BL&F 15: THOUGHTS ON DJANGO AWAY!
Dan Von Petervich
Daniel Hutchings’ Django is closer to an Old West hero than the money-hungry survivalists of Sergio Leone’s Westerns. Django’s ‘Lawman’ headwear, a la Henry Fonda, must be a tip of the hat (excuse the pun) to the works of John Ford. But it is definitely a film of the digital age. It’s about a man with an obsession that takes him on a journey that brings with it meaning but not necessarily understanding, as with the poetics of Ford, but the journey jumps across time and space, between fantasy and reality, at a moment’s notice, like an internet search (which also gives us meaning, but not necessarily understanding).
It’s this contemporary take on the pre-Spaghetti Western Western Hero, as well as Hutchings’ comedy character’s ceaseless attempts to entertain, that gives the film it’s air of romance and poetry. Hutchings’ comedy character is dedicated to inspiring joy in his audience and thinks enough of you to take you into his inner journey at the risk of you finding his attempts laughable.
As a filmmaker, Hutchings is so underground he’s in risk of developing rigor mortis. He may be like the be-demined scarecrow in Django Away! at the moment, but, as his What4 documentaries show, one by one, people are now stopping to give him their time. The fact that this progress seems fast enough for Hutchings tells me he must have a romantic streak a mile wide!
A romantic filmmaker has made a touching Art-Comedy! In an age of cynicism, that’s a rare thing indeed.
When Django’s away, I look forward to him coming back.
Dan Von Petervich is a noted film director. He has made many feature films including Plastic Sun which won many awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Script, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Soundtrack at The Big Annual Showbiz Awards Ceremony. His book of obscure film commentary titled Down There with The Best of Them is due for release next year.