Wednesday, January 2, 2013

QT and Odie: Perfect Together

by Odienator

I've been gone from here a while, but I've actually not been sitting on my ass doing nothing.

There are two things I want to quickly pimp over here.

The first is my latest "Black Man Talk" with Steven Boone over at the other site I run, Big Media Vandalism. Our last Black Man Talk was right here at Tales of Odienary Madness, on Tyler Perry. Now we're riffing on Django Unchained, the controversial Quentin Tarantino Spaghetti Southern about slavery and revenge.

"Unlike the Nazism QT's heroes combat in Inglorious Basterds, slavery makes America the villain. The American way of life at the time is the bad guy here, and this creates a discomfort that I've seen reflected in several reviews: "Where's the morality in Django?" I acknowledge that Inglorious Basterds adds a morally ambiguous layer to its heroes, whereas Django Unchained is more a product of QT's love of Blaxploitation and the Sweet Sweetback notion of a "baadasssss nigger comin' back to collect some dues." Why is that wrong?

Yet, Tarantino knows that, as a White man, he processes his rage against the institution of slavery differently than Blacks. I can make this statement based on the mini-arc he crafts for Dr. King Schultz."

Read more here!

The other thing is my first "according to Hoyle" video essay. It's a two-parter over at Press Play. I wrote it and it is my melodious voice you hear on the soundtrack. In keeping with the Tarantino vein, it's on Jackie Brown. Both parts are available for viewing, and were both superbly edited by Jason Bellamy of The Cooler blog.

From part 1:

"Here, he lifts Foxy’s last name, her movie’s title font and her portrayer. Grier was the queen of Blaxploitation, wielding a shotgun, razors in her ‘fro and a take no prisoners attitude that was simultaneously terrifying and sensual. Jack Hill, who directed her in Foxy Brown, Coffy and two other films, said that Pam Grier had “that something special that only she has. She has ‘it’.” Hill could get a witness from any fan, for we knew: Not only did Pam Grier have “it,” she could whip your ass with “it” as well."

And part II:

"Quentin Tarantino relishes putting a gun in Pam Grier’s hands, throwing us back to the good old days of Nurse Coffy, Sheba Shayne and Friday Foster. Her genre reputation precedes her, and one can almost hear QT cackle as he merges Brian DePalma’s split-screen, Jack Hill’s dialogue and an overzealous sound man’s rendition of that “CLICK” that accompanies that gun aimed at Ordell Robbie’s favorite toy. But this commandeering of DePalma and Hill serves the drama—Elmore Leonard crafted the Ordell-Jackie pas de deux in his novel, Rum Punch, to get us here. It’s Max’s gun Jackie’s stolen, and its retrieval leads not only to Max’s seduction but also to some of the most poignant dialogue Tarantino has scripted. Notice how delicately the camera moves in on Grier’s profile. It’s almost as if we’re eavesdropping on Pam and Robert, not Jackie and Max."

I promise to be more diligent in writing here in 2013, It's been rough due to work, but I'm recommitted myself to at least showing up here once iin a while. Stick with me here, and of course, over at Big Media Vandalism.

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