PULP - Jonathon King 13 December 2007 FILM 1502 Janet...

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Jonathon King 13 December 2007 FILM 1502 Janet Robinson Pulp Fiction The crime-drama filled movie Pulp Fiction , written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, was released in 1994, but has many references to the 60’s and 70’s, and has a post-modernist theme. Tarentino portrays this theme mostly by paying homage and making references to earlier films and music. This post-modernist theme refers to a freedom directed, cultural, intellectual, and artistic movement that was brought about after World War II. Tarantino uses ironic mis’-en-scene, humorous and likeable characters, and implicit/explicit meanings to contribute to the pop-culture elements of the movie. Other cinematic and thematic techniques in the movie are used to produce, “an artwork so vacuous, so entirely stripped of politics, metaphysics, or moral interest” (Wood 2). The most notable homage being used in Pulp Fiction is the title itself. The term “pulp fiction” is used when describing inexpensive fiction magazines, which were present and popular in the 1920’s through the 1950’s. They were filled with hardboiled crime, graphic violence, and punchy dialogue, similar to Tarantino’s movie. Also like the film, pulp fiction is an exploitation type of fiction, which uses sex, violence, drugs, and other debatable elements to attract viewers by arousing certain interests. This particular example criticizes Classical Hollywood Cinema because the film consists of more unattractive characters, a non-linear plot that begun the ongoing cycle of disordered
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cinematic narratives and allows for a happy ending, and controversial dialogue that takes up more time than action. The should-be bad guys, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson), are very likeable and do not have a power trip that is glorified like bad guys in Standard Hollywood Cinema. As Jules and Vince are introduced (in a car), the viewer does not know anything about their profession. The fact that they are wearing standard black and white suits gives a mysterious effect, and one probably would not assume that they were hired hitmen. John Travolta’s character’s earring adds the slight touch that may suggest him being a sort of gangster, which he is. Their outfits are a reference to the old “pulp magazines” and “exploitation magazines”, where the mobsters always wore business suits. Jules even plays the “church-goer” card by repeating a verse from the bible during the movie – right before he kills whoever it is he recites it to; yet we still see him as a protagonist. From the beginning, viewers learn that Vincent Vega does heroin, because he buys some from a friend. He asks to shoot up at his friend’s house, and the cinematography becomes more complex. The scene consists of slow motion, short, close-
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PULP - Jonathon King 13 December 2007 FILM 1502 Janet...

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