Cannes 2012: Django Unchained Footage Unveiled
Posted on Monday May 21, 2012, 23:04 by Nick de Semlyen in Under The Radar
Tonight, in a private screening room in Cannes' Hotel Majestic, Harvey Weinstein faced a selection of the world's press and announced he was about to show an hour of footage from his bar mitzphah. Luckily, he was joking. Instead, he unveiled a selection of footage from three hugely anticipated Weinstein Company pictures, each directed by an edgy auteur.
First up was Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, with what amounted to a longer version of the teaser that emerged online today, featuring bonus Philip Seymour Hoffman (delivering a chilling tirade about "cold feet and narrow minds"), Amy Adams (declaring that, "The only way to defend ourselves is to attack") and a shot of Phoenix masturbating on a beach in broad daylight. Together with Jonny Greenwood's grandfather-clock-on-ketamine music and Phoenix's cracked line deliveries, it promises to be at least as intense an experience as There Will Be Blood.
Next up was a trailer for David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, which lightened the mood considerably despite the fact the film tackles mental illness. Bradley Cooper plays a teacher released after a spell in an institution, who finds possible salvation in the form of Jennifer Lawrence. Sounds heavy, but the scenes shown here were nimble and funny. Intriguingly, it also stars Chris Tucker, making his return to the screen for the first time since Rush Hour 3. Looks promising.
But the evening’s main event was Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, and judging by the seven minutes shown tonight, it's going be a raucously entertaining night at the movies. The footage began with bare feet trudging forward, shackled together with padlocks and chains. The slave procession makes its way through an epic montage of scenery - sun-baked plains, towering rock ridges - before ending up in a forest at night. As a horse approaches, the lead slave-trader calls out, "Who's that stumblin' around in the dark? State your business or prepare to get winged!"
The rider turns out to be Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). He's got a clever horse called Fritz who nods when introduced to people, and a carriage which boasts a giant white tooth on a spring (in a nice touch, it has a filling in it). Schultz quickly demonstrates that he's one deadly dentist, shooting dead the bad guys and, yes, unchaining Django (Jamie Foxx). It’s a fast, cool intro, with deft moments of humour (such as Waltz’s exasperated glance at the tooth when asked what kind of doctor he is) and a spectacularly gory shot of a head interfacing with a bullet.
Following this, we see Schultz getting Django on a horse — which leads to some horrified reaction shots from white folk — and tooling him up, since both are on a mission of revenge against some vicious types called the Brittle Brothers. Cockily, Django fires rounds into a snowman’s eyes, before whirling the pistol back into its holster. Unimpressed, Schultz says, "I think it's safe to say you're faster than a snowman."
We next see the introduction of Don Johnson as a Southern patriarch, at whose plantation Schultz and Django arrive, the latter now wearing an eye-poppingly flamboyant electric-blue suit. While Schultz has a drink with their host, Django heads into the grounds, using an eyeglass to spot one of his foes, who’s preparing to lash a black slave with his bullwhip. Cue an ice-cool takedown and a killer QT one-liner: “I like the way you die... boy.”
The rest of the footage provided quick looks at other key characters. Leonardo DiCaprio’s diabolical Calvin Candie sports a Mephistophelean beard and syrupy accent, telling Django, “You had my curiosity. Now you have my attention.” And Samuel L. Jackson seems to have been aged significantly as crafty house slave Stephen: his head is bald with white hair on the sides.
With music cues from Johnny Cash (Ain’t No Grave) and James Brown (Payback), the sneak peek played out like a blaxploitation Inglourious Basterds: violent, swaggering and massively entertaining. Whether the movie lives up to this promise will be seen come Christmas. In the meantime, just remember, as Django pointed out at the end of the sizzle reel: “The D is silent.”
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Posted on Monday May 21, 2012, 23:26
"The footage began with bare feet..."
Quelle surprise, Mr Tarantino...
Posted on Monday May 21, 2012, 23:40
Holy shit I can't wait for Django.
Posted on Tuesday May 22, 2012, 00:58
This sounds so incredibly awesome. I can't wait to see the carriage with the tooth on top!!
Posted on Tuesday May 22, 2012, 16:37
"The footage began with bare feet...
Quelle surprise, Mr Tarantino..."
They don't call it FOOTage for nothing.
Posted on Saturday May 26, 2012, 17:06
Sounds like the main event was the master footage! I wanna see that footage soooo bad, forget tarantino hes no paul thomas anderson.