About a week ago I posted Part 1 of the analysis for Eyes Wide Shut. Part 2 should be up shortly, but I also wanted to go ahead and concurrently start working through Jackie Brown, since I believe a lot of the same themes are covered in both films. And I thought having both going simultaneously might be better due to having more examples or data points for what I believe the symbolism is communicating.
Elmore Leonard is one of my favorite authors with many of his novels having been made into feature films including Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Be Cool, Killshot, Freaky Deaky, and the TV series Justified.
Leonard wrote 17 stories in the mystery and crime genre which was the same genre John D. MacDonald wrote in. And as you will see, Tarantino pays homage to one of MacDonald’s famous trademarks throughout the film with his use of colors.
MacDonald wrote over 20 novels featuring a protagonist named Travis McGee, and the title of each novel contained the name of a color (The Deep Blue Good-by, Nightmare in Pink, The Quick Red Fox)
Apparently, the story behind MacDonald using colors in the titles is that it would be easy for travelers in the airport to identify when a new Travis McGee novel had come out. However, while I feel Tarantino’s use of colors is in part homage to MacDonald, I believe it also serves to tell a new story.
And that new story has a lot to say about gambling.
This screenshot is not from Jackie Brown, it is actually from Reservoir Dogs which was released 5 years previously in 1992. How did Tarantino know 15 years before it happened that in 2007 Nick Saban would become the head football coach at Alabama? Well, I’m going to use a conversation from David Cronenberg’s 1999 film Existenz to explain:
You probably wonder how the bookies in Vegas always seem to be so accurate when producing betting lines for sporting events? From my understanding at the moment, and how Nostradamus talks about unavoidable “Nexus Points” in the timelines, certain things just have to happen. So, concerning free will and destiny, it appears to not be a choice between one or the other. That somehow both can coexist at once. And this may be why gambling is still interesting despite foreknowledge.
While I don’t have a full answer for the mechanics, it’s possible these “Nexus Points” function similar to a wasp’s nest, and it may help explain the use of the infamous hexagonal pattern Kubrick chose for the carpeting at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. When the wasps actually build a nest, we know what it will look like. However, they also have free will to build their nest when, to what size, and wherever they please. (The Shining hexagons may also have dual purpose and refer to “structures” on the moon.)
And this all ties in with ideas of simultaneous time that I’ve quoted from the Seth Material and a Nostradamus prophecy about a “Great Genius” you can read more about here. Where he says there were many people or candidates who could have developed into this person, but for whatever reasons or choices that were made or circumstances that arose these people went down different paths.
Now, I am not saying Tarantino is employed as a “line setter” in Vegas, but as you will see with the symbolism that follows, he does appear to have foreknowledge of various events in the future, through whatever means I can only guess, as well as abundant knowledge regarding sports as you can see from these collages of phone “lines” and NFL team logos from Jackie Brown.
You can view the full-size images and many more examples that drive the point home in the labelled folders, but I think it’s clear one of the themes Tarantino is addressing in this film is gambling. I also believe the abundant phone symbolism serves multiple roles here and Tarantino is foreseeing the day when everyone will be “glued” to their phones.
As shown in the first screenshot from Reservoir Dogs, with Nick Saban and Alabama, I believe he’s touched on the theme of gambling in previous movies as well. Here is another freeze-frame from the very beginning of Reservoir Dogs with the dialogue being spoken coming from Quentin Tarantino himself:
So, literally in his own words he’s saying right at the beginning of the movie – this is not about a bank robbery. In the intervening dialogue between these two frames he says, “The entire song – it’s a metaphor…”.
If Tarantino himself is bringing up the idea of an entire work of art or song being about something other than what it seems – then I don’t think it’s a stretch to try to figure out what Tarantino’s work is really about if it’s not about a bank robbery.
And I think he doesn’t even let us guess about one of the themes and goes ahead and says it right in the dialogue you see in the bottom frame. “Time out”. “Green Bay”. Time out is sports jargon. Green Bay is an NFL franchise. (Tourists might refer to aliens which I’ll get into later)
Hidden a little bit better in this same frame, is another one of the things I think Tarantino wants to discuss. You have Steve Buscemi, AKA Mr. Pink, portraying symbolism of “breaking bread”. Breaking bread is a well-known phrase from biblical times. And later in the same movie we have characters talking about awaiting the arrival of a Joe Cabot, initials JC = Jesus Christ. (There’s also a JC in The Terminator series, John Connor.)
This is not a new idea about films that appear to be an obvious or not so obvious retelling of the Christ story. But it is interesting when you look at this screenshot from Good Will Hunting talking about having “12 Brothers”. Which could be interpreted as 12 Disciples especially when he has the symbolism of a cross prominently displayed around his neck.
As mentioned in Part 1 of the Eyes Wide Shut analysis about re-watching the movie Splash keeping in mind “mermaid” symbolism could be code for alien and Forrest Gump is actually a genius, re-watching Good Will Hunting keeping in mind the Christ story reveals some interesting things.
Especially the dialogue between Will and Sean on the park bench when Sean says, “You don’t know about real loss…” Sounds like something a returned Christ (Will) would want to say, but being too humble has another character speak the words for him:
And when you take it a step further, keeping in mind the idea Tarantino does in fact possess prophetic talent based on the Nick Saban/Alabama symbolism and “people glued to their phones” throughout Jackie Brown, then the first word in his dialogue before “time out” and “Green Bay” – “whoa” – could be a hint about another movie yet to come dealing with Christ/Return of Christ – The Matrix (1999).
Everyone probably knows that’s “The Oracle”. But the old guy is Robert F. Butts painting of what he thought “Seth” looked like. Seth was the discarnate energy personality essence Robert’s wife Jane Roberts channeled for over 20 years that you can read more about here. And I thought there was somewhat of a resemblance.
Here’s some of Seth in his own words:
“If a writer can qualify as any kind of authority on the basis of age, therefore, then I should get a medal. I am an energy personality essence, no longer focused in physical matter. As such, I am aware of some truths that many of you seem to have forgotten.”
Back to Jackie Brown though. And I want to start with the title sequence or opening credits. So, if we’re looking for gambling symbolism, right away we have the word “lines” show up in the background and then throughout this whole segment while Jackie is running her hand takes on the shape of a gun.
The word “lines” should make sense after looking through all the frames featuring phone lines. My feeling about the “gun” is this also relates to gambling as anyone familiar with the game of craps knows the person rolling the dice is called the “shooter”.
And I believe craps is also referenced in Tarantino’s previous film Reservoir Dogs in the dialogue: “I shot my way out”. And with the names of the characters (Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Blonde) possibly being symbolic of different color casino chips (Red usually = $5 chip, Blue = $10, Green = $25, and Black = $100). Not to be insulting either, but the character below also kind of looks like a ‘gator’, and the collegiate colors of the Florida Gators are Blue and Orange.
Now, I’m not a big gambler. Although, I have spent some time in casinos (and Holiday Inn Expresses), and I developed sort of a theory that relates to ideas mentioned in other posts and also to gambling. So, this seemed like a good place for it.
If you’ve ever been in a casino you may have even noticed this phenomenon yourself where certain machines or tables seem to get “hot” or payoff more than chance says they should. It’s too much to get into here, but there are actually scientific studies describing a “psychokinetic field” that you can read more about in the P.E.A.R. research (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research). Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D. also goes in depth about this in The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter.
Anyways, the short of it is this “psychokinetic field” lingers for about 20 minutes after experimentation has ended. And this is why they say you should never, ever leave a “hot table” like in The Hangover:
So, still at the beginning of Jackie Brown. This is near the end of the credits when Jackie has almost finished her “sprint”. Which I believe is meant to convey the sports theme again as in how NFL players are required to post a 40-yard dash time at the combine before being drafted.
And if you’re familiar with sprinting technique, you can see she is showing good form with her hand no longer resembling a gun, but now held in an aerodynamic shape to cut wind resistance. Also, her arm swing is coming up to eye level for maximum energy efficiency.
The last interesting thing from the opening sequence is not related to gambling, but does have to do with many of the topics already brought up in Part 1 of the Eyes Wide Shut analysis, and an earlier post about the symbolism in The Shining and Snake Eyes.
As you can see in the large mural/photograph behind Jackie, before she begins her sprint, there are two lights reflecting off the surface of it. I believe these were intentionally created to open up conversation about the Apollo space program. As many people believe the two light sources reflected in astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s visor during the Apollo 14 footage are the smoking gun images proving the films shown to the public were a hoax.
Tarantino is not the only director to employ this symbolism in this work. And this is not the only reference to be found in Jackie Brown calling attention to the space program and Stanley Kubrick.
In the freeze frames below you can see this “two lights” motif appear when several of Stanley Kubrick’s films are played backwards and forwards simultaneously superimposed on each other (A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) and of course Eyes Wide Shut (1999)). As well as the last episode of Season 1 of Breaking Bad titled “A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal” (2008).
Here are two more interesting comparison shots featuring “double star” or star within a star symbolism from much later on in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (time-stamp 53:51), and early on in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (time-stamp 14:49):
Going back to the space program and Breaking Bad for a second. Here you can see in another still image from Season 1, Episode 1 “The Pilot”, the sign at the car wash where Walter White works bears many similarities to the symbolism contained in NASA’s Apollo mission logo (especially notice the lettering on the car wash sign building upwards to a pyramid or “A” shape and also the two stars below the letters).
You can also see NASA’s Discovery mission logo represented in the artwork featured in Dr. Bill’s office in Eyes Wide Shut (time-stamp 20:59):
Yet another reference in Jackie Brown at 1:30:50 appearing to symbolize space exploration and monoliths as also discussed in Kubrick’s work 2001: A Space Odyssey:
A little down the road I will get into the details and specifics relating to space travel and alien intelligence I feel are revealed through the images in these films. Right now, I am trying to work through each movie sequentially or linearly, and establish that certain concepts are being discussed while adding what I can without straying too far into areas needing thorough explanation.
So far, I think it’s clear these films, like Tarantino says, are metaphors or about things other than what they appear or multiple things at once. We seem to have communication involving big questions about our existence, origins and future.
Even the “supernatural”. As can be seen in this symbolism from another Tarantino film Kill Bill Vol 1 (2003) that opens dialogue about themes from The Exorcist (1973) – note the square set design/table, the iconic lampposts from The Exorcist movie poster, and the crew who Uma Thurman/“The Bride” battles are named the “Crazy 88”.
So, on the topic of “supernatural”, and weaving our way back to gambling. Some people might even consider prophecy supernatural. I think we’ve established Tarantino may have seen Nick Saban’s future at Alabama. What else may he have glimpsed? Is it possible he foresaw the Green Bay Packers near perfect season of 2011 almost 15 years before it happened? (Jackie Brown was released in 1997)
That’s what the following image suggests to me. If you looked through the detailed pictures in the collage of NFL team logos, many of the teams symbolized appear on their own. Quite a few however feature two teams in the same frame. Is there a reason why? Is there also a reason why one of the symbols appears larger in comparison? (Kansas City is the team that spoiled the Packers undefeated run).
Jumping back to Kill Bill Vol 1 for a second. I am not big follower of basketball. However, I am aware Lebron James is the most well-known player on the planet, people would like to debate who is better him or Michael Jordan, and that he plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As far as I know though, there has never been a rivalry or NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic who are the two NBA teams that seem to be represented in the following frame from Kill Bill Vol 1. Could this be a case again, where Tarantino has seen 15 years or more into the future as he did with Nick Saban and also the Green Bay Packers?
Maybe the “Sports Almanac” from the movie Back to the Future is real? However, not an actual “book” as we think of them, but as Seth says, “all technology exists in the mind before it exists in physical form”. And books are just a technological way of communicating.
It does seem more than coincidence with the Cubs winning the World Series recently. And Robert Zemeckis is the director of Back to the Future as well as Forrest Gump which I’ve brought up already. He also directed the movie Contact which we’ll get into soon with aliens and space exploration (Contact was based on a novel of the same name by Carl Sagan who also created the recently redone TV series Cosmos)
Anyways, I think enough interesting points have been raised in Part 1 here so I’ll close this section out with a couple more screenshots seeming to suggest gambling themes in Quentin Tarantino’s films: