Salon magazine: Is Quentin Tarantino the baddest black filmmaker working in big-time Hollywood?
When the good folks at the online magazine Salon saw how much I loved Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained, they asked me to write about it for them.
But they didn't want a typical review, which their critic would handle, calling Django an "incoherent, three-hour bloodbath." Instead, they wanted me to write about Tarantino and race; the way he delves into subjects other directors would fear to broach, including wide use of the n-word in many of his movies -- sometimes used by the most visible characters.
So I pulled together a piece for them comparing Tarantino to Paul Simon, taking a swipe at Spike Lee and challenging the mind behind Jackie Brown and Django Unchained to actually help black filmmakers tell stories about black culture at the same level he does.
Here's how it starts:
"There are some folks who won’t like to read these words: White guy superstar director Quentin Tarantino may be the baddest black filmmaker working in big-time Hollywood movies today.
That is a possibility which angers some, frightens others and disgusts a few more, saying as much or more about the sorry state of movie audiences today and the still-closed world of big-time filmmaking than any tart provocation Tarantino has managed to splash on the screen.
The reason we’re having this conversation — again — is thanks to the latest addictive confection of revenge film, spaghetti Western, Blaxploitation movie and anti-slavery fantasy Q.T. dropped on us all to close out 2012: “Django Unchained.”
Beyond the fact that it is gleefully bloody, luxuriating in crimson-splattered shootouts at a time when America is deeply conflicted over how much it loves this stuff, “Django Unchained” uncorks the perfect revenge fantasy for black people descended from slaves and living in a still-white-dominated society."
Read the rest of it by clicking here.