Quentin Tarantino's Infatuation With Raw Violence

01.11.13 9:29 PM ET

Quentin Tarantino cares so passionately and deeply about slavery that he couldn't be bothered to learn anything about it. When asked by a British interviewer about his new movie's (as usual) gleeful violence, Tarantino reacted haughtily:

"Don't ask me a question like that …. I am not your slave and you are not my master."

You'd think a man who'd spent the past year and a bit immersed in a movie about the antebellum South might see the difference between this one unwelcome moment in his ultra-luxury movie promotion tour and the real experience of slavery: a lifetime in bondage, exploitation, and degredation, but … no. Slavery - like the suffering of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Jews - seems interesting to Tarantino mostly as a prophylactic against those who accuse him of delighting in sadism for its own sake. "I'm not making slasher films. I have a message! And my message is: bad people should be tortured to death on screen for all to watch and enjoy."

Chris Caldwell aptly commented this past weekend, in a smart column in the Financial Times:

Django uses slavery the way a pornographic film might use a nurses’ convention: as a pretext for what is really meant to entertain us. What is really meant to entertain us in Django is violence.