Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Monday, January 7, 2013

Unpacking Django Unchained

Posted by on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Over at 4th Letter, David Brothers is writing daily posts about Django Unchained all week long. Django is a complicated movie about maybe the most complicated subject in America, and it's good to see Brothers, who can be an incredibly incisive blogger, digging deep into it. (If you're looking for a takedown, you'll have to go somewhere else; Brothers is plainly a fan of the movie.)

I knew Brothers and Django were going to be a great fit when I read this passage from the first post, which was published yesterday:

Jimmy’s just one of the slurs in Django Unchained. Crow, black, nigger, pony, and so on… it’s fascinating. It’s easy to forget that racism isn’t as simple as somebody hating someone else over the color of their skin. It’s bigger than that. It’s a system. Language is just the first line of attack.

I've never read it explained quite that clearly, or quite that concisely. Today's post is right here. Brothers promises five more essays, each posted every day at 9 am. I'm really looking forward to reading all these.


Comments (15) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Thank you for this! I'm looking forward to them too.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 7, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Geocrackr 2
The Western movie genre is maybe the most complicated subject in America? 'Cause that's what Django Unchained is about.
Posted by Geocrackr on January 7, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
Actually, it's more like Roots done up as a Western, without all the pretending that the Civil War was about Gentility or that the South wasn't (and/or is) Racist.

Try watching it.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 7, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 4
Django is a complicated movie about maybe the most complicated subject in America
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Pick1 5
@2 Not having seen the movie, yourself, I'm sure your assessment is spot on.

Go watch it and tell me it's just another western.
Posted by Pick1 on January 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
what it's about is how the western is our great movie meme yet somehow, gee I wonder why, we never showed the westerm meme of justice pardner' played out in the gone with the wind background.

why do we have ten thousand "westerns" and almost no movies about (a) enslaved persons in the south, or (b) mill workers up in boston in 1860, or (c) farmers in ohio in 1860? Our notion of "American" is a created notion. You can't udnerstand today's politics without grokking it. No joe the plumber without westerns, no white resentment without westerns. Django unchained is about ending all that mental enslavement.
Posted by mental liberation day on January 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Cornichon 7
Nothing against Brothers, but (Seattle's own) Jim Emerson does a great job of explaining why it's not as good a movie as it could be (or could have been) on Roger Ebert's website. Read it here:…
Posted by Cornichon on January 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
@6 because most movies come from Hollywood, which is near a lot of desert, so if you want to film a movie, it's a lot easier to film a Western than a movie about 1860 Boston mill workers.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Geocrackr 9
@5 - I never claimed it is "just another western", nor is that what the article I linked to claims. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension.
Posted by Geocrackr on January 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
blip 10
I haven't seen it yet but I think it's about more than one thing and one of those things is more controversial than the others.
Posted by blip on January 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Sounds like Django the Blazing Saddles of its generation..…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 7, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
As for movie reviews, read Anthony Lane's movie reviews in The New Yorker.

He totally gets it wrong on the first two movies. Not even close.

Somebody tell the idiot he should retire already.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 7, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
"Jimmy" is a racial slur? Where I come from, it's an ice cream topping. Wait, "pony"? So My Little Pony is really about slavery?
Posted by jzimbert on January 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Simone 14
@7, I agree with Emerson on his point about the "long, bloody shootout that's nothing but long and bloody because you can't tell and don't care who the swarms of faceless, gore-gushing expendables are."

It was too long and bloody.
Posted by Simone on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM · Report this
I guess @14 has touched on this, but what is the purpose of all the cartoony but gory violence?
Posted by Jude Fawley on January 10, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy