Django Unchained Discussed at Eso Won Friday Night


Django Unchained, the highly anticipated Quentin Tarantino film, will be the topic at Eso Won Bookstore in Leimert Park at 6 p.m. Friday.

While Eso Won's James Fugate loved the film, I thought Django was Dterrible. The story wasn't very good, the gore was ridiculous and the topic was not handled in an interesting way. It's not on the same level as Pulp Fiction or Inglorious Basterds.

Though some critics loved it, many people are taken aback by the story and it's depiction of slavery in the years before the Civil War.

The panel will feature Ayuko Babu of the Pan-African Film Festival, Erin Aubry Kaplan, who has covered black issues in LA for over 20 years, and Dr. Anthony Samad, writer and creator of the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum.

Erin just penned a piece in the LA Times critical of the movie, which is a revenge fantasy where a former slave (played by Jamie Foxx) gets to kill an entire plantation of awful slave owners (including Leonardo DiCaprio) and their minions.

"The most disturbing detail is the emotional violence and degradation directed at blacks that effectively keeps them at the bottom of the social order, a place they still occupy today. And critics maintain it is this sort of violence that, like the endless gunplay, "Django" revels in more than it critiques," Erin writes.

While  Anthony writes on his blog, and also penned a story in the Los Angeles Wave, "It was entertainment. Bullsh*t entertainment satirizing our most serious social infliction. But entertainment, none the less."

And ever the host, James will provide the refreshments.

"The audience should come prepared with questions as we want to hear your views on what is now being called The Best Picture of The Year. (I, James Fugate think that)," James said in his email invitation.

EsoWon Books Announcement
Join us this Friday,
 January 4, 6:00pm
EsoWon Books will present a special panel discussion of the Great New Film Django Unchained.  Our special panel will feature
Ayuko Babu
of the Pan-African Film Festival,
Erin Aubry Kaplan
 who has covered black issues in LA for over 20 years and
Dr. Anthony Samad
 Writer and creator of the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum.

Our panelists will give their views on the movie, you can read a great article by Erin in last week's LA Times on the Movie and Anthony Samad wrote a review for the Wave Newspapers and of course Babu will offer his thoughts.

The audience should come prepared with questions as we want to hear your views on what is now being called The Best Picture of The Year.  (I, James Fugate think that).

We will start at 6:00pm sharp, refreshments will be provided by EsoWon.

EsoWon Books
4327 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90008

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Comment by Clint Rosemond on January 16, 2013 at 12:35pm

Hey Eddie:  Hope this comment doesn't get posted along with all of the comments/opinions about Django being made by the professional commentators.  I just wanted to weigh in with thanks to you for this media effort called Leimert Park Beat.  You stay current, have a broad outreach and all in all make a very strong contribution to the ongoing effort to keep LP/LPVillage viable and moving forward.  Your residence is a clear demonstration of your commitment and interest.  Keep up the good work.  Clint

Comment by enhager on January 4, 2013 at 2:49pm

Thanks to Genius Bastard for pointing out this New Yorker article by Jelani Cobb to help me articulate my deeper problems with the movie -

"Django’s true nemesis is not the slaveholder who subjects Hildy to cruel punishments but Stephen, the house slave devoutly allied with the slaveholder. The central conflict is not between an ex-slave and a slaver but between two archetypes—the militant and the sellout. But in creating Stephen, Tarantino necessarily trafficked in the stereotypes he was ostensibly responding to. Samuel L. Jackson plays Stephen’s overblown insouciance and anachronistic mf-bombs to great comedic effect. There are moments, however, when ironies cancel each other out, and we’re left with a stark truth—at its most basic, this is an instance in which a white director holds an obsequious black slave up for ridicule. The use of this character as a comic foil seems essentially disrespectful to the history of slavery. Oppression, almost by definition, is a set of circumstances that bring out the worst in most people. A response to slavery—even a cowardly, dishonorable one like what we witness with Stephen—highlights the depravity of the institution. We’ve come a long way racially, but not so far that laughing at that character shouldn’t be deeply disturbing."

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