1. Have you yet seen Django Unchained? What did you think of it, if so?
Yes, I saw the movie, and it blew me away! I'm not always a huge fan of Tarantino's films, but this one hit on all cylinders.
2. Were you surprised to hear that Tarantino was doing a movie that featured the German immigrant experience in the South? Were you aware of this yourself? What did you think?
I was surprised when I learned of the details of the movie. At the time, I had little exposure to what that experience must have been like, but ironically, last semester I took Germans in NOLA with Dietmar Felber, which really opened my eyes to the German history in the south. I think Tarantino does a good job of depicting the archetypal "good German" (Christoph Walz) who is opposed to slavery, while still maintaining the fact the Brunhilde von Shaft (Kerry Washington) grew up on a German-owned plantation.
3. What was your impression of the visit by Ms. Washington? Did you know before hand that Prof. Felber was tutoring her? Does this affect your impression of the German Department in any way?
I had heard beforehand that the German Department was working on a small visit by Kerry Washington, which I initially thought was awesome, considering her work and the German influence in the film Django Unchained. I think it is really impressive that one of the department's own had this opportunity to work with a major director and actress -- it is a showcase of what one can do with a career in foreign languages.
4. How did you feel about getting to hear Ms. Washington speak? What did you like best about it?
I thought it was a fantastic experience for everyone who attended. It was really amazing to have a renowned actress take time out of her schedule to very humbly entertain us and our curiosities, regarding the film and co-stars, etc. In all honesty I was stunned by how it seemed Ms. Washington was more interested in us students and our studies than talking about her upcoming film... I say again, very humble.
5. Tell us a little bit more about yourself: where you are from, what is your major/minor, what year you are, any special honors, etc.
I'm Reese Osta. I am a Junior from Albuquerque, NM studying German Studies and getting secondary teacher certification at Tulane University. I am President of the German Honors Society and co-President of German Club.
6. Has the German Department provided you any special opportunities here at Tulane? Do you get to work closely with your professors (and/or meet movie stars? Hint, hint?)
Well the German Department allows its students opportunities like meeting famous movie stars, but we also may frequent the opera (even if it isn't a German one playing). Being a relatively small department, the students receive their fair share of one-on-one attention. The best though is the familiar get-togethers/parties in the department's office.
7. Please tell us anything else about the experience you can.
Ms. Washington's family was also really kind.
Tulane U., Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies, Newcomb Hall 305, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5276 firstname.lastname@example.org