last original script Do The Right Thing ? Did he write the awful Bamboozled ? He has directed some very good films. However, his body of completely original works is pretty weak.

  • Kevin-Niduaza | October 27, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    This is really a non-issue. Any intelligent person should already know the stereotypes that exist, Hollywood or not. This is not exclusive to Black people either, its Asians, Whites, Latinos, young people, old people, Gays, Transgendered people, rich people, indigent people and pretty much everyone else under the sun. And don't get me started on the treatment of women in cinema (who I believe had it worst in the history of film, even worse than blacks) - Just look at last years critically acclaimed 'Black Swan', which is a great horror thriller in the vein of Polanski's 'Repulsion', but it's treatment of women is simply ridiculous.

    I would argue that Tarantino is actually one of the least stereotypical filmmakers out there. People tend to forget that miscegenation is not the same as racism. Tarantino very clearly uses race as a point of contention in almost all his films - and why not, it is a simple way to create drama and it is something we can all relate to - but he is clearly NOT a racist himself. Take 'Reservoir Dogs' for example. Since the film's story is made up of mostly white characters the average moviegoer can surmise that this is a film saying something about the white perspective (or A white perspective). On occasion, these white characters liberally refer to Black people in ways that sound irrational (she glued his d!ck to his stomach) or generally incompetent (Mr Pink says something to the effect of, "Have you ever worked with n!ggers, man? They always fight and end up killing each other"). Yet, anybody who has seen the film can attest that within the course of the story, it's the white characters themselves who repeatedly act in ways both irrational and incompetent. Ultimately, it's the white characters that mostly "always fight and end up killing each other". Tarantino is not one of these guys like Paul Haggis (re: 2005's 'Crash') who just uses race and stereotypes to condemn racism while actually reinforcing said stereotypes. Tarantino uses race as a dramatic conceit but demonstrates how everyone is equally fallible (i.e. human).

    Here's another example of Tarantino showing how he views the Black race. In Inglourious Basterds, there are a few mentions of Blacks that are seemingly negative. Goebbels speech about how 'American olympic gold can be measured in Negro sweat' and Landa's suggestion to Shosanna that she operate the projectors on Nazi night because Marcel is a Negro (remember the line, "One can see how that could be a good trade for them", emphasis on THEM). And let's not forget Major Hellstroms comparison of King Kong (a movie about a giant GORILLA) to the American slave trade. Yet, when all the Nazi high command are gathered in the theater during the climax, who is the character that throws the flame which kills them all? I'll give you a hint - it's not Shosanna and it ain't the Basterds.

    This is why Kill Bill is Tarantino's best film. First Tarantino does what everyone does, he strengthens his heroine by giving her male traits - she's a tough badass, Charles Bronson/Lee Marvin type hell bent on revenge - but anyone who's watched both films to the end can attest that by the finish she finds her true strength in womanhood (or more accurately, motherhood). The symbolism is right there on the screen, instead of chopping Bill down, when he tries to slice her, what does she do? She sheathes his sword (which is a metaphor for femininity or woman as receptacle) and breaks his heart both literally and figuratively. In vol.1 her weapon was the sword (the penis) but by vol 2 she retreats from such falseness and excepts herself as sheath (the vagina). What was once a weakness to her (being a woman/receptacle, wanting to change into a warrior) becomes her true strength (her motherhood was the catalyst for the conflict but becomes her raison d'etre).

    In Django Unchained, it is essential that Tarantino show Washington nude and in distress. He must show Jamie Foxx with scars on his back and white people in the film should treat the Black folk as less than human. Why? Because that's exactly what happened during the times of slavery in the American South. It should ring true, so that when our Spaghetti Western hero (Django) finally gets his retribution, we can understand that Tarantino's fantasia can only mean one thing - throughout all his films, his only mythological heroes are women (Jackie Brown, Beatrix Kiddo) and Black people (Jules, Marcel, Django).

  • Dylan | June 6, 2012 9:31 PM

    Why Aren't You Reviewing The Script?!? You Much Better Than The Jerk Off Editor Tambay.

  • Rohme | May 16, 2012 11:30 PM

    Refreshing to read an insightful comment.

  • bicoastal | November 26, 2011 10:15 PM

    Kevin, that was one of the most well-thought out posts in a while. I just saw IB, have seen it at least 5x, and still didn't even remember that the black dude burns the Nazis down! This is why I love art; the nuances can be overlooked even by a lover or such. Also to note, QT's film is the ONLY Nazi film I've ever seen that presented Black and Latinas in it! Like C'MON Spielberg, you have 2 black children; what's your damn excuse? LOL. Renting it again!

  • mhg | October 2, 2011 10:02 AMReply

    You know what? Who cares how many times Tarantino uses the word "nigger" in his films or have Black women degraded and raped by white men? His portrayal of black folk in his films are always shallow and negative. It is his film. It doesn't bother me one way or the other.

    He doesn't seem to get it, though, that he doesn't always have to do it this way to have an audience. He has to ejaculate every time he says or hears the word nigger or see a black woman raped and demeaned by a white man. He must get some kind of pleasure. I mean, he weirds me out to be so preoccupied with the enigma of black folk and it seems in his attempt to sort it out he explodes in his pants. Black folk are not shocked at hearing the word nigger thousands of times a day or seeing black women whipped and raped by white men and slave masters. This is in our DNA...(yawn). So what else is new?

    When it comes to black folk who take on these roles in his films, it is simply a matter of economics and I applaud them for continuing to work. I hope Tarantino will one day accept the fact that he will never be black.

  • Moionfire | May 10, 2012 3:26 AM

    Tarrantino is simply a racist. The fact that people haven't confronted him for it is a scandal.

  • Donella | December 15, 2011 1:17 PM

    "He has to ejaculate every time he says or hears the word nigger or see a black woman raped and demeaned by a white man. He must get some kind of pleasure. I mean, he weirds me out to be so preoccupied with the enigma of black folk and it seems in his attempt to sort it out he explodes in his pants."

    I find Tarantino's preoccupations with Black male emasculation, rape of Black females, and repetitive racial epithets against Black people extremely weird. It makes me wonder what happened to him to cause this? He has mentioned before that his mother dated a Black man when he was younger. Maybe it started there. It also has not escaped my notice that Vivica A. Fox, Sydney Poitier, Tracie Thoms, and Pam Grier have declined repeat appearances in Tarantino's films. The only Black person who returns is Samuel L. Jackson. Tarantino waves Jackson all over the place as a shield against accountability. I hope Jackson is sending Tarantino a healthy-sized invoice for each moment of damage control. But I actually appreciate Denzel Washington alpha male intolerance of racial foolishness and his confrontation of Tarantino's attempt to fill the Crimson Tide script with racial epithets. For whatever reason.

  • LL | September 3, 2011 9:03 AMReply

    A lot of commenters here are making the point that black women back then were used as sexual objects and rape was commonplace. That doesn't mean that the character has to be portrayed as a one-dimensional object......Tarantino is an exploitation filmmaker, so I'm not surprised when he uses violence and vulgarity as punchlines for his irrelevent films.
    I think this is a topic he should leave alone, but I don't have a say in the matter..... I mean, how is it he can keep getting money for him b.s. films, and Spike Lee has to scrape and struggle for films that seriously look at black people?
    I think the answer to that one should be obvious..........

  • Tom | November 26, 2011 4:28 PM

    Irrelevant films? Like Pulp Fiction, one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, and Basterds, eight Academy Award nominations? He writes some of the most original, captivating scripts, attracts the biggest stars in the industry, and launches careers (Waltz). Maybe thats why the money keeps coming in. If Lee had half the originality and creativity of Tarantino he'd probably receive similar cash flows. The comparison is a joke, and your argument is preposterous. Maybe you don't like the man's work but to call it irrelevant is just incorrect. Money goes to the talented and to think that race is what separates their success is an ignorant argument to make. Instead of shying away from the topic for the sake of some bullshit political correctness, Tarantino will attempt to accurately depict a very controversial period in American history because that's what great writers and directors do. And regardless of skin color, compensation will come to those who do just that. Grow up and don't use race as an argument when it has nothing to do with anything................................................

  • LL | September 3, 2011 8:34 AMReply

    I personally feel that Tarantino pays too much homage to the trash films of the 70's; some of the stupider elements of Inglourious Basterds (the dumb Sam Jackson voice-over, 70's logo) was due to his devotion to exploitation films. He's still too immature of a person to ever devote himself completely to a serious topic without sullying it with gratuitous violence and vulgarity.
    Case in point: Inglourious Basterds starts out brilliantly, but fails in it's depiction of the 'basterds' as a one-dimensional violence-junkies. If he had focused the story on Shoshana and the 'jew-hunter' he could have had a tight thriller. Instead we have asides featuring cartoonish killings, typical over-long monologues, and his cliche-ridden mexican standoff.........
    I'm already turned off by 'Django' and it's reported over-use of the 'N' word and degradation of a black woman. His past use of racial epithet and curse words suggests that he thinks that black people all speak a certain way. We don't. I personally don't know any black women or men who use "m___thaf__k" all the time.....sure, some people do speak that way, but Tarantino seems to think that we all do........His trash-ploitation is old and I'm be glad if his next film flops

  • Bacon Strips | March 31, 2012 3:44 PM

    Lets keep it real

  • Bacon Strips | March 31, 2012 3:42 PM

    Why cant we all just enjoy Tarantino as the artist he is? I feel that he uses racial slurs not because he's a racist, but in our society that's how things are and he exposes that. I am black myself and I was never offended by any of his work. We all need to open our eyes and realize the harsh environment that we all live in. This isn't Toon Disney folks, we are not little kids anymore. We live in a society of nationalism. Every since this country/continent was 1st discovered by Europeans, racism has been an issue and it always will be.It is nothing new.Lets not act like racism isnt there.So why do we act appalled when Tarantino adds racial slurs or black issues in his films? Thats how shit is.With that being said I LOVE TARANTINO

  • Lia | August 26, 2011 12:43 PMReply

    First and foremost, QT's entire work ethic is centered around exploitative and cult films and filmmakers, highly stylized flicks with intriguing and quirky soundtracks and violent yet strong sexualized vixens. The script to me doesn't seem offensive because I've come to expect this from him --

    This film is a continuation of QT's fascination with cult flicks, before this movie was developed he was in a film called Sukiyaki Western Django which took the same Django style and threw Japanese people in it. Now its his turn to throw some black people in it-- if your hoping for a deeply moving black experience from Quentin, keep waiting, because he has more of A LOVE AFFAIR WITH BLACK CULTURE THAN A RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING OF IT. He knows the plight of black people and the struggle with slavery and the atrocities of it but Q is more concerned about the stylization of slavery harping back to the romanticized Antebellum of cult flicks like Mandingo and Drum with sexually explicit material and glamorized gore and Mandingo was a book just to put it into some perspective. This film is gonna be like CATCHER FREEMAN MEETS KILL BILL BUT WITH THE STYLING OF INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and honestly black folks ain't ready for that. Inglorious was a grind-house film which actually had a BLACK CHARACTER that Quentin cut out of the movie-- I think QT just wants to remake cheesy b-flicks for a modern audience because that's what he loves and the viewers are so ignorant to film history that it seems visionary but the reason why I like his films are because they are a good marriage of pop culture, music videos and cinema all into one - the look is what sells a Quentin film and a movie about a black slave wont be any different for him.

  • John Denver | August 20, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    Wow, the sript is really THAT offensive? Good, thing the people like this editor criticized Braveheart, or all of the movies showing slavery during the Spanish Inquisition, or how bout GENHIS KAHN... Oh I see, if it's about BLACK people, we don't dare write bout the history do we? Sounds to me that QT is pretty "bull's eye" on this one! Can't wait to see it...

  • Blach | August 4, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    You can download the script at: http://www.sendspace.com/file/ilgeeb

  • C.A.Mariotti | July 27, 2011 10:50 AMReply

    My plead to Hollywood.

    Sounds like the gratuitous nudity in Dusk Till Dawn. Kinda sick to see such good filmaking get overwhelmed by ...lusts.

    2006, I began to write. A well known African American actor heard of my work in 07. He asked if I had any parts for him. I showed him two scripts, one a pirate movie, the other a western. We met for dinne,r and he told me, "Write me a western and I'll do it." Ok, great, I have all kinds of research from 1848 to 54. I digg deeper and come up with an escaped slave's struggle for riches and freedom in the New West only to be thwarted by notorious gunslingers... etc.... I pitched the script and concept to numerous studios, some interest, but it's a period piece, no thank you. In Spite of my assurances to them the western is coming back with a vengeance. I knew it would or I would not have done it.

    Now, after True Gritt, all of a sudden it's a good idea. I am happy to say we are going to produce this ourselves, and here, right wins out over evilin a rightous way with the help of unlikely allies. It's not just a knee-jerk reaction for vengeance, but one where the protagonist is forced to fight for what is right. And it is done in a way and with characters you have not lilely seen before. So I plead to Hollywood, write something that has a moral backbone and not an animalistic urge that must be fulfilled that leaves us empty...and fuels hatred.

  • Donella | July 22, 2011 7:47 AMReply

    The amount of defensive anger in this thread is actually very revealing.

  • Miranda | July 20, 2011 10:21 AMReply

    @ Lowe - I can't believe you decided to pick on Tarantino for his spelling and grammar along with the content of his script. Besides that being irrelevant to the quality of his writing, it's also a bit of a low-blow. Maybe you've never done your research and you don't know that Quentin Tarantino is a rather famous dyslexia sufferer. The fact that he has overcome his dyslexia and the shame it generally causes to become one of the most well-known filmmakers in the world is pretty inspirational, I think.

    I'll wait to see the film before deciding how I feel about the writing. Actors often bring things to life in a way I could never have imagined. Also, I was pretty disappointed in Inglourious Basterds, so I am hoping this will be more enjoyable for me. I'm prepared to take it as it comes, though.

  • Jeff | July 20, 2011 10:12 AMReply

    Black women were treated like sexual objects & lower even than the black man. Exploitation? How about reality? As far as blacks dependng on whites & stupid. Is it not far fetched to think a black man in the deep south would need the help of a white bounty hunter in order to ever find & have his wife again so far far away? & the hillbilly whites were written as horribly stupid inbreds. How could you overlook that fact? The whole scene about the bags with the eyes cut out was absolutely hilarious. Amazing cast of actors set to be in this film... Sorry Jamie Foxx isn't dominating this whole script but Christoph Waltz will absolutely knock the Shultz character out of the park... DiCaprio as Candie is brilliant.... Sam Jackson as the main antagonizer = awesome... The Ace Woody character is a viciously bad man... going to be played by Kevin Costner... Just an amazing story... The whole first part of the script with Foxx/Waltz is brilliant... Just amazing writing... Let go of your insecurities & obsessiion with the racial aspect & realize slavery was absolutely brutal & disgusting... Its out in the open here. No holds barred entertainment.

  • Lowe | July 19, 2011 8:00 AMReply

    I just finished the script, and, like the writer of this article, I was surprisingly disappointed. The character of Django was underwrittten, playing second fiddle to the King Schultz character until the last few pages. Tarantino has fallen far, nothing in this screenplay was nearly as complex as the writing in Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, or Jackie Brown. I found the screenplay to be offensive and exploitative. Broomhilda is raped in multiple scenes, and is naked in seemingly half the scenes that she is in; why does QT feel the need to constantly show this woman being sexually abused? It didn't feel like Tarantino was commenting on the horrors of slavery through her suffering, it just felt exploitative and manipulative. He has written a screenplay set during one of the most unforgivable periods in our nation's history and has turned it into a two-dimensional, unsophisticated, unhealthy piece of entertainment. Black characters are portrayed as stupid or reliant on whites, even Django is overly dependent on his white counterpart Schultz. Schultz is ultimately portrayed as the hero for the first two thirds of the script, Django shockingly has little to say - less than any main character in any QT film I have ever seen. Django finally "comes into his own" in an awful, two-dimensional scene of violent revenge similar to the climactic scene in Inglorious Basterds where two Jews viciously murder a crowd of unarmed, panicked theater goers. Though these theater going nazis are evil, as are the slave owning whites in Django Unchained, it feels wrong and disturbing to kill with such a tone of pleasure as Tarantino does in his writing. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," Martin Luther King Jr. said those wise words. With that in mind, this entire film feels wrong to me.

    Also, I was surprised by the number of spelling and grammatical errors in his writing, and I'm not talking about the deliberate miss-spelling for characters who speak in the southern dialect. For someone who has such a strong grasp on dialogue in previous films, I was shocked to notice that QT doesn't seem to understand the difference between 'then' and 'than', and in one passage he uses 'concious' instead of 'conscience.'

    This is the worst Tarantino script I have ever read, not because it is necessarily badly written , but because I found it to be offensive and exploitative; taking a serious issue such as slavery and making a one dimensional, overly bloodthirsty and manipulative spaghetti western.

  • Jeff | July 16, 2011 5:00 AMReply

    One more thing... I believe Kerry Washington is rumored to play Broomhilda. I'm telling you, read the script for yourself. Watch the movie for yourself. Don't allow one mans script review allow you to miss out on this. I think her character is very strong, smart, loving, caring. Very deep. You can see that throughout the script unless you're blinded by the atrocious things that happen to beautiful black slaves in years past. Reality is the truth. Why shy from it?

  • Jeff | July 16, 2011 4:53 AMReply

    Just finished reading the script. Brilliant writing. I can see Jamie Foxx taking this role & absolutely owning it. Christoph Waltz as King Shultz is the perfect fit. If you haven't read this script you probably have no idea why a German/free slave could team up on some fantasy tale shit. However, the pairing works perfectly & ties into so many great aspects of the script. Samuel L. Jackson might be the main antagonist in this film, to be honest. I can see him being one of the most hated black men in movie history. Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie should be really interesting. He seems like a cool, smooth, charming character with an obvious dark side & lifestyle. I don't know if this role is Oscar worthy. I could see him nailing this role though & taking home the gold. The Broomhilda character is very interesting & theres an interesting twist we find out earlier on in the movie about her that is very intriguing. I do not believe, just because theres a scene with her running naked through a hallway, that is some exploitation crap. First, we don't know what will & won't make the movie from this script. Obviously things will get cut. If you're overly offended by a black woman being nude in a movie set in slave times I don't know what to say. As long as it isn't overy exploitive, which this movie isn't, I can't see why one would be so sensitive. Because Tarantino isn't a black writer? Slavery is a part of America's ugly past. Tarantino certainly does a wonderful job of putting a great story together here. So many interesting plot twists & interesting characters. I think this movie will gain critical acclaim ala Inglourious Basterds.

  • Fail | July 14, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    I love how you all assume that writing is the only aspect of film-making.
    Cinematography certainly has nothing to do with it!

    You kids should just stick to your literature circles and book clubs.

  • BigJeff | July 13, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    I know there is a feeling of animosity towards Tarantino for his casting a German man to be a main character. Remember, he did the same thing in IB with Brad Pitt, a non Jew, being the leader of the basterds.

  • American African | July 13, 2011 4:10 AMReply

    Funny that QT is able to tackle a story like that of Jews in Nazi Germany without ever depicting brutal gang rape and abject degradation, however his attempt to cover American history just cannot avoid these pitfalls. I will not be paying to see this and hope it succeeds like The Golden Compass did.

  • Moionfire | May 10, 2012 3:32 AM

    Good point. QT is disgusting and has major issues with black people.

  • bobbycastro | July 12, 2011 5:13 AMReply

    None of you should believe this article and what it says. There is not one positive thing this writer has to say about the entire script. Either the writer is trying to completely throw the reader off into thinking that the movie will turn out to be shit or, he's just talking shit.
    I HAVE read the script and i can say it IS a Masterpiece. Upon reading it, I played the movie in my head as I was reading the script and by the time I was finished with all 166 pages, I had a smile spread across my face. The by the time this film is made and after it comes out, audiences will have experienced the rare cinematic experience that they experience once in a while.
    What makes Tarantino's films so great is that audiences get to experience something new and different. He introduces audiences to genres some have never heard of. For some people when they see it, it will be their first spaghetti western. I find that to be extremely exciting. All that comes out every week in local cinemas are lifeless and fake studio films. Transformers Dark of the Moon was probably the one of the worst movies of the year, so far.
    With its all star cast consisting of big name actors such as Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz only improves things for Tarantino. Not only does he have a brilliant script, but he has a brilliant cast as well. Now all that seems to be missing to me is the music.
    The soundtrack to Sergio Leone's "Duck, You Sucker" would be perfect for this film. If Tarantino can get Ennio Morricone to make an original soundtrack to this film.... imagine the possibilities. It has been almost 30 years since Ennio Morricone has composed an original spaghetti western film score. Just look at what he had done with all of Sergio Leone's films.
    There are some of the best set pieces Tarantino has ever written in this script. With a Morricone/ Spaghetti Western score accompanying these set pieces, the end film will rank among the best spaghetti westerns ever made.

  • jarvis3205 | July 10, 2011 10:22 AMReply

    Not to be argumentative & what not...but why does everyone forget Jackie Brown & Abernathy Ross?!?! I mean...those two black women issue tons of beat downs & needed very little help whatsoever...from white or black men. They sure came out on top...& QT had a hand in both those stories.

  • Donella | July 8, 2011 1:56 AMReply

    Haven't read the script but the long list of comments on the portrayal of the Broomhilda leads me to the same sinking feeling of nausea that I developed from reading the prolonged and overly-detailed "gang of white men rape black woman" scene in Stephen King's Bag of Bones as well as the visually-disgusting "psychotic white man rapes black woman" scene in Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead comic. The fantasies are really disturbing.

    If, in fact, the title character Django is truly not the lead character--initiating the action, resolving the conflict--then it would appear that the story will be told from the "savior" perspective, not actually the "hero" perspective.

    For instance, I'm still hoping that Octavia Butler's "Kindred" will someday be adapted as an insightful examination of three-dimensional characterization of Black females surviving under white male dominated southern slave system. Quite a leap from the Black female as a one-dimensional victim/toy.

    Even present-day Monster's Ball portrayed the Black female as helpless and hopeless (couldn't even calculate change at the cash register), and without a single friend or relative until the fantasy of her rescue.

  • jarvis3205 | July 4, 2011 4:03 AMReply

    The thing is...this is Tarantino's gig & the script that is read a year before production or 2 months before production is a changing thing. I can assure that if this film is Django Unchained...it will be that. Tarantino's vision is quite often a disturbing thing to those looking for something to...dramatize over. If you come into a QT flick looking to be offended & shocked you're damned well going to be. At the end of the day black history is not just black history...its American history & unfortunately that is black & white history...& unfortunately what no one wants to admit is...it didn't mix back then. Hell, to some it doesn't mix today. Personally, I'm as excited over this bit of revisionist history as I was for Inglorious Basterds. The man can weave some intense scenes jam packed with emotion & dialogue & I'm thrilled that he's picking this subject matter. Lets just wait & see what's coming...then again...that'd defeat the purpose of blogs & what not, right?

  • QTprotege | July 2, 2011 8:12 AMReply

    Any of you ever watched The Boondocks episode called "The Story of Catcher Freeman", I have a feeling this film will be a movie version of it. maybe I'm wrong.

  • Nikki Jensen | June 27, 2011 11:02 AMReply

    Two huge QT fans write a nasty little song inspired by QT and 'Django unchained.' Check it out if you want, can't wait for this film to come to fruition. :) Thanks guys.

  • Who Cares? | June 27, 2011 8:57 AMReply

    Well firstly, to go into reading a script about something as important as Nat Turners demonstration by a European American with exception of dopeness is absurd but not surprising due to the complexity of the event. And I say that not to be smug but by calling it a "revolt" exposes the perspective. Nat Turner didnt act alone. He was a part of a larger military mission that uses Nat Turner (knowingly by Nat) to demonstrate what will happen if the rights of the enslaved population as written out in the US constitution were not acknowledged. This is how we felt at that time about our mission and we were organized.
    And to tell the true story of the Nat Turner demonstration nothing needs to change for it to be most impressive. He surrendered and was hung as it was planned. He didnt escape after the act because he was under orders to stay and confess his position. Read "The Confession of Nat Turner". The language he uses in the "Confession" eludes to biblical prophecy.
    We cant expect others to tell our story. He was crucified in Jerusalem, VA, not by coincidence. We must learn it. Then tell it.
    afroamcivilwar.org
    The museum in Washington, DC does a helluva job telling our story. From our perspective.

  • Jesse Kellestine | June 25, 2011 5:43 AMReply

    I don't think you're really off the mark or anything, just a little quick to generalize it. Tonally the script is similar to Inglorious Basterds (it's almost magical... things look realistic but hyper realistic, insane situations and reactions etc) but when has that not been the way of Quentin Tarantino?

    Reservoir Dogs
    Pulp Fiction
    Jackie Brown
    Kill Bill
    Death Proof
    Inglorious Basterds

    each one of those movies are somewhere between reality and a dream. Django is no different and is absolutely awesome. The actors that are involved will do the script justice me thinks.

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  • 011Dreamer | June 24, 2011 6:12 AMReply

    Wow, I haven't actually read the script myself, but after your assessment I can already imagine how this will turn out. People will defiantly have issues with the content, especially African Americans.

    But at the same time history should be revisited and be brought to the forefront. We should not shy away from our history as people, and we should not feel bad about people who are ashamed of what their ancestors did to us and our ancestors. They should get to see on the big screen what happened to us daily (whippings, shootings, lynchings, rapes, beatings) .

    Now on to Broomhilda, I actually have no words for her. I mean during the time period female slaves were treated as sex objects because the white male slave owners couldn't bring themselves to admitt that they liked our bodies. The slave owner's wives would get jealous of us, and treat us like dirt because their husbands would rape us. The irony. I just hope the rape scenes are not that gruesome to watch. I also wonder which actress they will pick to play the part.

  • Pffft | June 23, 2011 11:36 AMReply

    Let's see here... Ving Rhames' character in Pulp Fiction is raped by a White man, after getting knocked out by a White man ( Bruce Willis' char. when they enter the gun shop ), the scene from Reservoir Dogs where Chris Penn's character is discussing a Black cocktail waitress named "Elois" and how "every guy who saw her had to jack off to her at least once" , the raping of women seems to be routine for his films, the rampant use of the word 'nigger' in his films... Listen, I'm not easily shocked ( or even bothered, for that matter ) ... but there seems to be a really interesting pattern, here...

    When's the last time you heard kike, spic, or wetback in his films? Kill Bill... Chink? Gook? Nip? How many times was kraut used in "Inglorious?" Considering the theme, I'm shocked ( rare glimpse ) that it wasn't used in every other scene. In "True Romance" a White pimp ( ...yep.. ) played by Gary Oldman kills Samuel Jackson's char. in an armed robbery. Normally, I wouldn't sound the alarm, but.... If you want to produce exploitative films with impunity, at least be an equal opportunity offender. All I'm saying. Jamie Foxx? Kerry Washington ( possibly )? Shame on the both of you. Two rape scenes? Really?

    The rape scene in "Irreversible" was integral to the film, and in spite of that, was still met with disgust and outrage. QT is basically bringing GhettoGaggers.com to the silver screen.... Filth.

    "Why'd Halle have to let a White man pop her to win an Oscar/Why Denzel have to be crooked before he took it?"

    Racism and sexism in Hollywood, what else is new.

  • Okay | June 23, 2011 10:15 AMReply

    Thanks for this. I agree with your criticisms and I'm glad I read this before I became too excited about it. I almost hope this film does get made as is so I can bear witness to the stupidity of people who will inevitably defend it as art and hopefully force a real public discussion regarding race instead of having everything swept under the rug under the infuriating claims of America as a "post-racial" society. Just thinking about how the Broomhilda scenes would play out really make me hope the claims of Kerry Washington's involvement are false and no black actress would degrade themselves so unnecessarily, however desperate or maybe just optimistic they may be.

  • OlyOne | June 21, 2011 12:31 PMReply

    Reading your review, Tambay, I'd say that you haven't missed anything at all really. I think that your problem with this script stems from the fact that you didn't much appreciate what QT is up to with his latest script. A "black/white buddy action/comedy movie" (your words) set during the grave era of slavery in America? Well... that's the point. It's kind of taboo. And as far as the gratuitous and exploitative violence that you mention from the script, well, I think that QT is skipping any preachy context for any of this violence and abuse of black woman. In doing so, I think that QT has chosen to merely emphasize just how perverse and mad many of these slave masters were. Such madness will be nicely counter-pointed by what I'm sure will be the clear-headed dignity, poise, and sanity with which C. Waltz's character will help the Django no doubt dispense justice on these sick basterdz.

  • Person | June 21, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    The Comparison is not truly between Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. It is between WWII Nazi-Occupied Europe and the American South during slavery. Tarantino's stories (although much hyperbolized) don't hide from the pure degradation we thrust upon each other as human beings, and I don't see Django as any different. The best characters (and the actors who portray them) are not born out of dialogue, but out of the story in which they are a part. The character of Django (and Broomhilda, for that matter) can still be a star with this script if they can accurately portray the dehuminization, agony, joy, pain, and every other circumstance and emotion that slaves had to go through. Shoshanna and Django are the same character, under different circumstances. Although persecuted, those Jews who were able to hide their true identity could have "blended in" as her character did in Basterds. A black man, free or otherwise was always immediately viewed as such in slave times. For a field slave to be a true avanger, he would have to have some teacher. I see Schultz and Django as more of a Mr. Miagi and Daniel san.

  • decadence | June 21, 2011 2:56 AMReply

    Look, as far as the subject matter being too violent or using the word "nigger" too many times, what you're saying is a bunch of crap to be frank. I mean if Roots was toned down, would it have had the same effect as it did? In my opinion, no it wouldn't have. This political correctness in this nation is going too far when it starts to blend over in fictional period pieces. This is the way things were and yes I will be uncomfortable when I'm in the theater hearing nigger a bunch of times but I wouldn't have it any other way or else you're just making garbage like Valkyrie which should've been in German with subtitles. Remember plantation owners and I'm sure the guys that ran it had sex with the slave women and I'm sure there was nothing nice about it. So everyone needs to quit being babies when a movie is not only showing the atrocities that happened in that day but is also trying to make you sympathize with the slaves and hate the slave masters.

  • hankthewank | June 19, 2011 10:20 AMReply

    so, it's like Boss Nigger and Nigger Charley?

  • Bryan | June 17, 2011 7:47 AMReply

    I stopped reading at the word "flashback." You clearly have no understanding of Tarantino's films. That's all.

  • Alekesam | June 16, 2011 1:48 AMReply

    From what I've read of the script (I stopped because I don't want to know the end) combined with what's written in the article, I think everyone is missing what Django is really trying for, which is a black Zorro (Well, the movie version of Zorro anyway), 'cept with a exploitation feel and way violent/brutal than anything the studio heads would dare to do. Django's story basics is the same and I wouldn't be surprised if this gets a sequel if it really takes off. The Hanz Landa character is like the Anthony Hopkins character to Django's Zorro. That's my take on it anyways. LIke I said, you all have read the whole thing while I haven't so I may be in for a shock. But just reading the premise, I didn't think Inglorious Basterds but with black basterds.

  • Brew | June 7, 2011 12:10 PMReply

    WTF is this? I'm sorry that I'm off topic, but I just happened to stumble upon this blog. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to see and read from other black cinephiles.

    Ok, I'll let you all return back to your Django Unchained rants. I'm just not that big a fan of QT...

  • Looking forward to Flick | June 6, 2011 9:42 AMReply

    After reading the script all I could say was wow, it drew me in and captured my attention to the point where I didn't care about the extended length. For those who feel the material is objectionable, it was slavery! There isn't an aspect of it that isn't objectionable! The script has parts that are brutal but it depicts a time where brutality was an everyday reality for Black people on a level that is difficult to comprehend in today's times.

    The name Broomhilda isn't an arbitrary choice and serves an integral part in the story and as far as her treatment is concerned I have to go with "anonymous" comments that she's a female slave in a time where we were viewed as property and nothing more, sexual abuse and debasement were commonplace and she remained defiant in the face of those circumstances by attempting to run away.

    As for Django and Schultz's relationship it develops into one of equal partners as Schultz teaches him the skills he needs to become a bounty hunter and eventually save his wife. You watch him step into his manhood fully in a time where Black men were never allowed to progress past boys.

    Now the casting piece not sure about, Will just doesn't seem quite right, he lacks a little of the required edge and I read a piece about Idris Elba being one of the few qualified actors to pull it off and I have to agree, not sure of many others that would do it justice

    I wonder if folks are more upset about the content of the script itself or that Tarantino had the balls to write it? It was an engrossing, entertaining script that hopefully will translate the same on screen but either way there will be folks who will shout it down because he uses nigger and has naked Black women (and men) being abused but there will always be folks who miss the point and can't see the forest for the trees.

  • Matt Goldman | June 6, 2011 8:03 AMReply

    Taratino needs to watch this before he casts the role of DJANGO!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPF5Mf9Aq50

  • Anthony E. | May 18, 2011 8:44 AMReply

    Name a Tarantino film that is depicts the violence or is overly vulgar for all to see.

    Kill Bill rape scene, close ups and cut aways or in anime.

    Pulp Fiction, Mr. Wallace rape didn't appear as say something like Irreversible.

    Jackie Brown's sex scene was one of the unsexiest ever and was meant to be.

    He may come off a bit out there as he lays down the words but he has a massive control and restraint as he sit behind the camera. And with the greatest cinematographer Robert Richardson by his side it will be done with a sly bit of ease.

    The man relies on close-ups and showing a bit but not all.

    Have yet to read the script but will not read the script until after the film is in the can and I see it completely. Will most likely buy the script and put it with the rest of Tarantino's poetic works on my self minus Pulp Fiction.

    Again with the Wendell VS. Quentin debate. Wendell was not the very first person to come up with a what if someone got revenge storyline plot point. Inglorious Basterds in the early stages was to feature a black troop and possibly they met their demise with one left over... Brad Pitt with a lynching scar. It might have been fleshed out and shown had Tarantino been able to do the HBO miniseries route that was touted around.

    In one of the many, "Okay okay okay" ramblings of the vomited mouth auteur of which he stated that he has always really wanted to do a revenge film in which the Klan get theirs. I laughed in excitement as his pitch sounded fascinating but to ever see the light of day would be a joke. Could Tarantino really do a revenge against racist whites or slavemasters in his playful style and LIVE. The Governator and Vanessa Williams has a kissing scene at the end of action feist Eraser but was cut to make certain to not hurt the troubled south.

    I have full trust in the man. There is only one question that stems when I thought of Tarantino working on this project and that was who in the hell is going to whip this beast into shape with Sally Menke recently going.
    And allowing an artists to paint and brush his creative stroke of his lyrical pen. We shall see.

    No worries, Spike Lee could finally win an Oscar with his producer credit for You're Nobody Until Someone Kills You (Butter 2: The Remix).

  • Hart | May 17, 2011 3:10 AMReply

    I felt like I'd fallen into an alternate universe when I read it. After all the hype, I didn't expect anything like this. This is the ugliest piece of shit I've ever seen. This isn't about anything except the whack-off fantasies of a sick white boy who thinks Mandingo is historically accurate. Django's wife gets raped repeatedly, and for a large chunk of the script, we're meant to be sympathetic to the white son of a bitch who owns her, and feel bad when he's killed.

    For everyone who was uncomfortable during the "dead nigger storage" scene in Pulp Fiction (meaning, everyone who saw Pulp Fiction except for a few Klansmen), this is a hundred times worse for the duration. I keep waiting for someone to mention that he uses the word "nigger" in SCENE DESCRIPTIONS!!!

    QT's always been fucked up about race. He's that suburban white boy who talks like a homie when he's around black people because he thinks it makes him down; he envies the black experience because it looks so cool in the movies.

    This script is sick, and if he actually makes it as written, it's going to do serious - and deserved - damage to his career.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 16, 2011 12:01 PMReply

    Yes! There are so many Asian and Hispanic filmmakers IN HOLLYWOOD making films ABOUT THEIR CULTURE that I can't count.

  • g4s | May 14, 2011 4:31 AMReply

    Will Smith is already Jada's slave, so this should be a breeze for him. Also, the word 'nigger' was used back then, why should he tone it down? He's just portraying history as it was. @dcmoviegirl, don't think for a minute 'white fanboys' want to jerk off to ugly ass negroes, stop putting yourself on a pedestal.
    Black people always complain because they don't have black filmmakers even trying to make a good film, Tyler Perry has destroyed Cinema, Spike Lee only talks, and others only make black comedies and parodies. Maybe if blacks stop blaming other people for stuff and believe in themselves then something good might happen. Almost every other race seems to have made it in Hollywood but only blacks complain.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 13, 2011 11:10 AMReply

    @Jug - Me and that same actor started talking about who's bloodier/violent Coen Bros. or QT and we started talking about the Coen Bros. flicks and now I want to check them out. We both agreed that QT's violence was more gratuitous while the CB's was more organic.

    Anyway, it might be a bloody/violent summer for me...and in a good way...in the world of make believe! "Increase the Peace" everyone!

    *That was your Public Service Announcement. I know return you to your regular programming.*

  • Jug | May 13, 2011 5:26 AMReply

    @Dankwa-Definitely will be a good summer for you. Go back to RAISING ARIZONA and start there. The Coen Brothers (referred to as a unit) are great, but I wouldn't say they're bloodier than QT, just as graphic when the moment suits it. Like QT doesn't do blood just for blood's sake like a horror movie, but when somebody gets bucked you can see the spray mist of blood, bone & skin fragments in the air to punctuate "YOUR ASS GOT SHOT!". Someone being shot is hardcore and they make sure you know it. The Coens, they tend to be more ironic & dry humor/wit where QT is more in your face rawness which causes comedy often, because his violent situations are so ridiculous. They both have an amazing ear for language and their own unique style. Both have waay over the top characters that somehow feel real instead of cartoonish (PULP FICTION/JACKIE BROWN & O, BROTHER WHERE ART THOU/THE BIG LEBOWSKI being prime examples).

    Definitely acquired tastes, not everyone likes their films-but above all, they make really well made & entertaining films. You'll never get pandering to the audience from these guys-you dig it or you don't.

    And they LOVE actors :-D

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 12, 2011 10:03 AMReply

    @CareyCarey
    "re: bar scene.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t make a qualified opinion on the bar scene in Inglorious (can’t remember), but I WILL go back and check it out. I mean, since Jug & Evan are slobbering all over it, I gotta go back and get some of that."

    Mee too. An actor friend of mine, who's skill I respect likes that scene a lot as well. I told him about Jug & Evan's slobbering and what I said on Facebook and this is what he said.-

    "I'm glad someone else thought as much of that scene as I did...I loved that scene...its not on the level of the restaurant scene in Godfather though. And I agree that the Milk scene was definitely better than the bar scene but I still liked it."

    I'll give IB another try to see what the hubbub is about. I can admit when I'm wrong, but I rarely am. LOL. When I watch a film it has my complete attention unless I'm watching it at home with some chick who won't shut up, but I digress. I turn off the director in me and just watch it for what it is.

    After not being that interested in IB I kept reading how everyone thought it was so great I thought "I like Tarrantino maybe it's not as bad as the tv spots look to me" and I got excited about seeing it. I said all that to say I wanted to see it, I was finally excited to see it and just like Buttercup it built me up just to let me down :(

  • Jug | May 12, 2011 7:31 AMReply

    @Dankwa-LOL That makes a lot of sense tho. An actor worth their salt is gonna go ga-ga for that scene, the subtlety of it but sheer strength-the stuff they get to do-GREAT! If I were a normal audience member tho, I'd probably be like "WTF?! Drinking Games?!? BORING"

    The milk scene tho...classic! Watch the "flock of seagulls" scene with Jules & Vincent & you'll see it's essentially the same scene, just Sam Jackson had funnier sh*t to say. But the strength of that scene for it's subtlety is amazing. Plus it's just damn entertaining LOL

  • RobertD | May 12, 2011 3:05 AMReply

    [i]"Maybe reducing the number of times the word nigger is used may actually kill off about 10 pages, because its use here is heavy; and even though it’s representative of the times, will probably make some uncomfortable… "[/i]

    Y'see, this is precisely the kind of misplaced political correctness that I find so aggravating. It's a big part of the reason why so many movies are so tame these days, and why nobody tackles really tough subject matter.

    I don't want a sanitised version of history, carefully scrubbed to appease the sensibilities of Hugh Grant’s mother. I want an accurate reflection of the era. If you're going to do a movie about black slavery, then use of controversial material is absolutely necessary, including usage of the word "nigger" and scenes in which black people are abused and exploited. Otherwise, you're not being true to the subject matter.

    This might make some feel uncomfortable? Well excuse my lack of sympathy, but tough titty for them! Should we really expect a tale of vengeance set during Southern America's wild and violent plantation era to play for the blue-rinse set? This isn’t Sleepless in Seattle we are talking about here. This is a particularly unsavoury episode in American history and needs to be dealt with accordingly. A movie depicting black slavery should not be expected to leave you feeling “comfortable”. If it does, then it’s being dishonest.

  • Moionfire | May 10, 2012 3:43 AM

    Perfect response @ Nemesis...

  • Nemesis | November 13, 2011 3:05 PM

    Funny, I don't recall any gas chamber or concentration camp scenes in Inglorious Basterds. Or bodies being shoveled into ovens and chimneys belching out black smoke. Or experiments on live and dead jews, gold teeth being yanked out of their heads. Jews being starved to death and shot on a whim...

    Oh, wait, I guess the pain, abuse and exploitation of people is most apt when those people are black. At least Tarantino seems to agree with you on that score.

  • anonymous | May 12, 2011 3:04 AMReply

    I usually disagree with quite a few of the opinions on this site, but after completing the sprawling 168-some pages that is "Django Unchained," I've got to say that Tambay's pretty spot on.

    This is a white-black buddy movie--not that there's anything wrong with that, per se, but to call it "Django Unchained" and then to have the title character exact his vengeance in what feels a very weak and half-hearted effort considering the extent to which the majority of the film has favors the lead character's partner, the German, just seems extremely lame.

    There is also a considerable amount of Black-image fetishism going on. I mean, really, does Broomhilda have her clothes pulled off damn near every time that she's seen in this movie?

    Tarantino always has a tendency for the gratuitous, but even the most lusty of his fans can't help but notice the curiously exploitative depictions of the Black body that are strewn throughout the script, many which (for me) only served to undermine any semblance of autonomy, control or self-determination on the part of the script's Black characters by the time that I go to its end.

    Will Smith would be a fool to take this. It's certainly not material for a leading man.

    Still, it will probably get made, everyone will go see it and it will be the first slave-rebellion film ever to be made en masse in American History. What's more, it will probably make a good deal of profit.

    Huzzah.

  • CareyCarey | May 11, 2011 12:12 PMReply

    Dankwa, we can't take Bruce Willis out of the storyline! He's a constant tread that to a large degree, holds a substantial amout of the story together. He's the ying to Ving Rhames's yang. He's the yang to an entire cast of looneys, perverts, and loose cannons. In sorts, he's the hero of the movie

    re: bar scene.

    Off the top of my head, I can't make a qualified opinion on the bar scene in Inglorious (can't remember), but I WILL go back and check it out. I mean, since Jug & Evan are slobbering all over it, I gotta go back and get some of that.

  • Julius | May 11, 2011 11:56 AMReply

    I have to say my peace. I read the script and I think it was great. I am black, and I am a writer and the use of the word nigger in the dialogue and in the prose sets the atmosphere for the script. I mean c'mon people. This is a spaghetti western set in the South during Slavery. Any black people bitching about the portrayal of us in the script. It set during SLAVERY. Unless you were Frederick Douglas or a Free man living up North this script probably pretty accurately portrays what a black slaves life would be like. They didn't have it so good. People not satisfied with the revenge factor. Django kills a bunch evil white people in the script and gets back his wife. I mean he kills a Plantation slave owner his family and all his workers. People complaining about the treatment of Broomhilda in this script. She is a BLACK WOMAN IN THE 1800s who is a SLAVE. How do you think White Slave masters would treat her. Lynching, rape, using slaves for production, entertainment, sexual pleasure was the reality of slavery in this country. Shohanna killed Hitler and Nazis in inglorious Basterds, they were specific people that represented the evil force against the jews. With Slavery it was slave owners, and the people involved in the slave trade. There wasn't one great mastermind who was behind slavery like Hitler with the Holocaust. DJango can't go and kill all the slave owners and then free all slaves in the South and then no Civil War in a two to three hour movie. It sounds like that's what people wanted.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 11, 2011 10:47 AMReply

    I just watched 'Pulp Fiction' and that joint is a masterpiece. The dialogue direction, story structure everything. Probably could have done without the whole Bruce Willis storyline and everything that sprang forth from it, but whom am I to judge another screenwriter/filmmaker's choices especially in such a brilliant work.

    @Evan & Jug "The basement scene in the La Lousiane is one of the best scenes of ALL TIME." I was totally bored by that scene. I know QT was trying to build tension, but it was too damn talky and too damn long and instead of tension it built fatigue. I also think comparing it to the Michael Corleone restaurant scene is pure blasphemy. The timing in that scene is just right. I’m a screenwriter/filmmaker and thus I love dialogue, but wasn’t feeling that scene at all. The scene in the beginning (with the milk) was MUCH better.

    Oh and waaay back to the FIRST comment @dcmoviegirl

    "And for goodness sake, can we not have the black woman only be rescued on the condition that she be suitably degraded as jerk-off material for white fanboys?

    Please?

    Ugh."

    LMAO!

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