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Pulp Fiction

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

 

PULP

FICTION

WARNING!! Very Explicit Language Within!

 

Pulp Fiction was this movie you weren't supposed to see as a kid. It was this forbidden movie we all wanted to see, but couldn't. From the day it came out, all I wanted to do was sneak into the theater just to catch a glimpse of this awesomeness in action. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see a bit of it until it came out on VHS years later. Until that time, however, I was only able to speculate from the reactions I have heard while endlessly frothing at the mouth to see Tarantino's break-through film.

 

 

I first saw the movie in its entirety at my friends house because he was fortunate enough to have parents that had little regard for him hearing F-Bombs dropped in every scene. When the film opens in the coffee shop we are introduced to the first two characters of the movie, "Honey-Bunny" and "Ringo," as they are called, who seemingly appear to be in a quiet conversation in a calm atmosphere explode from their seats with guns drawn. With quite a nasty mouth, our previously tranquil "Honey-Bunny" jumps on the table and in a string of articulately laced profanities, collectively blows America's minds. Cue the music.

"This was the moment I knew this

movie was going to kick my ass.

And I'm not just speaking figuratively."

 

I was blown away after this scene. I had an out-of-body experience when the sounds of Misirlou came through my friend's TV, blasting me off to a different universe altogether. This was the moment I knew this movie was going to kick my ass. And I'm not just speaking figuratively. My friend who was showing me this movie for the first time was a movie fanatic, which I would soon be as well. Needless to say, this wasn't his first Tarantino experience. In fact, it would have been best if he had somehow prepared me for the ass-kicking that would soon follow. Or maybe he shouldn't have? I don't know. Either way, my perception of movies, life and debauchery was changed forever.

 

I can see why my parents didn't want me to see this movie. It was filthy, disgusting and immoral on every possible level. And I loved every minute of it. The thing about Tarantino movies is that, for the most part, they all begin quite peacefully, whether it be a bunch of guys chatting at the breakfast table about the morals of tipping or a couple in a coffee shop in the morning. They create this false sense of tranquility that, as you well predicted, quickly falls apart. Just like every one else in the movie theaters when Pulp debuted back in '94, I was duped. You got me Quintin. This formula continued throughout the movie, keeping everyone on the tip of their seats.

 

As the movie progresses, we are introduced to more characters in different scenarios that we cannot effectively tie together. We don't know why we have three different story lines flowing in the movie, we just go along with it. After a while we forget asking why the plot lines aren't connected and casually continue on with the movie. Tarantino adds to this by keeping us constantly focused on the movie, trying to pick out the next plot twist. The great thing about this tactic, which I must admit is quite brilliant, is that while we are so intent on figuring out the next plot twist or what the hell is in that damned briefcase, we forget all about it. It is at this point when the audience finally begins to relax and turn into the complacent viewer calmly following the movie that Tarantino whips out his pistol and shoots us, point blank, in the face. Figuratively speaking, of course.

"Aww man...

I just shot Marvin in the face."

As Vincent so nonchalantly remarks after painting the rear window of the car with his friend's skull.

 

Gruesome? Maybe. Awesome? #%&$ yeah! If you did not enjoy this scene, despite the exaggerated morbidity, there is something wrong with you. This is cinematic genius at play. Continuing with the theme of completely ruining the viewer's expectations, we find our protagonists in quite a sticky situation in the middle of broad daylight. The scene to your right is, in my opinion (the only one that matters), by far the most infamous scene in the history of film. The dialogue and acting that follows is legendary and is what makes this shot complete. You have to give credit where credits due; the scenes direction and script is completely from Tarantino, but without Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta this scene would be useless. Travolta plays his character down to the molecule, worrying more about his blood-soaked suit than the dead passenger in the back and a pissed off Jackson behind the wheel. Even Jules (Jacksons character) isn't bat-shit angry like he ought to be. Despite the fact that they are driving on the busiest highway in Los Angeles covered in blood with a deceased passenger in the back, they are some what inconceivably relaxed! Jules has pieces of brain in his hair for crying out loud. The contrast of the situation to their reaction is breath-taking. The audience watching the movie is more freaked out than those two are. At this point, Tarantino is just playing around with us. And I like it. No, in fact, I love it.

 

"What ain't no country I ever heard of.

They speak English in What?"

 

Although Pulp Fiction was not Tarantino's first flick, it certainly was his break-out film. Reservoir Dogs is still his best flick, but it was Fiction that put him on the map. Both the critical and viewer acclaim from Fiction should have solidified it as a major contender for Oscar season, but it was not to be. Fiction was up for seven Oscar's in 1994, but only took home one for Best Writing: Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. The hardest one for Tarantino to swallow, though, was losing to Forrest Gump for Best Picture. Many people thought Tarantino would be walking away with more than one Academy Award but with tough competition and an unimpressed Committee, he would not be so fortunate. Some argue that Quintin knew of his fate and had purposefully included the mysterious briefcase with its glowing golden contents to signify his "stolen Oscar" that year. The biggest impact from Pulp Fiction was not from the critical acclaim it unanimously received, but from its cultural impact. Tarantino had turned the whole film industry upside down with his movie. Up to that point, movies could rarely be found uttering more than the less-than-upsetting other "4 Letter Words." Clearly Quintin felt differently, and set out to prove it. Every where you went in '94 you could find "Bad Mother $%*%@!" wallets and posters of Jules and Vincent pointing their handguns. Fiction was a cultural phenomenon. I was so awe-struck from this hype that I had to see it. The profanity-riddled flick I wasn't allowed to see wasn't just awesome because it was forbidden in the house, but because the movie %@&^*ing rocked!

POST-WARNING!! I hope you enjoyed the explicit profanity! More in links!

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