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Antoine Fuqua Calls Out Spike Lee for Publicly Trashing 'Django Unchained' (But Hasn't Seen The Movie Yet Either)

by Charlie Schmidlin
January 2, 2013 8:57 AM
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Django Unchained Antoine Fuqua

A little over one week in theaters, and after a tremendous Christmas weekend opening for the film garnering $64 million, director Spike Lee might just have played a key role in the success of Quentin Tarantino's “Django Unchained.” His public refusal to see the western, calling it “disrespectful to my ancestors,” raised the film's profile to perhaps its highest political platform, and as fierce analysis of the ambitiously wild project continues post-release, another director has come to the movie's defense.

Recently most felt by his undeserved absence, director Antoine Fuqua joined in the debate from Italy, where the Capri Hollywood Film Festival is underway. Fuqua knows both Lee and Tarantino only professionally, but nonetheless opined that Tarantino “[doesn't have] a racist bone in his body," and that Lee took a wrong tact with his actions. "That's just not the way you do things," he said. "If you disagree with the way a colleague did something, call him up, invite him out for a coffee, talk about it. But don't do it publicly."

The “Training Day” director admitted he hadn't seen the Jamie Foxx-starring actioner either, but instead spoke to the generalities of its period and accuracy. “[We're] supposed to find some truth in films, and if you set a film in the 1850s, you're going to hear the word 'nigger,' " he said. “Because that's the way they spoke then, and you're going to discuss slavery because that was part of the reality." He added, "I want my kids to hear those kinds of words in the right context, so that they'll know that language is not OK."

It is that question of reality -- and Tarantino's contextual intention behind using it -- that represents a sliver of the fierce conversation starter that is “Django Unchained,” and in the dispute between these three filmmakers, the fact that only one has even seen the film hinders an accurate discussion. But for now, any word from Fuqua -- last seen in 2009 with “Brooklyn's Finest” and now touting his upcoming Gerard Butler thriller, “Olympus Has Fallen” -- is cause enough for a focus.

“Django Unchained” is in theatres now. [THR]

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  • RomansMom | January 5, 2013 10:14 PMReply

    Mr. Fuqua should not be giving ANY advise on how to treat anyone. Antoine Fuqua words NADA creditable. Mr. Fuqua has many skeletons coming out of the closet and should just worry about ALL the children he has hurt. Mr. Fuqua is a DEADBEAT. If you really want to know who Mr. Fuqua really is read JACKY JASPER/DIARY OF A HOLLYWOOD STREET KING articles. After reading about Mr. Fuqua you will understand why he should not be telling anything to Spike Lee or anyone else. Antoine Fuqua is a total Fake and Liar and Deadbeat in my eyes.

  • BK | January 2, 2013 1:25 PMReply

    I can forgive Spike for freaking out. Imagine learning that Tarentino was casting his Academy Award nominated Nazi in the role of Dr. King, a murderer who liberates a slave, gives him a job, a fashion makeover, and a gun? Who knew that barely under the surface it would be a fierce commentary on the NFL, whose violence on Any Given Sunday has become the new American church? As Calvin J. rests on his couch to eat nachos and drink beer and take in some sport, even Spike would have shit at the not so subtle Fred "The Hammer" reference, and the mythological freedom of Candieland--I mean Hollywood. It's Lucy-fer's football in the end, just ask Charlie Brown (which brings us back to Schultz?).

  • walktheearth | January 2, 2013 11:03 AMReply

    I'd like to hear more opinions from people who haven't seen the film. That gives me a great idea about for a podcast. It's a movie review show where two co-hosts debate the merrits films that they haven't seen.

  • Alan | January 2, 2013 11:37 PM

    I like your idea for a podcast, walktheearth. Can we also hear David Cronenberg bitch about Nolan, too, for that 3D film that Nolan directed? (Oh wait, apparently Cronenberg didn't diss Nolan, as Cronenberg was apparently tricked by the tricksy lady journalist who tricked him with her trickiness). On one level, you can criticise the filmmakers for saying stupid things, but it's also an indictment on modern journalists, who believe that it doesn't matter if the interviewee is uninformed on a subject, just as long as said interviewee is famous and that the journo can get a quote from him or her.

  • Rill Dilla | January 2, 2013 12:53 PM

    I once read an article where someone loved "Million Dollar Baby" in the hopes that it would be about a baby with a top hat and cane swimming in a pool of money.

  • bwaters | January 2, 2013 9:36 AMReply

    Does Fuqua not realize he's doing exactly what he's criticizing Lee for doing?

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