Slavery-era films ‘a slap in the face’

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Slavery-era action figures tied to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained are raising questions about whether they’re appropriate.

A line of figures of the movie’s main characters are on sale online, manufactured by toy maker Neca in partnership with the Weinstein Co.

Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, called the action figures “a slap in the face of our ancestors”.

“We were outraged,” said Ali. “We feel it trivialises the horrors of slavery and what African- Americans experienced.”

The collectible action figures are recommended for people older than 17. Tarantino has had such figures made for all of his films, including his last, Inglourious Basterds which also revelled in a revenge fantasy set in history - Nazi Germany.

The Weinstein Co. and Neca didn’t immediately comment.

Ali made clear his objections were not with the film Django Unchained, which he said he liked.

Though controversial in its unusual melding of historical atrocity and movie mayhem, Django Unchained has proven a hit at the box office since opening Christmas. It’s also been nominated for five Golden Globes.

Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg has extended his domination at the Directors’ Guild of America Awards. He received a record 11th nomination for the Directors’ Guild top prize, the latest for his Civil War epic Lincoln. He has won the prize a record three times.

Also nominated were past winners Kathryn Bigelow for her Osama bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty; Tom Hooper for his musical Les Miserables; and Ang Lee for his lost-at-sea story Life of Pi.

Rounding out the field is first-time nominee Ben Affleck for his Iran hostage crisis tale Argo.

Winners of the 65th annual Directors Guild awards will be announced on February 2.

On a lighter note, Ryan Gosling says Emma Stone owes him money.

The Gangster Squad star laughed off questions about why he was drawn to work with the 24-year-old for the second time after their appearance in Crazy, Stupid, Love, saying he only signed up to work with her again because he wants her to pay him back some cash he lent her.

He joked to E! News: “The truth is, Emma owes me money. If I show up here, or I have to do another movie with her to get it, I will.”

The 32-year-old recently claimed he doesn’t think he is particularly attractive, despite regularly being voted one of the sexiest men alive.

He said he doesn’t consider himself a traditional leading man.

He said: “I don’t think of myself as particularly good-looking and not at all a typical leading man. I have a greater affinity for characters who aren’t mainstream leading man kinds of roles, although I enjoy playing any character as long as the film has something interesting to say about life.

“I hate feeling that I’m just doing a job for a pay cheque. The whole notion of being a movie star is part of the myth-making process that goes on in the film business. You create this great illusion on screen and then the illusion is taken to a different level when actors become mythologised.” – Sapa-AP and Bang Showbiz

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