By: Jordan Zakarin - The Hollywood Reporter
With numerous utterings of the "N" Word within his new film, "Django," does Tarantino hope to diffuse, or ignite all the ill feelings behind the word all in the name of art?
In Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino does not try to continue the slow unpacking of America’s long legacy of slavery and subsequent racism; instead, he plants a stick of dynamite in the country’s baggage and detonates it all over the screen.
In total, the dialogue is peppered with over 110 instances of the n-word, uttered by both racist whites and black characters. It is used as an insult, a proper noun, and as throwaway filler. Whether it’s a sign of how far the nation has come in its race relations, or an indication of how much progress is left to be made, the use of the word has stirred debate a full two weeks before the film even hits theaters.
"In the deep south, if we hadn’t heard that word as much as we did, it would have been a-historical. The language in that way was precise,” Toure, an author and co-host of MSNBC’s afternoon show The Cycle, told The Hollywood Reporter after seeing the film at a screening for press. "It’s so embedded into their society, its not pejorative, it's 'this is how we talk.’ They’re not even conscious of the racism or gravity. To make a big deal out of it, and if you watch that film and that's what you get out of it, that’s just an incredibly unintelligent knee jerk reaction to the whole thing."
Specifically, Toure was referring to conservative media members who have criticized Tarantino’s use of the word in Django, including blogger Matt Drudge, who splashed “N*gger” seven times across the top of his site on Wednesday. Yet it is more than a single word, however odious its legacy, that fuels the debate over Tarantino’s treatment of race in the new movie; the brutal depiction of slavery, with whippings, hot boxing, verbal abuse, chain gangs and near-castration set a tone that is equally divisive.
Ultimately, that Tarantino is the writer/director behind Django provides as much context as any historical setting or degree of blood splatter. Beginning in earnest with a monologue by the director himself in Pulp Fiction, in which he says “n-----” repeatedly, he has displayed a propensity for including the term in his films that is unmatched among white directors.
"[Django’s use] felt much more natural to me, and it was much more in place," Toure explained. "I understand why he used it in his other pieces. Even when he comes out [in Pulp Fiction] when he says ‘Dead n----- storage,’ it's hysterical, but you could step out and say why did he need to say that outside of it being funny?"
Brown counters, "Instinctive and necessary? Or numbing and a cheap shock effect? The purpose and results are open to personal interpretation.
In 1997, Spike Lee took issue with the heavy use of the term in Jackie Brown, which was Tarantino’s homage to the blaxploitation films, as well as in his earlier works.
“I have a definitely problem with Quentin Tarantino’s excessive use of the N-Word. And let the record state that I never said that he cannot use that word - I’ve used that word in many of my films - but I think something is wrong with him,” the director, one of America’s pre-eminent black filmmakers, said in an interview. Lee also compared the angry response of Samuel L. Jackson -- Tarantino’s lead in Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown -- to his comments as "the house slave defending the massa." Incidentally, in Django, that is exactly the role Jackson plays, as the conniving slave looking out for DiCaprio.
Tarantino has often defended his use of the term by saying that he is simply utilizing the English language in all its glory and ugly legacies, and the past 15 years since his rivalry with Lee began has seen hip hop make the word more ubiquitous, if not acceptable. He is seen by some as a bold white filmmaker willing to tackle race in an industry that is often afraid of doing so, and by others as an interloper who revels in using a taboo term off-limits to most.
It is an issue that has proven divisive even among black critics. Django was this week nominated for four NAACP Image Awards, including best picture. Last year, the Civil Rights-era film The Help picked up that award -- despite charges by some that the film promoted the idea that generous white people were most responsible for helping timid, submissive blacks to win equal rights in the 1960's south.
In Django, Foxx is by the end the film’s undisputed hero, though he too has to be sprung free by a white man who gets many of the best lines of dialogue. As Tarantino’s Doppelganger, the bounty hunter character played by Christoph Waltz admits to hating slavery and removes the shackles of more than a few black people caught in bondage. Whether that’s enough to appeal to critics of the film’s language, however, remains to be see
Jude's Korean adventures
Alcohol in South Korea
All bars and local night establishments are filled to the brim with things you have seen in all other places like Jack Daniels and Jagermeister.
However you may spy a little green bottle with Korean writing on it and you may ask what is that? It's called Soju, my friends or 소주 for the Hangil inclined (Korean Language).
Soju is a spirit primarily made from rice, barley, potatoes or tapioca and has an average alcohol content of 20% ABV however there are some brands of Andong Soju that are upward of 45% ABV.
None the less, they will both get the job done. Soju has a taste very similar to vodka but it is slightly sweeter and easier to consume by itself.
Now we get to the matter of cost and availability; however rest assured the answer will be qiute positive. Soju is available all over South Korea from the local convenience store for 1,000 Won = roughly $1 or in a restaurant for 3,000 Won =$3. So these adult treats certainly won't set you back any considerable amount.
It alco mixes quite well with beer, cider, and energy drinks. Soju has been around since the 13th century and shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. So when you get the chance come on down to the Republic of South Korea and have a shot of deliciousness.
National & Worldview
Our world doesn't end in Louisiana and neither should yours. Here you'll find entertainment news and events affecting different areas of the globe. From Dallas to Washington D.C and from Atlanta, GA to halfway around the world to Korea, if its entertainment for your world, you'll find it here.