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|The reference (spoilers)
Written by Margaret C
(1/29/2013 8:43 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I'm not sure why this came up, penned by Golda
When the first yellow captions came up, they flashed in turn
I thought the middle one had read "Eve of the Civil War", but since posting, checked with the friend I saw it with, who caught the 'two years before' bit. Anyway, that is the reference to the civil war.
It was the only reference to the civil war in the film, and no more relevant than the stereoscopic photograph of the Parthenon, or the girl with the broken leg and corset in Daughtry.
Even in its correct form, the date doesn't make sense:
then they go to Big Daddy's place where the cotton is high (that is, there are bolls of cotton being picked off plants that are not two feet high, with leaves I suspect might not be cotton at all-or at least, the ovate unlobed leaves are not of a variety I have seen before), which signifies September,(or maybe these plants are so stunted because their photo-period is totally different to normal cotton)
then they shoot a man while he is ploughing the field with his son (I am guessing this is in November),
then they spend the winter learning to read and shoot and making their fortunes (probably not in Texas, going by the depth of the snow),
then they go to Mississippi, and the first shot of Stephen shows him blotting the fresh ink on a document dated May 2, 1858 (In the first shot, the date looks more like 1868, but the second shot zooms in on the 5 in 58 so its very clear)I assume these documents are for the sale of Samson Mandingo, (who we saw fighting at Cleopatras), although they looked like cheques, and I did not see 'Samson' written anywhere.
Broomhilda's papers, signed the same evening, are dated July, 1858 (possibly July 12- I had difficulty catching the second numeral of the day, even though there were three close-ups of these documents, and I am sure of the July and the 1858)
So either the Candyland documents should have been dated '1859', or the movie should have started sometime in October 1857, or there is a continuity problem in the date.
My friend also confirmed that the harpist was not even pretending to be Laura-lee, but was a completely unintroduced woman, in a completely different coloured frock, who has apparently just walked into the drawing room after dinner, to actually play the harp (beautifully), while the men were examining the skull. She cleverly leaves while the men are in the library, after having her hair pulled but before the blood spurting begins again in earnest. And I completely missed that. Probably too busy looking at the harp.
Still, Tarantino tends to focus on film history and story-telling techniques, with many things done purely for visual effect (eg. Daniele Watts teetering around knock-kneed like a newborn foal and unexpectedly dropping anachronistic gum-balls from goodness knows where), and the continuity and writing is not worse than other Tarantino efforts. Anyway, I don't think the film is 'saying' enough to justify the amount of casual, offensive racism. Which is contemporary, not historic, post-modern perhaps, but how is that an excuse?
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