top 10. for life.
Relentlessly melancholic film where chess pieces are moved through quiet back-dealings and dialogue exchanges infused with ever-maneuvering fatalism. Peter Yates’ camera gets deep into the grubby everydayness parts of Boston and its surrounding towns. Having lived in Boston during graduate school, seeing and recognizing the location work here was a high point. The camera acts as eavesdropper, always cautiously close to the proceedings. We see all relevant players and how they connect to each other and we’re never given a true access point. Because of this the film took a while to get into. But as it progressed, I found myself engaged. Robert Mitchum does some of his best work but my personal favorite was Steven Keats as gunrunner Jackie Brown (obviously Tarantino is a fan), with his neon green ride and considerable street instinct.
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