King Kong, Tarantino Response

Alex brought up an awesome point in his post regarding the Inglorious Basterd’s scene where the SS guard talks about the journey of King Kong to America being synonymous with that of the African American. Heres the link again:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIBDomdpK7Y

Thinking about this further, Tarantino makes a really interesting point in just a few simple lines of dialogue. I also found it really interesting that Tarantino makes one of the great modern analogies of Slavery while African American filmmaker Spike Lee claims Tarantino is a racist who throws around the n word without understanding what it means. I’ve always been in the camp that Tarantino could care less about race… he cares about characters. If those characters happen to have a certain racial or religious background, he will use it to his satirical advantage and explain their hardships through absurdist, intricate dialogue that allows the character to be larger than life, break the mold of other similar characters, and point out issues going on in America. Like he did in Django with Jaime Foxx, Django is the protagonist and Dicaprio is the antagonist. Tarantino goes to great lengths to make Django appear smarter, faster, and tougher than his white counter parts, but also juxtaposes images with the brutality of slavery and the fear of slaves who were subjected to torture. Perhaps a better representation of slavery is found in 12 Years a Slave, which takes a hyper-realistic historical approach to the true story of Solomon Northup.

Back to the original point that Alex brought up in his post, Tarantino’s best skills lie in his ability to use dialogue to express his points even more loudly than his images. Words can change the entire conversation. When you look at the simple scene above in Inglorious, a disgraceful SS guard makes such a relevant point about one of the great cinema characters of all time… King Kong is quite simply a 1933 commentary on America’s dark past… traveling to a place they were unwanted and unrightfully taking something pure and subjecting it to indentured pain.

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