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Musical communication in films: What happens when the soundtrack is not historically acurate?

A poignant scene in Django Unchained, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is when the free slave Django rides his horse alongside Calvin Candie’s carriage and henchmen. The rap song complementing the scene -100 Black Coffins by Rick Ross – is a stark historical juxtaposition. The song is certainly attractive to the ear, but does this choice of music go deeper than aesthetic? Does it allude to both the enslaved plight of African Americans whilst also drawing parallels to their modern plight (one often expressed through Hip Hop culture)? Does this ring true for other films? If so, what films and why?

  • Yes, this is a great topic. Hope I'm not overstepping here, but I think the word you're looking for anachronistic: when does an element in a work of art, whether editing, sound, lighting, etc. seem out of place or out of context? In Django it appears to enhance the experience, but perhaps in other films, in the hands of someone differently skilled, the use of anachronistic music might instead alienate the viewer. Really interesting topic. – Matchbox 5 months ago
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  • Thank you for that correction and insight - makes things much more succinct! – danielleraffaele 5 months ago
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