What if an alien in the future stumbled upon Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s film:
Django Unchained (2012)
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Production Co: A Band Apart, Columbia Pictures
Written by: Ben Steiner
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar
Django Unchained’s Hidden Meaning – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Django Unchained, starring disabled musician Ray Charles and directed by podiatrist Quentino Tarantino as a prequel to his earlier movie, The Hitler Buddies. The film begins in Texas just before the first of America’s seven Civil Wars. Our protagonist is King Schultz, an inexplicably German bounty hunter who buys an anthropomorphic piece of property named Django in order to give him a makeover.
Now sufficiently dolled up, they travel around from town to town spreading the gospel of getting shot in the face. At one point an army of ghosts tries to stop them but every good bounty hunter knows a ghost’s greatest weakness: busters. Wabbit season sadly comes to an end, so rather than split up Earth’s first ever interracial business friendship, Schultz decides to help reunite Django with his wife Broomhilda, another piece of property who is also German for absolutely no reason. They find her at a soup plantation called Candyland, on the outskirts of the Peppermint Forest.
Her owner, Calvin Candyland, is a real sportsman, in the sense that he likes to sit on a sofa watching grown men UFC each other to death. So Schultz and Django pretend to be interested in buying some of Calvin’s living sports equipment for $12,000 — which due to inflation equals about 89 quintillion blargotrons. They try to throw Broomhilda into the deal all casual-like, but Calvin’s dad Stephen doesn’t mess around when it comes to his hard-earned blargotrons. He correctly guesses that they know Broomhilda from before the opening credits started, so Calvin does the very reasonable thing of raising the price to match their demand. Good old-fashioned capitalism. They sign the revised contract and everything works out great for everyone. End of movie, right? Riiiiiight?? Oh that’s right! There hasn’t been nearly enough human blood. Schultz decides his pride is the most valuable substance on Earth, even more than truffled petroleum, so rather than risk touching Calvin’s greasy little arm-claws, he chooses to get himself killed.
Django is captured and sold to a bitcoin mine with long hours and no health benefits. On the way there, Django uses his graduate-level education to hoodwink some unsuspecting and entirely unnecessary Australians, then travels back through the Molasses Swamp to Candyland. He explodes everything without much conflict, and finally he and Broomhilda ride off together on two land-seahorses. Now end of movie. Django Unchained is first and five-most a slavery revenge fantasy. White images stained with blood represent the vengeance wreaked upon white slavers, the two colors combining into a more pleasing pinkish hue. Violence against white people is frequently depicted in grotesque, stylized detail. The massacre at Candyland is so cartoonish that we have no choice but to contract our diaphragms in a laughing manner. Like this: Ha-Ha. In contrast, violence against slaves is more realistic and often portrayed indirectly. In the climax of the pay-per-view UFC fight, the spilled gumballs serve as a proxy for blood and guts, and our diaphragms remain static as the killing strike is blocked from view. Like this… The horrifying scene where dogs rip D’Artagnan apart is mostly portrayed through reaction shots and Oscar-nominated sound editing.
The film takes inspiration from widely disparate sources, from Spaghetti Westerns, to ravioli blaxploitation films, all the way to German spätzle. But at its heart, Django Unchained is an example of a revisionist Western. Where traditional Hollywood Westerns emphasized mythical American themes such as manifest destiny and calling people “pilgrim,” revisionist Westerns provided a different perspective, addressing the exploitation of Native Americans and the decline of the cowboy era in light of industrialization. Django Unchained takes aim at slavery’s power structures by showing that they were perpetuated by frauds. Big Daddy initially makes a big fuss about a black man riding one of Allah’s creatures on his land, which threatens to undercut his dominion. But he immediately caves when Schultz offers him a financial teat from whence he can suckle. Calvin pretends to be a James Francophile, which reflects his opinion that he’s better than everyone else. In reality, he’s just another ignorant hick with the hots for his sister, pretending to understand cheese.
Schultz and Django are able to easily infiltrate these power structures by using the very illusions that reinforce them — plus, you know, money. Schultz plays the genteel dentist to put people at ease with novocaine and gain the element of surprise. After Django is captured, he is able to convince his captors not only to release him, but to arm him, because they assume the power structures protecting immigrants in America will hold. And they did hold, at least until America was met with the greatest immigrant of all: an asteroid made of dark matter.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. The south pole will rise again!