Abe must write because, by doing so, he is able to play god and all the morons receive just retribution.
And because everybody lives up to his (high) expectations and if they do not, they dieeeeeeee.
Conclusively, this will make for a better world.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Just Art

Disclaimer: for the record, it's never 'just art', if we want to be pedantic about the choice of words. But hopefully by the end of this you'll understand why, on the whole, it is. 

A film came out in the UK this week. And it came out in the USA in 2012. It is Oscar nominated and has been controversial to say the least. The film in question is Quentin Tarantino's latest, 'Django Unchained' (see trailer here).

I love films. I love TV. I love music. And, generally speaking, I love art. Art is subjective. For us to interpret how we wish and to enjoy how we wish.

In school, one aspect of studying English I quite disliked was the feeling of tearing a text to pieces to understand it, especially poetry. Forcing an understanding that might not necessarily be there and an insistance on a deeper meaning. Don't get me wrong, I understand there are different meanings but surely beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no more so than in art? If this be the case, why must we force our views upon others?

In the song 'Clique', Kanye West says, 'You know white people get money, don't spend it'. I recently saw someone tweet that had this lyric been said in reverse by a white person, there would be an uproar amongst black people. This might be true, but I think that this person, and others, have clearly missed the point; Kanye wasn't making a dig at white people, if anything, he was making a dig at his own (black) people for the way they spend money ig'nant. For me, at least, I felt that this was the obvious message and there's no need to start reading into it further, or questioning how it would have been taken had someone else said it. Nobody else said it, it was Kanye. And in the context it was said in, it was absolutely fine.

So I return to my original point, art is subjective. I'll stick with film specifically, as it was a film that inspired the thoughts behind this post. I personally watch films for entertainment. As well as for inspiration.

For me, Django Unchained was an incredible film. Do I think Quentin Tarantino is a racist for the apparently excessive use of the word 'nigger' in the film? Considering the film is set in the times of slavery where, unlike 2013, a second thought was not given by anybody in using the word, then no I do not. The word 'nigger' was as normal as any other world in those times. 

In period pieces, one MUST be true to the times that they are representing. Watch an adaptation of Oliver Twist or any other Dickens text, or something from Elizabethan times and, unless they're intended for a child audience, they are often laden with all sorts of offensive terms that wouldn't be accepted today. But in the context of the society that you are experiencing through the film, it adds to the setting!

So on that note, a round of applause to Tarantino for a brilliant film and here's to hoping that we can just appreciate art for art, and not have a chip over our shoulder.

But alas, art is subjective. What I consider brilliance, another considers offensive. And if you consider it to be that, each to their own. C'est la vie. Just don't ram it down my throat, I'd rather my shoulder remain chip-less.

Before starting this blog post I told myself I wouldn't mention the name of the film that evoked this blog post, let alone divulge on my opinion of the use of 'nigger' in the film.


Currently listening to: Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away

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