4 January 2013 9:09 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

One thing that distinguishes this award season is the riveting debates over not only "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty" but Quentin Tarantino's slave western "Django Unchained."  The writer-director recently gave an engaging, articulate interview on Fresh Air covering all things "Django," including the trajectory of conventional slave narratives onscreen, the western as a mirror of social concerns, and that now-ubiquitous catchphrase "the 'D' is silent." Highlights from the interview below, plus a roundup of other interviews, box office reports and the best critical writing on the film. Check out the December 21 Charlie Rose interview (below) with Tarantino; he reveals when he abandoned acting (girlfriend Mira Sorvino egged him on)and how dead-serious he is about making his mark on cinema as both writer and auteur director. Fresh Air interview highlights: On the few slave narratives we usually see »

- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna

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