03 March 2010
Joseph recommended this as a possible target "tone" for my script, striking a precarious balance between humorous and dark. I'm not sure, actually, if that's what I'd call this, though I definitely see his point, and yet in another way this is a perfect film to watch to think about my story: it's about a couple of people, Jackie Brown especially, who feel cornered by a lack of options in life and decide one last big gamble is worth it: either you get away, or you go down fighting.
It's so easy to draw the parallel between this and Out of Sight; not only were they Elmore Leonard adaptations released a year apart, but they also both star Michael Keaton as ATF agent Ray Nicolet (since the tone is so different and the directors so unrelated, I've always found this little tidbit fascinating). But Jackie Brown makes a far more interesting double feature with Soderbergh's The Limey. Both are nostalgic for earlier eras in pop culture -- music and film in particular. The Limey uses 1960s icons and 1960s music in a story about people who've been moved on from since their heydays in the 60s. Jackie Brown does this exact same thing to the 1970s, using 70s icons and 70s music nostalgically to tell a story of people who've been moved on from.
And, man, for all the cool emitted by this film, all the love it has for Pam Grier (and super-charming Robert Forster), damned if this isn't Tarantino's most naturalistic, observational piece. Scenes drag on with endless witty dialogue but everything from the mundane actions to the kinds of conflicts and topics of conversation our characters obsess over -- it all seems more casual, real... by Tarantino's standards, unstylized. I'd love to get my hands on this script and look at how the scenes play out. There is a lot to cull from this for my script, actually. I'll definitely be revisiting this in the near future, which won't be hard. It's always a pleasure.