The ‘small’ film about Blaxploitation: Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” (English, 1997)

Maverick filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s films have always evoked extreme reactions and his latest film “Django Unchained” hasn’t been any different. Critics have mostly been underwhelmed by his take on slavery in the Deep South in “Django Unchained” and fans across the world are already curious about Tarantino’s next venture.

While talking to the French publication Les InRocks, the filmmaker indicated that his next film after “Django Unchained” would be a ‘small’ film in the vein of “Jackie Brown.” So, what exactly is “Jackie Brown” all about?

Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” | English | 1997. Photo Courtesy: Internet Movie Poster Awards

This lesser-known Tarantino cult classic was released in 1997, three years after Tarantino’s insanely-popular breakout movie “Pulp Fiction.” Starring Pam Grier, Samuel Jackson, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton and Chris Tucker, “Jackie Brown” was an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel “Rum Punch.” It is said to be a tribute to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Blaxploitation refers to the sub-genre of the broader category of exploitation films, which were characterized by funk and soul music soundtracks with the lead protagonists invariably being black.

In article titled “The One Time Quentin Tarantino Got Blaxploitation Masculinity Right” for The Atlantic (click here to read the entire story), Noah Berlatsky delineates why “Jackie Brown” works:

Jackie Brown, then, is not just a tribute to blaxploitation, but a critique of it—which means it’s also a critique of all those mainstream gendered assumptions and fantasies which informed blaxploitation in the first place. From previews and reviews, it seems unlikely that Django Unchained, whatever its other virtues, will manage to be bracing in quite the same way. But then, there aren’t many folks, of any gender, as cool, as smart, or as exhilarating as Jackie Brown.”

And here’s the trailer of the film.

We at TCRC are big fans for this lesser-known Tarantino film and we’d love to hear your thoughts about it. So, do write in!