Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson are two of the most prominent filmmakers of our time, regarded by many as the leading auteurs of their generation. Between the two of them, they have made widely acclaimed masterpieces such as Pulp Fiction and There Will Be Blood which have raised the bar for contemporary directors.
Both directors have forged ahead with well-regarded projects in recent years which have garnered a lot of praise and accolades. While Tarantino is planning the final film of his career after the success of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Anderson is involved in the Oscar race this season for his recent gem Licorice Pizza.
Like some of Anderson’s other projects, Licorice Pizza is set in California’s San Fernando Valley during the ’70s and stars music icon Alana Haim in her debut feature alongside the naturally gifted Cooper Hoffman – the son of the legendary Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film has already scored multiple nominations at the Oscars, including bids for Best Picture and Best Director.
Tarantino is a huge admirer of Anderson’s work and has called him the “most friendly competitor” in the current landscape of filmmaking. Among Anderson’s many brilliant works, Tarantino singled out his 2007 magnum opus There Will Be Blood as one of the best films of the decade while also claiming that he preferred the wild energy of Boogie Nights.
Anderson has also admitted his love for Tarantino’s films on multiple occasions but there’s one specific gem that moved Anderson to tears when he first watched it. That film is none other than Tarantino’s 1997 project Jackie Brown, starring the likes of Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson and Pam Grier in an incredibly enjoyable crime flick.
While describing the brilliance of Jackie Brown, Anderson said: “It’s a film so cool and so breezy about middle-aged people that feel the clock ticking. It reduces me to tears. I consider Quentin a peer, but Jackie Brown is a watermark for how to shoot and film a scene with delicacy and compassion. A beautiful film, beautifully done.”
Jackie Brown was Tarantino’s follow-up to the greatest success of his career – Pulp Fiction – reinforced his status as one of the most exciting filmmakers around. The film went on to become a critical and commercial success but it also generated a lot of controversy for its racially insensitive language, a complaint that has been associated with other Tarantino projects such as Django Unchained.
However, Jackie Brown has endured the test of time and is now regarded as one of Tarantino’s greatest achievements. It also gave the burgeoning director the opportunity to work with some of his favourite icons such as Grier as well as De Niro and is among the most memorable Tarantino – Samuel L. Jackson collaborations to this day.
Tarantino still considers De Niro to be “the best actor in the world” due to his invaluable contributions to the world of cinema – including his phenomenal performance in Jackie Brown. What impressed Tarantino the most about De Niro’s work in Jackie Brown was that the actor approached each moment separately, completely consuming himself within the cinematic universe that Tarantino had constructed. That’s one of the many reasons why Jackie Brown has remained relevant as a ’90s classic.