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billyshakes wrote: »
I could only find spaghetti westerns and the 2010 documentary. Can you post a link?
Couldn't find the threads where the movie was (mostly) criticized to death, but here's the interview with a director and it puts some sense into his thinking regarding the making of it:
Thanks for sharing. As he said, with a character such as Django, there are so many possibilities, so many angles to view his story, that pretty much each fan has his own version and seeing one specific version on screen can only be disappointing.
But for sure, the music scenes in the movie are really well done.
And regarding Django role in the Rsistance I recently found an article claiming he had an active role at some point, helping fellow musician escape. I tried to contact the author to know the source of the claim but without success so far.
I just (finally) watched the movie. It's $5 to own a digital version on Vudu, I suppose every other service is the same. I told myself to really try to watch it as any other movie, without any preconceptions as much as possible. Then the opening scene kinda lost me right away. It's beautiful, great scenery, great music. But the genre of gypsy jazz was totally developed like that in 1943? Especially the rhythm guitars. They could've played something that was much more likely to hear at the time and still show this beautiful musical tradition of Gypsies, if that was the intent. The rest of it, what a strange movie...the story, the direction of it, biographical authenticity etc, none of that bothered me. What did is that there are so many scenes that have no rhyme or reason. Well they may have have one of those, but not the other.
Air raid scene, syrens going off, airplanes are heard approaching, they're in some basement with Negros that defiantly stayed behind and then... nothing. It just takes a different conversation with the air raid left in the background as if it never happened. Monkey dying, what the heck happened there? They're searching for it, hear the jingle bells, next thing you see is they're burying it. In the different scene he says "they killed the monkey". Who, when, how? Selmers are all over the place, in the hands of every cousin in the country. The way the local priest was introduced was not very genuine and seamless like it happens when it's well done, seemed forced. And so on... The way Reda moves his left hand fingers is very impressive. But the scenes with him playing weren't convincing to me. The opening scene, you see the back of the guitar which is bouncing like it's about to fall off his knee. His right hand was very stiff, only the scene around the 10 minute mark it looked nice and relaxed. Not that I should care about this. But they put a lot of emphasis on it and it made me hyper aware that I'm just watching a movie. Somehow I could believe Sean Penn in the Sweet and Lowdown, even though it's much more obvious he's faking, no idea why. In that movie you could get lost in the magic of motion pictures, even the scenes when he's "playing" the guitar. No magic for me in Django. Too bad. Only the final half hour got better, starting with the final concert and the last escape attempt. But there too, during the concert they never showed or suggested the wounded guy had reached the safety, until Loise thanks Django. Finally, the escape scene, was it suggested that he reached Switzerland but decided to turn around? I can only assume as there are no clues at all. Then it cuts to the premiere of the mass he composed. That left me confused as so much in this movie did.
Ok, too much writing and not enough practice, off to the woodshed...
PS loved the cameos with all the French guys and Gypsies, I thought they all did a great job!
Great review. Sorry to hear they botched it so badly. On the other hand, except for the fact that they got great players to recreate music, it’s not a movie that was made for us.
What you observe is a common problem with most biographical movies. Aren’t the stories of these lives interesting enough to respect the truth? It’s one thing to take a best guess at what you don’t know. It’s another to simply overuse “poetic license” because you’re too lazy to tell the truth, or you fear the truth is not “dramatic” enough. Had a similar experience watching “Chernobyl” on HBO. They went through so much trouble to get the atmosphere, effects, sets, hair and makeup, and clothes right; why didn’t they think the story of the actual historical participants was compelling enough?