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When I was at the Cannes Film Festival this year, I attended the special presentation thrown by The Weinstein Company to premiere footage from Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." I did my best to transcribe those clips as completely as possible for you, trying to share some impressions of those short glimpses at two of this year's most highly anticipated films.
Now the first official trailer for the film is here and it seems like a much tighter version of that clip package we saw with a few new shots thrown in for good measure. It uses both the Johnny Cash and James Brown cues that we heard, it's got that great Franco Nero appearance right at the end, and it also adds the awesome new tagline, "Life, Liberty And the Pursuit Of Vengeance."
Oh, hell, yes, Quentin.
He seems to have been recharged by the time he took off from filmmaking. I thought "Inglorious Basterds" was a ridiculously confident film, and so far, every clip I've seen from "Django Unchained" is just gorgeous, filled with humor and horror and a tangible love of the genre. One of my theories about the work of Mel Brooks is that he was at his best when he was making movies that poked affectionate fun at genres he genuinely loved, like "Blazing Saddles" or "Young Frankenstein," while he was less successful when he was just making parodies of whatever is popular, like "Spaceballs." I think one of the things that makes Tarantino's work such a uniform pleasure is his movies are very much about the movies he loves and the things he loves about them. I always get the sense watching his work that he is delighted to be adding these images, these characters, these ideas to a tradition that he's loved his whole life.
You get a good look at the chemistry between Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in the trailer, and the trailer also does a great job of setting up the game and the stakes. You know what the mission is. You know who the players are. You see some Leonardo Di Caprio. And, best of all, you see Jamie Foxx in his hilarious blue velvet outfit.
Between this and "The Great Gatsby," it's going to be a very Leonardo Di Caprio Christmas day. It should be exciting on both counts.
"Django Unchained" arrives in theaters December 25, 2012.