With gore on its hands, Hollywood runs for the exit

Tuesday, 18 December, 2012

Yesterday’s post about Quentin Tarantino’s cynical exploitation of graphic violence for fame and fortune brought instant results. “In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Weinstein Co. has decided to cancel the Hollywood premiere of its movie ‘Django Unchained,’ reports the Los Angeles Times.

Reservoir Dogs CBS News noted that, “In true Tarantino form, buckets of blood explode from characters as they are shot or shredded to pieces by rabid dogs in the soon-to-be-released ‘Django Unchained,'” while the BBC observed that, “Tarantino’s latest film, spaghetti western Django Unchained, features graphic violence, including buckets of blood exploding from characters as they are shot.” The film also features dialogue such as this:

Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz): “How do you like the bounty-hunting business?”

Django (Jamie Foxx): “Kill white people and get paid for it? What’s not to like?”

At a press junket in New York for the film on Saturday, Tarantino said that he was tired [emphasis added] of defending his films each time the US is shocked by gun violence. “I just think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers,” he said, adding: “It’s a western. Give me a break.”

But at the same event, Jamie Foxx seemed to be a little more trouble by his role in this $40-million gore fest: “We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence,” he said, “It does.”

The Oscar for the most ridiculous defence of Tarantino’s gore-porn has to go to Kerry Washington, who plays Django’s wife Broomhilda, in the film. According to the BBC, she said she believes its explicit brutality serves an important purpose in educating audiences about the atrocities of slavery. Get this: “I do think that it’s important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect it to the wrongs, the injustices, the social ills,” she said.

Christoph Waltz was equally vacuous and insincere. “Django is violent, but it’s not inspiring violence,” he said, ” Because actually to me I find violence… to that degree repulsive. The fact that it looks so impressive is because it’s on a big screen.”

Are Kerry Washington and Christoph Waltz acting stupid, or are they really so hollow?

Comments (3)

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  1. Kevin says:

    Why the focus on Tarantino and Hollywood? Murdoch is far wealthier than Tarantino and much more influential in disseminating morally troubling messages.

    Also, we revere using violence to address problems: drones & torture: where is your commentary on these? Why not?



  2. Eamonn says:

    My particular focus on Tarantino and Hollywood right now is that his latest film, which features graphic violence as entertainment, has just been released. Tarantino, and Hollywood in general, have been getting away with murder in the sense of making vast sums of money from the glorification of graphic violence for years. I content that this has desensitized society to violence and contributed to the brutalization of our world.

    Murdoch, for all his ills, and the New York Post is one, also publishes the Wall Street Journal, which is a serious newspaper and a valuable source of information. Tarantino has no redeeming qualities, in my eyes.

    Drones and torture are subjects for another day, and they’ll have their day here.

  3. Kevin says:

    Exploiting violence as entertainment has a long history – http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d5e3b77e-5987-11e2-88a1-00144feab49a.html#axzz2Hn4L6L00

    Hard to imagine what graphic gore Shakespeare, Marvell and Middleton would have subjected us all to if they had contemporary technology!

    I don’t like his work but have to credit that QT is amazingly talented + creative and has succeeded in a savagely competitive realm on his own terms.

    I sense his films will serve future generations well as an important insight into our era and our perverse societal allegiance to violent solutions. Irvine Welch has an interesting review http://www.sabotagetimes.com/tv-film/irvine-welsh-on-django-unchained/