While watching the new Criterion DVD of Brian De Palma's Blow Out, I was struck by a piece of music from Pino Donaggio's score. It plays often in the scenes between Jack (John Travolta) and Sally (Nancy Allen). I couldn't remember where I'd heard it before, and then it hit me: this same theme plays in an early scene of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.
|Nancy Allen as Sally in Brian De Palma's Blow Out|
In Death Proof, we hear Sally's theme in a scene at the Texas Chili Parlor. Austin DJ/would-be record producer Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) is texting the guy she likes, a movie director we never see named Christian Simonson. As the two flirt, the music blasting from the bar's awesomely eclectic jukebox fades away and Donaggio's score takes over.
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On another level, the music brings an element of tragedy to the whole Jungle Julia/Christian Simonson subplot. Earlier in Death Proof, we heard Julia complain about how Christian is never around and he doesn't call her on her birthday. And, sure enough, he never shows up (as promised) to the Texas Chili Parlor. Things might have turned out differently for Julia if he had. He could have saved her – just like Jack could have saved Sally if he'd been there when she was in danger.
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