Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Max Cherry meets Jackie Brown









































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For more on the performance of Robert Forster in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown see The Wanderers: Robert Forster at Cinema Styles, put up in tandem with this post for Unexplained Cinema.

10 comments:

Marilyn said...

That last frame is the only one in which his face registers anything approaching emotion, an almost inperceptible opening of the eyes and mouth.

Greg said...

That's why I put up so many pics, because it's amazing how each one looks exactly the same and then, at the last moment, right before it switches to him actually introducing himself there's this slight difference. And Tarantino keeps focusing on his immutable face until that last frame. It's nice when people don't go for big sometimes.

bill r. said...

You know who's a really good director? QUENTIN TARANTINO! Eventually, someday, this will be recognized as an unarguable fact.

Greg said...

I think it already is among film lovers, don't you? I admit I wasn't a big fan until Jackie Brown on, although I liked Pulp Fiction. What surprises me among film lovers/cinephiles who don't think he's a great director is the way he's thought of as overly clever, ultra-hip, blah, blah, blah. But, right there in front of you is slow, methodical plot set-up, patient character development and dialogue that reveals insight into both. All things a normal film lover would and should love and yet the name "Quentin Tarantino" blinds so many.

Just Another Film Buff said...

I can almost hear "Do not do it baby" playing!

Tarantino? A truly great Hollywood director. He'll be the man to revere for the next generation. He'll get his due.

Greg said...

Totally agreed. Looking back at Jackie Brown I was once again struck by the patient storytelling and unobtrusive yet very effective camerawork. I think he gets his due now from most cinephiles and eventually, everyone else.

Just Another Film Buff said...

Oops. The song goes: "Didn't I do it baby?"

Absolutely. I can think of few other mainstream directors who use close-ups as effectively as he does.

Greg said...

And they're effective in large part because he keeps you involved in the character and what they're saying so you don't notice the close-up consciously but it has a great effect on the outcome of how the scene/shot feels.

bill r. said...

Just Another Film Buff, are you thinking of "Didn't I Blow Your Mind?"

What surprises me among film lovers/cinephiles who don't think he's a great director is the way he's thought of as overly clever, ultra-hip, blah, blah, blah. But, right there in front of you is slow, methodical plot set-up, patient character development and dialogue that reveals insight into both. All things a normal film lover would and should love and yet the name "Quentin Tarantino" blinds so many.

Well, that's my whole point. Obviously, Tarantino is hardly despised, but you saw everything I'm talking about when INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS came out. A lot of true film lovers couldn't or wouldn't see the amazing filmmaking abilities on display there, and I just didn't get it. Neither could you, as I remember.

But yes, the patience of storytelling. Since JACKIE BROWN, that's been one of his hallmarks, and I remember him specifically getting criticized for that at the time. I remember him doing a roundtable on Charlie Rose's show, about films of the year, and he was there with notable film critics (Janet Maslin is the only one I can remember). JACKIE BROWN had come out that year, and one of the critics politely bemoaned the film's slow pace. Tarantino countered by saying something like "Critics often complain about modern American films, and their impatient approach to storytelling, the quick cuts, and non-existent characterizations, but here I am, giving you what you want!" And he was diplomatic about it, but he was absolutely right. Critics who complain that JACKIE BROWN is dull need to hand in their guns and their badges.

Greg said...

I remember all the bizarre behavior on display when Inglourious Basterds came out and remember thinking, as I stated with you and Dennis, that it was so obviously good, so obviously well-made, that I found myself distrusting any proclaimed cinephile who didn't like it. I admit, that's an extreme reaction, but one that I can't deny I had.