Every Friday, we feature a movie one of our staff has chosen as their favorite Miramax film, along with personal stories about what makes it special to them. Consider watching one over the weekend. Today’s pick is Jackie Brown from our VP of Digital, Emily Briggs.
One thing’s for sure, Quentin Tarantino knows how to open a film. From the Reservoir Dogs Madonna lyric analysis, to the Pulp Fiction diner hold-up, to the sadistic Kill Bill massacre, to the epic Django Unchained opus… but my favorite of all is Jackie Brown.
The lights dim, Bobby Womack croons Across 110th Street and Jackie Brown glides down the moving walkway to her job as a flight attendant at Cabo Air, a job we later learn is “the worst job you can get in [the airline] industry.” Jackie is cool and strong, staring the world in the face while Womack’s lyrics provide foreshadowing of the adversity and struggle she will soon face. (More on that later).
As the walkway comes to an end, Jackie passes through a pre-9/11 security checkpoint. (Flight attendants could walk right through!) As the song picks up steam, Jackie’s in a hip swaggering strut, then a jog, which syncs up perfectly with a United jet at one point, and just as Womack hits his last line, that beautiful wall of vertical stripes whizzes by –- the perfect visual companion to the music.
I can’t imagine how many takes this scene required to work as perfectly as it does. What are the chances a plane would be passing the window just as Jackie jogged by? It’s intricate details like these that separate the good films from the great ones. This scene is not only beautifully shot and perfectly set to music, but it also introduces the character and foreshadows the film.
What Jackie doesn’t know yet is that when she finishes her shift, two cops will be waiting for her in the parking lot. See, to offset her $16,000 per year salary, she smuggles illegal gun money back from Cabo. This is where Bobby Womack comes in.
Tarantino squeezed all of this into the credits, the first three and a half minutes of the movie. Part many people miss because they’re making dinner, popping popcorn, wrangling kids, or any other number of life tasks. But I assure you, this is a movie you’ll want to give your full attention from the very first second.
Coincidentally, if you fly into LAX Terminal 4, you will exit the airport down the same mosaic-tiled moving walkway. Just queue up Bobby Womack ahead of time and channel your inner Jackie Brown swagger during the ride.
- With Ordell gone, Louis and Melanie have a chance to get better acquainted. In this scene: Louis Gara (Robert De Niro), Melanie Ralston (Bridget Fonda)
- The scheme to get Ordell's money falls apart at the very end. In this scene: Louis Gara (Robert De Niro), Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson)
- Melanie gets an unexpected surprise after taunting Louis about where he parked the car. In this scene: Louis Gara (Robert De Niro), Melanie Ralston (Bridget Fonda)
Visit the real world film locations of Jackie Brown with our Foursquare List.