Needs more Antonin Artaud: The New Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp’s Racially Insensitive Bird Hat

THE LONE RANGER

So they’re making a Lone Ranger movie, which I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t have any reference to “Alejandro Jodorowsky” on the internet immediately sent to my email inbox. Yes, I do that.

So for all you people who are like me and are slowly phasing the mainstream out of your life, apparently the guys doing Pirates of the Caribbean (i.e. Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer) are making a Lone Ranger movie. Armie Hammer, who I’m not familiar with and sounds like a porn star name to me, stars as the Lone Ranger, and Johnny Depp is Tonto. Yes, Johnny Depp is Tonto. There are problems here, mainly by casting a white man in a red man’s role. The only reason it’s not red face is because Johnny Depp is wearing so much face make up. Admittedly, he looks pretty cool, especially considering he has a bird on his head, but couldn’t they find an Indian guy?

Alright, let’s place the unfortunate implications thing aside and say that they just couldn’t find a Native guy who wanted to play Tonto because of some of the controversy around the character speaking in a pidgin dialect. It should be brought up that Johnny Depp does not really have that good of a history playing First Nations guys. I have only heard rumours of The Brave, a movie Johnny Depp directed and stared in about an Indian guy who volunteers to be part fo a snuff film so that his wife and children can get out of the sickening poverty he lives in. Admittedly, the character in that movie is more the horrible reality for First Nations people, where as Tonto is more of a white man’s idea of what the First Nations were like during that time period; mystical warriors in a world that is moving on from them. Basically that makes them the American version of elves. Make of that what you will.

Also, why the hell does Tonto have a bird on his head? This has not been sufficiently addressed in my opinion. Why is he wearing a dead bird on his head? I looked up the whole feather-headdress thing. They’re supposed to be eagle feathers and your supposed to take the feathers off. WHY IS THERE A DEAD BIRD ON HIS HEAD? I’ve also checked the Wikipedia page on the Potawatomi, the tribe Tonto is supposed to be from, and they have no dead birds on their heads.

So asside from the whole issue of a white guy playing Tonto, there’s the whole accusations of Jodorowsky similarities. To be honest, beyond a certain level of Tonto being somekind of shaman in a funny hat I’m not seeing it. The trailer looks good, but I’m not planning on seeing this in theatres.

Houston Press: Will the Lone Ranger be the Alejandro Jodorowsky Summer Movie We Didn’t Know We Wanted but We Do?

Jezebel: Johnny Depp Takes Tonto Character from Racist to Merely Culturally Insensitive

 

That hat.

That fucking hat.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Creative Metaphor
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 16:38:31

    “WHY IS THERE A DEAD BIRD ON HIS HEAD?”

    Okay, here’s the ONLY thing I can think of: Maybe in an attempt to not wear a headdress in a way which might offend, he picked a style that no native tribe ever used so as not to misrepresent…

    No, wait…

    Sorry, that was my best attempt.

    Reply

    • dylantern
      Dec 14, 2012 @ 16:53:00

      Turns out he got the idea for the hat from a painting. It was meant to be taken symbolically, but Johnny Depp thought it was real or something.

      Reply

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