Thursday, July 01, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: July 2010

Jackie Brown remains my favorite Quentin Tarantino film, and I know I'm not alone in this opinion. It is a wonderful story that is wonderfully told. Furthermore, I think there's a lot in common between this film and the Coen Brother's No Country For Old Men. Both were made by very unique filmmakers who were, for the first time, adapting someone else's work. Obviously, they had the ability to make changes to the story and characters, but overall they had to work within the confines of the original work, and I think both they and their films benefited from that.

At any rate, this remains possibly the best adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel to film. The dialogue is both poetic and natural (yes, even with all the uses of the N word by Sam's character, Ordell Robbie). The first four lines of the following exchange was used widely in the trailer, but I like the remaining part. It is the classic technique of one character explaining a situation to another who, in essence, is standing in for the audience, yet it doesn't feel nearly as awkward as similar scenes in other films:

Louis: "Who's that?"

Ordell Robbie: "That's Beaumont."

Louis: "Who's Beaumont?"

Ordell Robbie: "An employee I had to let go."

Louis: "What'd he do?"

Ordell Robbie: "He put himself in a position where he was going to have to do ten years in prison, that's what he did. And if you know Beaumont, you know ain't no god damn way he can do ten years. And if you know that, then you know Beaumont's gonna do anything Beaumont can to keep from doing them ten years, including telling the federal government any and every motherfucking thing about my black ass. Now that my friend is a clear cut case of him or me. And you best believe it ain't gonna be me."

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