Anthropology is both a fascinating, and controversial topic. This week, join Eric and Bryan as they welcome anthropologist Katherine Schaefers as their guest.
American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.
-Spike Lee via Twitter, 12/22/12 10:18pm
Those were the words that Spike Lee used to disparage Quentin Tarantino’s new epic film Django Unchained. The plot centers around a slave who is freed and becomes a bounty hunter. He then embarks on a mission to rescue his wife from a sadistic plantation owner. That’s about all that Spike Lee knows about the movie since he has not seen it and will not see it.
Nerds on Film
Episode No. 71 — Mel Brooksuary: Peruvian Death Squad Allegories
Nerds on History’s Eric Bricmont is a guest this week as NoF measures their respective Schwartz’s via a discourse on Spaceballs.
Content:After a rousing conversation about whether we like sci-fi parodies, we got to the meat and potatoes of the episode, Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs. Throughout the episode we shared lots of fun information, such as:
- The film was Bill Pullman’s first film. He had been seen by Brooks in a theatre production in LA prior to casting.
- Brooks was originally looking for a big star to lead the film, and tried to get Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks to take the role of Lone Star before casting Pullman
- The scene where Barf tries to get up with his seatbelt still on was an accident. John Candy improvised “Oh! That’s gonna leave a mark” and they kept it.
- “Spaceballs: The Book”: R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame wrote the novelization.
- The scene with Dark Helmet playing with the action figures also wasn’t in the script. Brooks came up with the idea on set one day, told the idea to Moranis who then improvised the entire scene.
- Vespa is the Italian word for WASP. (hehe)
- Brooks and George Lucas had a “Fair Use Agreement” that would not allow for Spaceballs merchandise like that depicted in the film to be produced.
- Brooks was conflicted about the Jewish (Druish) jokes in the movie. He was ashamed they were in there but proud that he left them in.
We were surprised to learn that while our guest Eric, while not a heavy film nerd, has seen Spaceballs at least a dozen times, and can speak adamantly about it.
Those who know me (and some who don’t) know that the Academy Awards is the one annual ritual in which I hold the same level of esteem as religious events like Easter, Christmas, and watching a Batman or Superman movie. Ever since I was a kid, the Oscars were an event that I simply couldn’t “take or leave.” Would you “take or leave” your grandmother? Favorite uncle? First born child?