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Article: Bloodied Cotton Unplugged

"When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them no, I went to films" Quentin Tarantino
"mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal" T.S.Elliot
"I don't invent, I steal" Ingmar Bergman

Tarantino is thought of, by many, as the king, the archetype of 'borrowed' movie making due to his extensive use of popular cultural references. His new movie Django Unchained may be labelled his utmost intertextual enterprise. His most ecstatic visual 'text'.
It is not a recycle or a remake, I must hasten to assert.

A single frame.
A fleeting glimpse had me searching the web.
Ok. what search terms should I use?
The most unused, I guessed. Image Bloodied Cotton.
Got it.
Amazing to find someone with identical pursuits. But, maybe different purposes.
"The (...) shot of blood spray hitting blooms of cotton is going to be remembered for a long time." Wrote blogger Fiero Fredo
Thanks Fredo.

Watch the movie shot here:

Feel the immediate impact.
Then watch below the closing scene of Youssef Chahine's 1969 movie (The Land)

Both scenes has things in common:

  • A cotton plantation locale.
  • Peasants or workers under oppression.
  • A horseman.
  • A man killed by gun fire (although on opposite points in the stress.)
  • bloodied cotton blooms.
  • a single frame of cotton blooms (almost identical)
Tarantino and Chahine must have been, more or less, of the same mind albeit briefly.
It is hard to say Chahine's scene is the direct source of Tarantino's (there is a possibility for this to have happened since it is reported that Tarantino is a huge movie watcher.)
In theory, a text (Django Unchained) is made out of every other text (The Land and the rest) that was made before it. This is more so from the watcher's point of view.
"The meaning of a text does not reside in the text. It is produced by the reader/watcher from that text and other texts."
At least, I can attest to that!
For other examples of the borrowing thing watch this clip:


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