Pulp Firction (1994)
Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Let’s get this out there, as a film, Pulp Fiction shouldn’t work. It’s all loosely interchageable events and all cut of order. Yet, it retains the finest example of non-linear storytelling.
Pulp Fiction tells a couple of stories, Jules and Vince and the briefcase, Vince taking Mia for dinner and Butch and the watch (It may seem like there are more but when put into context, there isn’t that many.
The film starts with 2 people in a diner talking about robbery and how the best way to go about it. Right from the off, we’re introduced to the films genius dialogue. This is what fuels the film, without Tarantino and Avery’s dynamite script, I doubt this film would be any good at all. Just like that, we’re blasted into a thrill ride of action, wit and superb acting.
The film, like all of Tarantino’s others, are kind of a throwback to past genres, Pulp Fiction is believed to be by some, a neo-noir or at least a parody of them. Although there are elements in the film that suggest this, I don’t believe it is. However I do believe it’s a very postmodern film, it takes the rules of 70’s indie cinema, modernizes it (adding more violence and swearing), embraces it’s cliches and then mocks it behind it’s back, creating something original and completely outstanding.
Another thing that really interests me is the amount of thought put into really meaningless sections. There’s a large emphasis on going to the loo, that sounds crude, but there’s a lot of it. Mia goes there to “Powder her nose” There are 2 scenes right next to each other with Butch and Fabianne, Vince is killed after flushing the bog by Butch. In fact, everytime Vince goes to the toilet in the film, he returns to a completely different world, mainly one where someone is about to die.
You can always tell a popular and iconic film from it’s parodies. And Pulp Fiction is no exception (ironic, considering it’s parody status as it is) For example, a good portion of The Simpsons episode 22 Short Films About Springfield, which contains scenes such as Chief Wiggum getting run over by Snake in a similar way to Marsellis and Butch and parodying the “Royale With Cheese” scene with this:
Lou: So I went to McDonalds in Shelbyville the other day
Chief Wiggum: A Mc what?
Lou: Mc Donalds, I’d never heard of it either, you know it’s weird, it’s the little differences.
Chief Wiggum: Meaning?
Lou: Well, over there, you can get a Krusty Burger with Cheese, but they call it a Krusty Burger with Cheese.
Chief Wiggum: Well, what do they call it?
Lou: A Quarterpounder.
Chief Wiggum: A Quarterpounder? Well, do they have Krusty gelatonised protein dairy drinks?
Lou: Uh-huh. They call ’em shakes.
And to add to that, artist Banksy did a mural with Vince and Jules holding bananas, which shows just how popular and brilliant a piece of indie cinema can be.