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Posts Tagged ‘Elmore Leonard’

The New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, California is a world famous “revival houses”.  Its legend is helped by the fact it is owned by Quentin Tarantino.  He purchased the 1920’s building that includes the cinema in 2007 to save it from redevelopment but acted more as a landlord than proprietor, until now.  The director had always vowed to show double features in 35mm, but has now taken it a stage further and has taken over programming and will be showing double features from his own  35mm private collection.  I’m sure he will show some of his own movies from time to time, but what would he pair them with?  Here are my ideas:

Reservoir Dogs  (1992) and The Killing (1956)

Three films are often credited with influencing Reservoir Dogs: Ringo Lam’s City on Fire (1987) (undercover cop and the suits), Joseph Sargent’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) (the Mr [insert colour here] names) and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (the overall plot).  All great films but I am going with my favourite and possibly the least well know, The Killing.Reservoir Dogs  and The Killing

Pulp Fiction (1994) and Go (1999)

There are so many films I could pair with Pulp fiction, I am going with Doug Liman’s Go.  The narrative structure is different to the one used in Pulp Fiction but does use a group of intertwined stories in a similar way.  For all the films that have influenced Tarantino, it is nice to include a film that is most probably influenced by him.Pulp Fiction and Go

Jackie Brown (1997) and Nikita (1990)

The obvious choice, Out of Sight (1998), both are based on Elmore Leonard novels and even feature a shared character Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton).   However I am going for Nikita, a very different film but with a similar thread, both films are about woman who get drawn into worlds that they don’t want to be in.Jackie Brown and Nikita

Kill Bill: Vol. 1  (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

I am not going to pair these films with anything , instead I am going to put them together the way they should have been originally, as one film.Kill Bill Vol 1 and Kill Bill Vol 2

Death Proof  (2007) and Doomsday (2008)

Death Proof started life out as part of the  Grindhouse project and therefore already has a paired film, Planet Terror.  My first thought for a paired film was the movie it most directly references Vanishing Point (1971), but I went a different way, of recent films Neil Marshall’s Doomsday is the film that best captures the exploitation cinema vibe that Tarantino was looking for in Grindhouse.Death Proof  and Doomsday

Inglourious Basterds  (2009) and Casablanca (1942)

I considered various movies: resistance films, Flame and Citron (2008) or Black Book (2006), WWII behind enemy lines story Saving Private Ryan (1998) or ludicrous comedy Tropic Thunder (2008), however I went with Casablanca (1942) for no particular reason, I could just see these very different WWII movies working together.Inglourious Basterds and Casablanca

Django Unchained (2012) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The obvious choice Django (1966) (original Django, Franco Nero has a cameo in unchained) but when you strip away the themes of Django Unchained you are left with a buddy movie disguised as a western and the best buddy movie disguised as a western has to be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.Django Unchained and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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Elmore Leonard 1925 – 2013

Elmore Leonard 1925 – 2013

From pulp western novels in the 1950’s to the brilliant TV show Justified via Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, Elmore Leonard was nothing short of a legend. Below is a selection of movies and TV shows based on his books and scripts. I recommend you watch any that you haven’t seen.Movies and TV shows based on Elmore Leonard books and scripts

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justified-season-4Last week saw the last episode of the season of possibly the best, certainly my favourite American TV show of recent years, Justified. When the show started in 2010 it looked like it was going to be just another American cop show, but then something happened a few episodes in. although each episode is largely self contained, each season has its own over arching story that develops in most of the episode. We can thank Elmore Leonard for the original idea, the show started life as “Fire in the Hole” a 60 page novella he wrote in 2001. As with a lot of Leonard’s writing the story is driven by the dialogue more than the narrative, this found its way into the show especially through Boyd Crowder who will always use a sentence when a word would do. The first episode contains a lot of the ideas from the book and introduces the characters Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins ) and his sister-in-law, Ava (Joelle Carter). Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant ) had already appeared in Pronto and the follow-up Riding the Rap. The driving force behind the show is Graham Yost, creator, show runner, executive producer and some time writer. And this is where the story finds its real strength, the writing. To extend the story from 60 pages to 52 hours of television (to date) is a real achievement.JustifiedTimothyOlyphant

The way it holds the viewers interest is simple, the characters. You expect Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder to be well written characters, but it goes beyond that, and includes the supporting characters. With the best part of another dozen well written characters including other U.S. Marshal’s, low level criminals and The Dixie Mafia the show has a depth and breadth of character that no other show can on TV at the moment can match. This not only helps keep the interest but also gives the show potential longevity. The beauty of the format is the way it allows characters to be promoted from supporting and background characters to more important ones when the story needs it. There is also a wealth of recurring characters who are also we rounded and perfectly cast.JUSTIFIED: Joelle Carter.  CR: Frank Ockenfels III / FX

At the heart of the show is Raylan Givens a cowboy hat wearing Deputy U.S. Marshal, who is described in the source novella as “a man who is born 100 years too late”. A perfect stereotypical character, honest and righteous but always pushing the boundaries of the rules, he is far from “by-the-book”. A quick draw man straight out of the old west, despite his best attempts for a peaceful resolution, he shoots (and kills) a lot of people. But on his own, how good could the character be? Givens and Boyd Crowder are two sides of the same coin. The pair knew each other as kids and “dug coal together” in their teens, they have real if begrudging respect for each other. As Boyd often reminds Raylan they aren’t that different.Boyd Crowder Walton Goggins

The first three seasons all hard a story revolving around a central villain. In season one it was Bo Crowder (M.C. Gainey), Boyd’s farther who runs the local drug trade. Season two sees the converging forces of a mining conglomerate and Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) and her family drug business. In season three it is Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough), an exiled lieutenant from Detroit crime family. In season four it all changed as the overriding story involved an investigation into a twenty year old crime and the secret identity of the perpetrator. But two characters held all these stories together, Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder are always there in some way or another, as the stories develop there involvement increases. Don’t underestimate the geniuses and subtlety of the writing that makes this possible.justified_cast

A fifth season has been announced for 2014. There are lots of things that need to fall into place for the show to succeed and remain fresh, I’m not worried.

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