Guided along by the narration of Quentin Tarantino, Django & Django explores Sergio Corbucci’s robust volume of work within the Italian Western sub-genre. Using his own work as an introductory framework, Tarantino introduces Corbucci, his more famous works, and the details that lead to their creation.
While solid in its delivery of the information, Django & Django addresses its subject matter like behind the scenes extra content that just needed to be put together and presented. The beginning of this documentary was incredibly confusing in that it cold opens with Tarantino talking about Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019) and a story about Rick Dalton and Sergio Corbucci. As someone who knows virtually nothing about Corbucci, this was a bizarre way to introduce the director and begin the deep-dive into his work. As soon as the beginning credits finish though, the doc takes a more structured approach that appropriately looks at its subject.
Structured in a series of short chapters, Director Luca Rea does a good job guiding you along the different story beats of Corbucci’s filmography, albeit at a very high level. This type of documentary structure is always helpful when the subject matter leans more into the informative side versus a more storytelling approach.
On the flip side, due to its content, the information presented felt as if it was missing its thesis. Often throughout the runtime I found myself wondering, “what is the point here?” as there seemed to be little direction to what Rea wanted to say about Corbucci. Is this film about Corbucci himself? If so, where is the content about his personal life and interviews with his friends and/or family? Was this more an exploration of the Italian Western sub-genre and Corbucci was merely used as the catalyst due to his role in it? If so, where was that connection? Rea introduces a lot of questions here with none of the answers and ultimately, Django & Django felt shallow in its purpose.
With that said, after the odd introduction to the film, I did walk away feeling as if I had learned something about an area of film history that is otherwise not represented. Sure, films featuring Wayne or Eastwood are more or less commonplace when thinking about Westerns. It’s the Italian Westerns that are not as well known yet just as impactful in their growth of the overall genre. In short, Django & Django isn’t necessarily a perfect film in its storytelling or direction, but it’s an important one for the content it’s sharing with the world.
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), August 28, 2021. Rating: NA. Running time: 80 min.
PRODUCTION: (IT) A Lucky Red distribution of a Nicomax Cinematografica, R&C Produzioni and Greater Fool Media production and in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Producers: Tilde Corsi, Nicoletta Ercole, Fabrizio Manzollino, Nicola Marzano, and Mario Niccolò Messina.
CREW: Director: Luca Rea. Writers: Steve Della Casa and Luca Rea. Cinematography: Andrea Arnone. Editing: Stuart Mabey. Music: Andrea Guerra.
CAST: (as themselves) Quentin Tarantino, Franco Nero, and Ruggero Deodato.