Django Unchained

F**K YEAH photo
F**K YEAH

F**K YEAH WILL SMITH AGREES WITH ME


Will Smith passed on Django Unchained because he felt it wasn't the "lead" role
Mar 25
// Nick Valdez
A few weeks after Django Unchained released, I wrote an analysis piece explaining why Django wasn't the hero of DU as the greater thematic resonance of the film focused on Dr. King Schultz. In speaking with EW recently, Will ...
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You would also totally watch a Quentin Tarantino Biblical revenge movie
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live did a great parody of Django Unchained and Quentin Tarantino movies in general. Behold Djesus Uncrossed, with Christoph Waltz as the Man (with No Name) of Galilee. I'm not going to give ...

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Flixist Movie Club: Djangocast


Jan 17
// Andres Bolivar
Flixist Movie Club has returned folks and this time we're discussing Django Unchained. Join me, Geoff, Liz, Nick, and special guest Alec as we discuss Tarantino's latest opus, awkwardly drop N-Bombs and getting down to t...

Deep Analysis: Django Unchained

Jan 14 // Nick Valdez
Before I get started, allow me to explain what the "hero's journey" truly is. A hero's journey centers on a chosen individual, conventionally average, who has to go through a set of trials and reach a point of transcendence (or evolution) because of struggle and the persistence to overcome that struggle. An example of a conventional hero's journey is "Baby" in Dirty Dancing. While she was guided by another, she ended up reaching a heightened point in her character (which was literally represented by her "lift" at the end of the film). However, not all hero's journeys are visible and could only be seen through analysis. That's where Django Unchained comes in.  Django Unchained initially represents itself as the sole story of Django and his "unchaining," or break from bondage. The opening credits present a downtrodden slave marching forward along to someone else's accord, yet the roaring, almost inciting music in the background argues that the hero "Django" is underneath that individual. You see, here is where the film's dissonance begins. And that dissonance causes the rift between the three stories. What? Three stories? That's right.  Django Unchained's story is broken into three acts: Django's Revenge, Schultz's Journey, and Django's Journey. Once again, these breaks in the story are caused by the contrasting tones of the film. The first act ends when Django kills the three brothers, and Schultz's act begins when they first meet Candie. You can tell the shift between Django and Schultz's stories thanks to the shift in tone. Django's stories are more camp, resulting in lines like "I like the way you die boy," the almost cartoonish violence (as seen in both of Django's gunfights, even more so during the finale), and the fact that "Big Daddy" exists. Schultz's tones are far more graphic with the Mandingo fights, and the slave being torn apart by dogs. This graphic shift between types of violence gives us a glimpse into Schultz's mysterious "persona." Since he's given us the idea behind personas, whose to say he hadn't adopted one during the entirety of the film? How much of himself was he truly revealing to Django? This mystery fuels the rest of the narrative. Right after Django's juxtaposed visual, we have Dr. King Schultz's enigmatic introduction. Dr. Schultz automatically controls the story from that point on. He commands the attention of the viewer (which is no doubt attributed to Waltz's performance (which he got a silver medal for)), commands the direction of the story (he is the overseer and gives exposition), and takes Django as his "slave"/partner as a physical representation of that control. This is to let the viewer know that we're not in Django's story anymore, we're in Schultz's. Schultz's story is the result of the subtle dissonance within the story, therefore his journey is subtle. It is purely metaphysical.  To go back to Schultz's introduction, he's first a man who's willing to shoot's someone head off, shoot a man in front of his son, and shoot someone in front of a town full of people without a second thought as long as they are "bad guys." Schultz is given a vague character in order to vilify him. One poignant moment in the film is when Schultz asks Django to shoot a man in front of his son. Django initially argues against it, but Schultz comforts him and tells its okay because the man is a "bad guy." At this point, you're forced to wonder what kind of a man Schultz is. This moment provides the only concrete bit of Schultz's characterization for the first third of the film. This moment also serves to further remove Django from the "hero" role initially.  In every early interaction with Schultz, Django is almost childlike and remarkably more innocent than he should be. He's wide eyed (like when he takes than first sip of beer and listens to the story of Brumhilda), and takes on the persona of bounty hunter with childlike excitement and vigor (even donning the suit from "The Blue Boy"), therefore, it almost seems villainous how much power Schultz has over him. Schultz only claims Django for his own needs, keeps him in bondage despite his greater desires for equality, and his vague character doesn't make anything better. It's only when Schultz is confronted by another equally vague, yet dark character does Schultz reexamine himself.  Calvin Candie for all intent and purposes is a gentleman. He too, however, represents a dissonance. His courtly demeanor, fine attire, are contrasted by his ugly insides (represented by the fine layer of filth on his teeth). Sure Calvin Candie is the film's "villain," but what exactly does he do? Nothing with his own two hands. You can argue that he didn't present a threat until the dinner party where he places his hands on someone for the first time despite his heinous actions before that. Like Schultz, Candie is given a vague character. You don't exactly know what he's thinking, and in some ways, you can sympathize with the man. His answer to Schultz's betrayal is almost justified (and Schultz further ends up looking like a villain). When Schultz betrays him, Candie is distraught. He's spent a good amount of time with this man he thought he knew. He had an emotional investment from gentleman to gentleman. And yet, angry as he was, Candie still did nothing. He was willing to uphold a gentleman's agreement and give Schultz and Django their freedom. Candie's demise is Schultz's peak of juxtaposition, and his turning point. In this moment, he embodies both the hero and villain. He's the villain for shooting down a man who essentially did nothing, yet he's the hero for striking down the film's "villain." But it all comes down to Schultz's words, "I couldn't help it." And it's important to understand what feelings compelled him, what caused that dramatic shift. When Schultz first tells Django they are going into Candyland (notably after Schultz has done all he needs to), this is the beginning of Schultz's hero's journey while Django's hasn't started yet.  When the slave is being torn apart by dogs, we see the first break in Schultz's poker face. His "persona" cracks when being assaulted by pure evil. He held together well during the Mandingo fights, but for some reason, it took this graphic notion to finally break him. What we didn't see, however, was Schultz began to change. Schultz was turning into the hero, someone who was going to kill someone for a reason other than to "sell their corpse."  When he shoots Candie, and dies as a result of it, he does it because he couldn't help himself. His emotional turmoil of facing Candie, facing his villain, forced Schultz to give up the villain persona and become the hero. Although shooting Candie seems like a villainous act (thanks to Stephen brutally crying over Candie), Schultz has firmly rooted himself in the hero role by choosing a "valid" and "just" reason to kill.  After Schultz dies, and his hero's journey ends, the film continues for some reason. At first it's confusing, until you realize Django is still involved. While Schultz arguably has the better character and story, the film isn't billed as "Schultz Unchained." Django's story still needs to be told. Yet, it feels tacked on. Like an afterthought. And that's when the film goes bananas. It steeps itself within the cartoonish realm. Quentin Tarantino explodes (both figuratively and literally), ridiculous amounts of blood cover on screen, and Django becomes the hero he's billed to be. He becomes "the fastest gun in the West" only after Schultz's story ends, and Django is allowed to finish his.  Django gets his revenge early on (which is why Unchained is more than a revenge film) and only becomes the hero when he is allowed to make decisions for himself. His story feels tacked on, and almost unnecessary because the viewer has yet to see a story that isn't controlled by Schultz. Without Schultz's control, the film is allowed to explore different areas, reach different heights of tension, and explode in glorious violence and celebration (accentuated by an explosion). Is that why Schultz feels like the villain? Because he has so much control over the character (if you still have doubts over his amount of control, Schultz's first name is KING) designated for the "hero" role and then steals it from him? Possibly.  Yet, Django dons the burgundy and becomes the hero we expect him to be. Just by the end, it almost feels like his transformation was unearned. Django doesn't say or emote much, so how can we be sure he deserves a happy ending? We're not sure, and that's just fine because Django Unchained isn't really about Django, Candyland, the antebellum South, homages to the past, or even about needing "A HUNDRED BLACK COFFINS!" It's all about Dr. King Schultz. The man who created the three stories in the first place. 
Deep Analysis: Django photo
Why Django Unchained is not really about Django
Django Unchained is a peculiar film. It tip toes along a fine line between vigorous exploitation and gentle subtly. At times, it feels like it is fighting itself to decide what kind of film it wants to be. Does it want to be ...


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Recording Djangocast tonight! Ask us questions


The movie had our curiosity, your questions have our attention
Jan 09
// Andres Bolivar
That's right, we're recording Da-Jangocast (the D is not silent in our case) as our first Flixist Movie Club of 2013. For the uninitiated, Flixist Movie Club is a special time when we take our unfocused disheveled podcast and...
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Quentin Tarantino talks retirement plans


Long story short, blame digital projection
Nov 29
// Xander Markham
In a directors' roundtable interview for Hollywood Reporter, Quentin Tarantino has admitted that he's already planning his eventual retirement from movie directing. The reason? In his view, the move to digital projection has...
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Trailer: Django Unchained


Nov 29
// Nick Valdez
I honestly don't know what to say when so much has been said before. This is the final trailer for Django Unchained before it releases next month, it's still badass, and it still has me so damn excited (especially now that t...
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Admire the first few pages of the Django Unchained comic


Nov 28
// Nick Valdez
The more and more I see of Django Unchained, the more and more I want it already. Looks like the wait will be just a teensy bit shorter for some of the good stuff. Django Unchained is getting a comic book miniseries courtesy ...
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New theatrical poster for Django Unchained


Bang! Bang!
Nov 12
// Thor Latham
After having just seen the trailer again before a showing of Skyfall (awesome, by the way), I think Django Unchained is quickly becoming one of my most anticipated movies of the winter. A new theatrical poster has been r...
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New images from Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained


Oct 31
// Hubert Vigilla
Some new pics have arrived from Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's upcoming western. While we get our extra looks at Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson, we also get a first glimpse at Don ...
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Trailer: Django Unchained


Oct 24
// Nick Valdez
This new trailer for Django Unchained is "off the chain." We get a little more of DiCaprio's Calvin Candie (more aggressive than he was in the previous trailer), more of Django's blue suit thing, more guns and shooty action-...
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New character posters for 'Django Unchained'


Oct 19
// Thor Latham
If, somehow, you had forgotten all of the awesome people that were starring in Django Unchained, these new snazzy character posters will quickly remind you why you should be excited for Quentin Tarantinto's next big thing. Ja...

Trailer: Django Unchained

Oct 10 // Hubert Vigilla
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New trailer for Django Unchained. It still comes out Christmas. We still want to see it bad. 'Nuff said. (Get well soon, Stan Lee.) [Via First Showing]

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Anthony LaPaglia leaves "out of control" Django Unchained


Aug 20
// Hubert Vigilla
Anthony LaPaglia is the latest actor to leave Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. You may recall that Kevin Costner left the production last year to be replaced by Kurt Russell, who left the production with Sacha Baron Cohe...
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International Trailer: Django Unchained


Jun 13
// Alex Katz
Less than a week after the awesome trailer debut, we've got an international trailer for QT's Django Unchained. It's definitely got a lot more of Tarantino's signature sort of humor than the last trailer, which took a more a...

Trailer: Django Unchained

Jun 06 // Alex Katz
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The official release of the Django Unchained trailer is here again! I can't really say anything else. This looks awesome. I didn't care for Inglorious Basterds, but this is going a long way to redeem my faith in Ol' Foo...

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Quentin Tarantino might be starting to wonder whether the role of Ace Woody in his end-of-year Western Django Unchained is cursed. The role was originally occupied by Kevin Costner, but the actor dropped out late last year du...

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While there's never a shortage of reasons to get excited for a new Quentin Tarantino film, the above screenshot has perked my ears for Django Unchained in a way they hadn't been before. One of two released this morning, ...

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Update: Poster for Django Unchained is red and spanishy


Apr 12
// Andres Bolivar
Update: We just got the English version in. Check it out below in pretty high-res. When it comes to reporting on news regarding Tarantino's Django Unchained, it's always been a matter of odd casting choices, who has pull...
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt has officially departed Quentin Tarantino's Western, Django Unchained, citing a scheduling conflict believed to be related to his upcoming directorial debut, Don Jon's Addiction. He was only expected to p...

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QT finds his Django Unchained editor, DP


Nov 17
// Alex Katz
Normally, I wouldn't be interested in making a story out of a given filmmaker choosing new editors and directors of photography, unless they're picking up some legendary figure from the field. In the case of Django Unchained,...
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Michael K. Williams misses Django, but bags a Snitch


Nov 17
// Xander Markham
Michael K. Williams, star of The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and occasional guest spots in Community (please watch it, Nielsen households of America! Or at least leave it on in the background for the rest of our sakes...), has unf...
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Now, as much as I love Will Ferrell movies, I really don't get why Quentin Tarantino wants the French jerk from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in the same film as way-more-famous people like Jamie Foxx ...

The RZA joins Django Unchained

Nov 04 // Andres Bolivar
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In the latest "post every bit of casting news out of Django Unchained" series, we're here to tell you that Robert Fitzgerald Diggs aka The RZA aka The Abbot aka Prince Rakeem aka The RZArector aka Bobby Digitial aka Ruler Zig...

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Tom Savini latest irrelevant actor to score Django role


Oct 14
// Andres Bolivar
Another day, another Django Unchained casting announcement. With Kurt Russell replacing Kevin Costner and the more recent addition of Don Johnson as a slave pimp, the latest irrelevant name to come out of Django Unchained has...
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Don Johnson offered role in Django Unchained


Oct 12
// Andres Bolivar
Not to long ago, we were graced with the news that Kurt Russell was taking over Kevin Costner's role of a "slave trainer" in Django Unchained. Today, we get news that Don "Heartbeat" Johnson himself will be joining Tarrentino...
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Kurt Russell to replace Kevin Costner in Django Unchained


Sep 30
// Andres Bolivar
Remember how Kevin Costner was going to play a slave trainer in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Django Unchained and then pulled out? Well, Kurt Russell is replacing him. ... F*%K YEA [Via The Hollywood Reporter]
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Dennis Christopher for Django Unchained


Sep 29
// Xander Markham
Quentin Tarantino's 2012 Western Django Unchained is building up a pretty terrific cast, with Jaime Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson already in place. A new name has been added to that list in t...
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Samuel L Jackson confirmed for Django Unchained


Sep 14
// Maxwell Roahrig
Took 'em long enough! Collider yesterday evening has confirmed that Samuel L Jackson will be joining the cast of Tarantino's latest flick, Django Unchained! Hoorah! Jackson will be playing Stephen, the house slave and ri...
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Kevin Costner to train slaves in Django Unchained


Jul 18
// Maxwell Roahrig
Bland actor Kevin Costner seems to be making the rounds lately. He who dances with wolves is currently gearing up to play Pa' Kent in Zach Snyder's take on the Superman tale. But what if I told you he was circling another mov...

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