Today I gave a lecture about songs in film and television in my Popular Music on Screen course, using Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.Trying to talk cultural politics without making the polemic too blunt is difficult. I’d rather the texts speak for themselves as much as possible. Many of the students laughed at the glorious scenes of violence in Coffy or Foxy Brown (captured in Isaac Julien’s documentary Baadaass Cinema): razor blades in her Afro cutting a white woman who grabs her hair, mowing down a guy in her car, shooting another’s head off, and stabbing a syringe into another, often with multiple ‘motherfuckers’ in her dialogue. Pam Grier describes how the buses would not pick up black children depending on the mood of the driver.  Jackie Brown is a smart illustration of music as ventriloquism (as seen in this clip below). Students are meant to read Robert Miklitsch’s article, well actually the book version of ‘Audiophilia: audiovisual pleasure and narrative cinema in Jackie Brown.’

With the riots ‘back home’, and the topic of songs and films, I showed the opening of La Haine during the break:


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