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Pulp Fiction Cinematic Analysis Essay Research Paper

Pulp Fiction Cinematic Analysis Essay, Research Paper Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L.

Pulp Fiction Cinematic Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much, and on top of that Tarantino even adds the haunting shiekness of upper-scale drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Tarantino absolutely harps on the wonderful dichotomy that gangsters present to get this hipness across to the audience. The gangsters are shown both at their coolest and at their worst, having money and enjoying life with the top down and radio on or overdosing on heroin and having to save each other because going to a hospital would result in an arrest. Most of the characters in this film are the very personifications of hipness, and Tarantino accentuates that in new or at least less conventional ways. Using conventional directorial techniques, sometimes in unconventional ways, Tarantino gets the viewer to experience the hipness of his characters and to laugh at traditionally non-comedic scenarios.

To keep his audience calm and cool so that it may experience the hipness of the film, Tarantino uses a lot of long static camera shots. During a conversation, instead of cutting from one character to another, which tends to create tension, Tarantino has the camera lay back and remain completely static for long amounts of time. In the beginning of the film Jules and Vincent are riding in a car, going to collect a brief case (probably full of money) for their boss. This scene could be particularly tense except: Tarantino beautifully directs the two actors to be the coolest that they can be, and to enhance this effect, Tarantino uses only two different camera shots in the car. One shot (the lesser used of the two) is a camera looking straight at Jules’ face. The other shot is a look at the two thugs from just inside the passenger side window. This second shot helps the viewer feel comfortable with the two characters because it makes one feel like he is cruising along in the car. The long staticness of this shot is calming. Unlike some cinema conversations where the camera is switching from one character to another, with the second shot here the viewer can choose which character he wants to look at, which gives the viewer a sense of security because he has control.

At times the long static shots become boring. For instance, when Butch (the aging prize fighter played by Bruce Willis) is being told by Marsellus Wallace (the crime boss played by Ving Rhames) that he must lose his next fight in the fifth round, Tarantino does nothing with the camera except leave it on Butch’s face for over a minute. This is very boring but does serve a purpose. Traditionally shots that stay on a character’s face are meant to get the viewer to concentrate on that character and think about what that character is feeling or thinking. Here the audience sees a traditionally type cast heroic actor being told what to do and being paid off to do it. Tarantino leaves the camera on him so that the audience is forced to consider how powerful Wallace is and how washed up Butch is. With modern movies being so overly produced and cut, this is actually a pretty rare technique in film today; but, Tarantino uses seems to allude to many things of films past, this just being one of them.

When Tarantino does not want the audience to feel hipness about the characters in a scene, he uses opposite techniques of those that he uses with the more hip scenes. In the diner with the two amateur thieves (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), Tarantino uses conventional shots of looking at the person who is speaking, and cuts back and forth between the two. Because it is a fast moving conversation, the cuts that follow are also very fast. This gives the audience an agitated view of these characters so that when the viewer sees these two characters he does not see them as laid back, thus he does not feel that they are hip like Jules and Vincent.

Some of the hipness of this film comes from Tarantino’s reverence for the classic. It seems that in the Nineteen Nineties things of yesteryear that are integrated with modern technologies and styles have become hip. In many ways during Pulp Fiction Tarantino, in a sense, bows to people and things that have come before him and inspired him. To do so he integrates these things into his very modern film. A prime example of Tarantino’s tipping of his hat is the scene at the restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims. The restaurant is a very classy Fifties-styled place with cars converted into booths for people to sit at, an Ed Sullivan look alike for a host, and meals named after famous people of that time. To compliment the setting Tarantino does not do anything out of the ordinary with the cameras. All of the shots are steady, at eye level, focused on whomever is speaking at the time, and the cutting is what one would normally expect from a Fifties film where everything is done according to strict norms and values.

Another way that Tarantino pays homage to the past is through his many allusions. Like Scorsese did with the “toys” of the rich in Age of Innocence, Tarantino too plays with and glorifies the “toys” of these underworld people. Tarantino spends well over a minute on Vincent taking his heroin. Tarantino slows down the film speed and uses numerous cuts to get many angles on Vincent opening his neat bag of heroin paraphernalia. Lighting cigarettes is also glorified by Tarantino where again he (like Scorsese did with cigars before him) tightens a shot to focus on nothing but the expensive lighters that these characters use.

Perhaps Tarantino’s use of allusions can also be explained by his “training” in film. Tarantino is a hip guy himself. He never went through any official schooling for directing or screenwriting, everything he knows about film he learned from working in a video rental store where he would watch nearly every film that came into through the door. Yet, for not having any formal training and having only put out three major works, Tarantino is one of the most talked about directors in film today. The idea that a tall and rather dorky looking guy can make it to the top of his field without ever having played by any of the official rules is a pretty hip one.

Finally to prove that his poetic license for hipness is deserved, Tarantino makes numerous allusions to other films. As Sarah Kerr writes in The New York Review of Books:

To give just a few examples, the briefcase that John Travolta opens with the glowing contents that are never revealed is a reference to The Long Goodbye, the film by Robert Altman…The First words that appear in the credits–the name of Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart–are a reworking of the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s film about a robbery team of two boys and a girl, Bande ? Part.

When one recognizes one of these allusions, he is related to something familiar, all part of being calm and laid back, which is all part of feeling the hipness that Tarantino intends for the audience to feel.

In keeping with the vanity and modern parts of the hipness idea, Tarantino ventures out and does some very unconventional things with Pulp Fiction. The most apparent unconventionality that Tarantino uses is the out of time sequencing of scenes. In one scene someone is shot and in the very next scene that same person is alive again; not because he is reincarnated but because the scene where he was shot took place later in time but was put first in the film. Placing scenes out of chronological order is a very modern idea which lends itself easily to hipness, but the end product also creates an alarm in the audience (carefully noted by the director and placed in places where it will not destroy an already built calmness) because the totally irrational happens and the audience is left to deal with that, also a very modern idea.

Tarantino also uses unconventional camera angles; for instance, when Vincent and Jules arrive at the apartment complex to collect the brief case and are entering in what is normally thought of as a unnerving experience Tarantino does not let their built up hipness fade. Instead of showing the two characters nervously going to collect the brief case from an apartment in which they do not know how many people there are, Tarantino spends time on shooting the dialogue of the two characters annoyed at the fact that they do not have shotguns for this task. Where most directors would simply shoot the two conversing, Tarantino uses a more hip way of showing this conversation. The shot is looking up at the two characters from the trunk of the car from which they pull their pistols. This shot serves two purposes: first, it is somewhat unconventional which works for Tarantino’s purpose which seems to be to achieve hipness by going against convention yet still getting his point across. The second purpose of this shot is that it is a sort of subjective foreshadowing, for later in the film the audience looks into the same trunk only then it has a dead body in it.

The foreshadowing that Tarantino uses is also unconventional, for two reasons. The first reason that Tarantino’s foreshadowing is unconventional is because he sometimes foreshadows pointless things; the other reason his foreshadowings are unconventional is because they would be conventional, except that because of the sequencing of the scenes, the effect is more of a post-shadowing. The best example of post-shadowing is with Vincent Vega. If the scenes were put in chronological order the audience would see Vincent go into the bathroom with a book. The audience would then see Vincent emerge from the bathroom a few minutes later with the same book but also pointing a gun at someone. Then later on in the film the audience would again see Vincent emerge from a bathroom with the same book only this time Butch would be pointing a gun at Vincent. Because the scenes are out of order, the audience sees Vincent get killed by Butch first then in a scene later in the film the audience sees Vincent exiting the other bathroom with the book and his gun.

All the hipness that Tarantino puts into this film serves itself and one other purpose: because everything about the film is so hip and laid back the viewer finds traditionally grotesque and disgusting things, funny. Jules’ treatment of the low lives in the beginning of the film is not necessarily funny, but because Samuel L. Jackson plays his character so “cool” one just has to laugh when he turns around and says “ah-Well allow me to retort.” At one point Tarantino pokes fun at himself when he has Jimmy (the character that plays) lend Vincent and Jules some clothes of his after washing blood off of the two gangsters. Once they’ve changed clothes, Jimmy tells the two that they look like dorks, and Jules replies with a swift, “They’re you damn clothes, fool.” Another moment when one feels bad about laughing but simply has to because the film has set up the audience to see the humor in the situation is when Vincent shoots Marvin in the back of Jules’ car. Normally when someone gets his head blown off the reaction is of disgust and sadness. But one has to laugh as Jackson and Travolta do such a great job of reacting to the problem. The two begin to bicker and argue over why Marvin was shot, neither one is concerned with Marvin himself. The hipness with which they are not even worried about the person in the back seat, but instead are more concerned about the dirty car and how they are going to get out of this problem makes the scene funny.

If Pulp Fiction were a film just about the violence in it, it would be just another action movie for the masses. This film is not about the violence in it but about the characters it portrays and mostly it is about the thing they all strive for: hipness. Quentin Tarantino uses odd time sequencing, unconventional cuttings and camera angles, and a very twisted wit to achieve a film that is well grounded in tradition and history but at the same time separates itself by giving the audience the unexpected and forcing a viewer to consider its characters who are the most hip (and most unrealistic).

Endnotes

Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much, and on top of that Tarantino even adds the haunting shiekness of upper-scale drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Tarantino absolutely harps on the wonderful dichotomy that gangsters present to get this hipness across to the audience. The gangsters are shown both at their coolest and at their worst, having money and enjoying life with the top down and radio on or overdosing on heroin and having to save each other because going to a hospital would result in an arrest. Most of the characters in this film are the very personifications of hipness, and Tarantino accentuates that in new or at least less conventional ways. Using conventional directorial techniques, sometimes in unconventional ways, Tarantino gets the viewer to experience the hipness of his characters and to laugh at traditionally non-comedic scenarios.

To keep his audience calm and cool so that it may experience the hipness of the film, Tarantino uses a lot of long static camera shots. During a conversation, instead of cutting from one character to another, which tends to create tension, Tarantino has the camera lay back and remain completely static for long amounts of time. In the beginning of the film Jules and Vincent are riding in a car, going to collect a brief case (probably full of money) for their boss. This scene could be particularly tense except: Tarantino beautifully directs the two actors to be the coolest that they can be, and to enhance this effect, Tarantino uses only two different camera shots in the car. One shot (the lesser used of the two) is a camera looking straight at Jules’ face. The other shot is a look at the two thugs from just inside the passenger side window. This second shot helps the viewer feel comfortable with the two characters because it makes one feel like he is cruising along in the car. The long staticness of this shot is calming. Unlike some cinema conversations where the camera is switching from one character to another, with the second shot here the viewer can choose which character he wants to look at, which gives the viewer a sense of security because he has control.

At times the long static shots become boring. For instance, when Butch (the aging prize fighter played by Bruce Willis) is being told by Marsellus Wallace (the crime boss played by Ving Rhames) that he must lose his next fight in the fifth round, Tarantino does nothing with the camera except leave it on Butch’s face for over a minute. This is very boring but does serve a purpose. Traditionally shots that stay on a character’s face are meant to get the viewer to concentrate on that character and think about what that character is feeling or thinking. Here the audience sees a traditionally type cast heroic actor being told what to do and being paid off to do it. Tarantino leaves the camera on him so that the audience is forced to consider how powerful Wallace is and how washed up Butch is. With modern movies being so overly produced and cut, this is actually a pretty rare technique in film today; but, Tarantino uses seems to allude to many things of films past, this just being one of them.

When Tarantino does not want the audience to feel hipness about the characters in a scene, he uses opposite techniques of those that he uses with the more hip scenes. In the diner with the two amateur thieves (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), Tarantino uses conventional shots of looking at the person who is speaking, and cuts back and forth between the two. Because it is a fast moving conversation, the cuts that follow are also very fast. This gives the audience an agitated view of these characters so that when the viewer sees these two characters he does not see them as laid back, thus he does not feel that they are hip like Jules and Vincent.

Some of the hipness of this film comes from Tarantino’s reverence for the classic. It seems that in the Nineteen Nineties things of yesteryear that are integrated with modern technologies and styles have become hip. In many ways during Pulp Fiction Tarantino, in a sense, bows to people and things that have come before him and inspired him. To do so he integrates these things into his very modern film. A prime example of Tarantino’s tipping of his hat is the scene at the restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims. The restaurant is a very classy Fifties-styled place with cars converted into booths for people to sit at, an Ed Sullivan look alike for a host, and meals named after famous people of that time. To compliment the setting Tarantino does not do anything out of the ordinary with the cameras. All of the shots are steady, at eye level, focused on whomever is speaking at the time, and the cutting is what one would normally expect from a Fifties film where everything is done according to strict norms and values.

Another way that Tarantino pays homage to the past is through his many allusions. Like Scorsese did with the “toys” of the rich in Age of Innocence, Tarantino too plays with and glorifies the “toys” of these underworld people. Tarantino spends well over a minute on Vincent taking his heroin. Tarantino slows down the film speed and uses numerous cuts to get many angles on Vincent opening his neat bag of heroin paraphernalia. Lighting cigarettes is also glorified by Tarantino where again he (like Scorsese did with cigars before him) tightens a shot to focus on nothing but the expensive lighters that these characters use.

Perhaps Tarantino’s use of allusions can also be explained by his “training” in film. Tarantino is a hip guy himself. He never went through any official schooling for directing or screenwriting, everything he knows about film he learned from working in a video rental store where he would watch nearly every film that came into through the door. Yet, for not having any formal training and having only put out three major works, Tarantino is one of the most talked about directors in film today. The idea that a tall and rather dorky looking guy can make it to the top of his field without ever having played by any of the official rules is a pretty hip one.

Finally to prove that his poetic license for hipness is deserved, Tarantino makes numerous allusions to other films. As Sarah Kerr writes in The New York Review of Books:

To give just a few examples, the briefcase that John Travolta opens with the glowing contents that are never revealed is a reference to The Long Goodbye, the film by Robert Altman…The First words that appear in the credits–the name of Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart–are a reworking of the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s film about a robbery team of two boys and a girl, Bande ? Part.

When one recognizes one of these allusions, he is related to something familiar, all part of being calm and laid back, which is all part of feeling the hipness that Tarantino intends for the audience to feel.

In keeping with the vanity and modern parts of the hipness idea, Tarantino ventures out and does some very unconventional things with Pulp Fiction. The most apparent unconventionality that Tarantino uses is the out of time sequencing of scenes. In one scene someone is shot and in the very next scene that same person is alive again; not because he is reincarnated but because the scene where he was shot took place later in time but was put first in the film. Placing scenes out of chronological order is a very modern idea which lends itself easily to hipness, but the end product also creates an alarm in the audience (carefully noted by the director and placed in places where it will not destroy an already built calmness) because the totally irrational happens and the audience is left to deal with that, also a very modern idea.

Tarantino also uses unconventional camera angles; for instance, when Vincent and Jules arrive at the apartment complex to collect the brief case and are entering in what is normally thought of as a unnerving experience Tarantino does not let their built up hipness fade. Instead of showing the two characters nervously going to collect the brief case from an apartment in which they do not know how many people there are, Tarantino spends time on shooting the dialogue of the two characters annoyed at the fact that they do not have shotguns for this task. Where most directors would simply shoot the two conversing, Tarantino uses a more hip way of showing this conversation. The shot is looking up at the two characters from the trunk of the car from which they pull their pistols. This shot serves two purposes: first, it is somewhat unconventional which works for Tarantino’s purpose which seems to be to achieve hipness by going against convention yet still getting his point across. The second purpose of this shot is that it is a sort of subjective foreshadowing, for later in the film the audience looks into the same trunk only then it has a dead body in it.

The foreshadowing that Tarantino uses is also unconventional, for two reasons. The first reason that Tarantino’s foreshadowing is unconventional is because he sometimes foreshadows pointless things; the other reason his foreshadowings are unconventional is because they would be conventional, except that because of the sequencing of the scenes, the effect is more of a post-shadowing. The best example of post-shadowing is with Vincent Vega. If the scenes were put in chronological order the audience would see Vincent go into the bathroom with a book. The audience would then see Vincent emerge from the bathroom a few minutes later with the same book but also pointing a gun at someone. Then later on in the film the audience would again see Vincent emerge from a bathroom with the same book only this time Butch would be pointing a gun at Vincent. Because the scenes are out of order, the audience sees Vincent get killed by Butch first then in a scene later in the film the audience sees Vincent exiting the other bathroom with the book and his gun.

All the hipness that Tarantino puts into this film serves itself and one other purpose: because everything about the film is so hip and laid back the viewer finds traditionally grotesque and disgusting things, funny. Jules’ treatment of the low lives in the beginning of the film is not necessarily funny, but because Samuel L. Jackson plays his character so “cool” one just has to laugh when he turns around and says “ah-Well allow me to retort.” At one point Tarantino pokes fun at himself when he has Jimmy (the character that plays) lend Vincent and Jules some clothes of his after washing blood off of the two gangsters. Once they’ve changed clothes, Jimmy tells the two that they look like dorks, and Jules replies with a swift, “They’re you damn clothes, fool.” Another moment when one feels bad about laughing but simply has to because the film has set up the audience to see the humor in the situation is when Vincent shoots Marvin in the back of Jules’ car. Normally when someone gets his head blown off the reaction is of disgust and sadness. But one has to laugh as Jackson and Travolta do such a great job of reacting to the problem. The two begin to bicker and argue over why Marvin was shot, neither one is concerned with Marvin himself. The hipness with which they are not even worried about the person in the back seat, but instead are more concerned about the dirty car and how they are going to get out of this problem makes the scene funny.

If Pulp Fiction were a film just about the violence in it, it would be just another action movie for the masses. This film is not about the violence in it but about the characters it portrays and mostly it is about the thing they all strive for: hipness. Quentin Tarantino uses odd time sequencing, unconventional cuttings and camera angles, and a very twisted wit to achieve a film that is well grounded in tradition and history but at the same time separates itself by giving the audience the unexpected and forcing a viewer to consider its characters who are the most hip (and most unrealistic).Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much, and on top of that Tarantino even adds the haunting shiekness of upper-scale drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Tarantino absolutely harps on the wonderful dichotomy that gangsters present to get this hipness across to the audience. The gangsters are shown both at their coolest and at their worst, having money and enjoying life with the top down and radio on or overdosing on heroin and having to save each other because going to a hospital would result in an arrest. Most of the characters in this film are the very personifications of hipness, and Tarantino accentuates that in new or at least less conventional ways. Using conventional directorial techniques, sometimes in unconventional ways, Tarantino gets the viewer to experience the hipness of his characters and to laugh at traditionally non-comedic scenarios.

To keep his audience calm and cool so that it may experience the hipness of the film, Tarantino uses a lot of long static camera shots. During a conversation, instead of cutting from one character to another, which tends to create tension, Tarantino has the camera lay back and remain completely static for long amounts of time. In the beginning of the film Jules and Vincent are riding in a car, going to collect a brief case (probably full of money) for their boss. This scene could be particularly tense except: Tarantino beautifully directs the two actors to be the coolest that they can be, and to enhance this effect, Tarantino uses only two different camera shots in the car. One shot (the lesser used of the two) is a camera looking straight at Jules’ face. The other shot is a look at the two thugs from just inside the passenger side window. This second shot helps the viewer feel comfortable with the two characters because it makes one feel like he is cruising along in the car. The long staticness of this shot is calming. Unlike some cinema conversations where the camera is switching from one character to another, with the second shot here the viewer can choose which character he wants to look at, which gives the viewer a sense of security because he has control.

At times the long static shots become boring. For instance, when Butch (the aging prize fighter played by Bruce Willis) is being told by Marsellus Wallace (the crime boss played by Ving Rhames) that he must lose his next fight in the fifth round, Tarantino does nothing with the camera except leave it on Butch’s face for over a minute. This is very boring but does serve a purpose. Traditionally shots that stay on a character’s face are meant to get the viewer to concentrate on that character and think about what that character is feeling or thinking. Here the audience sees a traditionally type cast heroic actor being told what to do and being paid off to do it. Tarantino leaves the camera on him so that the audience is forced to consider how powerful Wallace is and how washed up Butch is. With modern movies being so overly produced and cut, this is actually a pretty rare technique in film today; but, Tarantino uses seems to allude to many things of films past, this just being one of them.

When Tarantino does not want the audience to feel hipness about the characters in a scene, he uses opposite techniques of those that he uses with the more hip scenes. In the diner with the two amateur thieves (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), Tarantino uses conventional shots of looking at the person who is speaking, and cuts back and forth between the two. Because it is a fast moving conversation, the cuts that follow are also very fast. This gives the audience an agitated view of these characters so that when the viewer sees these two characters he does not see them as laid back, thus he does not feel that they are hip like Jules and Vincent.

Some of the hipness of this film comes from Tarantino’s reverence for the classic. It seems that in the Nineteen Nineties things of yesteryear that are integrated with modern technologies and styles have become hip. In many ways during Pulp Fiction Tarantino, in a sense, bows to people and things that have come before him and inspired him. To do so he integrates these things into his very modern film. A prime example of Tarantino’s tipping of his hat is the scene at the restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims. The restaurant is a very classy Fifties-styled place with cars converted into booths for people to sit at, an Ed Sullivan look alike for a host, and meals named after famous people of that time. To compliment the setting Tarantino does not do anything out of the ordinary with the cameras. All of the shots are steady, at eye level, focused on whomever is speaking at the time, and the cutting is what one would normally expect from a Fifties film where everything is done according to strict norms and values.

Another way that Tarantino pays homage to the past is through his many allusions. Like Scorsese did with the “toys” of the rich in Age of Innocence, Tarantino too plays with and glorifies the “toys” of these underworld people. Tarantino spends well over a minute on Vincent taking his heroin. Tarantino slows down the film speed and uses numerous cuts to get many angles on Vincent opening his neat bag of heroin paraphernalia. Lighting cigarettes is also glorified by Tarantino where again he (like Scorsese did with cigars before him) tightens a shot to focus on nothing but the expensive lighters that these characters use.

Perhaps Tarantino’s use of allusions can also be explained by his “training” in film. Tarantino is a hip guy himself. He never went through any official schooling for directing or screenwriting, everything he knows about film he learned from working in a video rental store where he would watch nearly every film that came into through the door. Yet, for not having any formal training and having only put out three major works, Tarantino is one of the most talked about directors in film today. The idea that a tall and rather dorky looking guy can make it to the top of his field without ever having played by any of the official rules is a pretty hip one.

Finally to prove that his poetic license for hipness is deserved, Tarantino makes numerous allusions to other films. As Sarah Kerr writes in The New York Review of Books:

To give just a few examples, the briefcase that John Travolta opens with the glowing contents that are never revealed is a reference to The Long Goodbye, the film by Robert Altman…The First words that appear in the credits–the name of Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart–are a reworking of the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s film about a robbery team of two boys and a girl, Bande ? Part.

When one recognizes one of these allusions, he is related to something familiar, all part of being calm and laid back, which is all part of feeling the hipness that Tarantino intends for the audience to feel.

In keeping with the vanity and modern parts of the hipness idea, Tarantino ventures out and does some very unconventional things with Pulp Fiction. The most apparent unconventionality that Tarantino uses is the out of time sequencing of scenes. In one scene someone is shot and in the very next scene that same person is alive again; not because he is reincarnated but because the scene where he was shot took place later in time but was put first in the film. Placing scenes out of chronological order is a very modern idea which lends itself easily to hipness, but the end product also creates an alarm in the audience (carefully noted by the director and placed in places where it will not destroy an already built calmness) because the totally irrational happens and the audience is left to deal with that, also a very modern idea.

Tarantino also uses unconventional camera angles; for instance, when Vincent and Jules arrive at the apartment complex to collect the brief case and are entering in what is normally thought of as a unnerving experience Tarantino does not let their built up hipness fade. Instead of showing the two characters nervously going to collect the brief case from an apartment in which they do not know how many people there are, Tarantino spends time on shooting the dialogue of the two characters annoyed at the fact that they do not have shotguns for this task. Where most directors would simply shoot the two conversing, Tarantino uses a more hip way of showing this conversation. The shot is looking up at the two characters from the trunk of the car from which they pull their pistols. This shot serves two purposes: first, it is somewhat unconventional which works for Tarantino’s purpose which seems to be to achieve hipness by going against convention yet still getting his point across. The second purpose of this shot is that it is a sort of subjective foreshadowing, for later in the film the audience looks into the same trunk only then it has a dead body in it.

The foreshadowing that Tarantino uses is also unconventional, for two reasons. The first reason that Tarantino’s foreshadowing is unconventional is because he sometimes foreshadows pointless things; the other reason his foreshadowings are unconventional is because they would be conventional, except that because of the sequencing of the scenes, the effect is more of a post-shadowing. The best example of post-shadowing is with Vincent Vega. If the scenes were put in chronological order the audience would see Vincent go into the bathroom with a book. The audience would then see Vincent emerge from the bathroom a few minutes later with the same book but also pointing a gun at someone. Then later on in the film the audience would again see Vincent emerge from a bathroom with the same book only this time Butch would be pointing a gun at Vincent. Because the scenes are out of order, the audience sees Vincent get killed by Butch first then in a scene later in the film the audience sees Vincent exiting the other bathroom with the book and his gun.

All the hipness that Tarantino puts into this film serves itself and one other purpose: because everything about the film is so hip and laid back the viewer finds traditionally grotesque and disgusting things, funny. Jules’ treatment of the low lives in the beginning of the film is not necessarily funny, but because Samuel L. Jackson plays his character so “cool” one just has to laugh when he turns around and says “ah-Well allow me to retort.” At one point Tarantino pokes fun at himself when he has Jimmy (the character that plays) lend Vincent and Jules some clothes of his after washing blood off of the two gangsters. Once they’ve changed clothes, Jimmy tells the two that they look like dorks, and Jules replies with a swift, “They’re you damn clothes, fool.” Another moment when one feels bad about laughing but simply has to because the film has set up the audience to see the humor in the situation is when Vincent shoots Marvin in the back of Jules’ car. Normally when someone gets his head blown off the reaction is of disgust and sadness. But one has to laugh as Jackson and Travolta do such a great job of reacting to the problem. The two begin to bicker and argue over why Marvin was shot, neither one is concerned with Marvin himself. The hipness with which they are not even worried about the person in the back seat, but instead are more concerned about the dirty car and how they are going to get out of this problem makes the scene funny.

If Pulp Fiction were a film just about the violence in it, it would be just another action movie for the masses. This film is not about the violence in it but about the characters it portrays and mostly it is about the thing they all strive for: hipness. Quentin Tarantino uses odd time sequencing, unconventional cuttings and camera angles, and a very twisted wit to achieve a film that is well grounded in tradition and history but at the same time separates itself by giving the audience the unexpected and forcing a viewer to consider its characters who are the most hip (and most unrealistic).

Endnotes

Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much, and on top of that Tarantino even adds the haunting shiekness of upper-scale drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Tarantino absolutely harps on the wonderful dichotomy that gangsters present to get this hipness across to the audience. The gangsters are shown both at their coolest and at their worst, having money and enjoying life with the top down and radio on or overdosing on heroin and having to save each other because going to a hospital would result in an arrest. Most of the characters in this film are the very personifications of hipness, and Tarantino accentuates that in new or at least less conventional ways. Using conventional directorial techniques, sometimes in unconventional ways, Tarantino gets the viewer to experience the hipness of his characters and to laugh at traditionally non-comedic scenarios.

To keep his audience calm and cool so that it may experience the hipness of the film, Tarantino uses a lot of long static camera shots. During a conversation, instead of cutting from one character to another, which tends to create tension, Tarantino has the camera lay back and remain completely static for long amounts of time. In the beginning of the film Jules and Vincent are riding in a car, going to collect a brief case (probably full of money) for their boss. This scene could be particularly tense except: Tarantino beautifully directs the two actors to be the coolest that they can be, and to enhance this effect, Tarantino uses only two different camera shots in the car. One shot (the lesser used of the two) is a camera looking straight at Jules’ face. The other shot is a look at the two thugs from just inside the passenger side window. This second shot helps the viewer feel comfortable with the two characters because it makes one feel like he is cruising along in the car. The long staticness of this shot is calming. Unlike some cinema conversations where the camera is switching from one character to another, with the second shot here the viewer can choose which character he wants to look at, which gives the viewer a sense of security because he has control.

At times the long static shots become boring. For instance, when Butch (the aging prize fighter played by Bruce Willis) is being told by Marsellus Wallace (the crime boss played by Ving Rhames) that he must lose his next fight in the fifth round, Tarantino does nothing with the camera except leave it on Butch’s face for over a minute. This is very boring but does serve a purpose. Traditionally shots that stay on a character’s face are meant to get the viewer to concentrate on that character and think about what that character is feeling or thinking. Here the audience sees a traditionally type cast heroic actor being told what to do and being paid off to do it. Tarantino leaves the camera on him so that the audience is forced to consider how powerful Wallace is and how washed up Butch is. With modern movies being so overly produced and cut, this is actually a pretty rare technique in film today; but, Tarantino uses seems to allude to many things of films past, this just being one of them.

When Tarantino does not want the audience to feel hipness about the characters in a scene, he uses opposite techniques of those that he uses with the more hip scenes. In the diner with the two amateur thieves (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), Tarantino uses conventional shots of looking at the person who is speaking, and cuts back and forth between the two. Because it is a fast moving conversation, the cuts that follow are also very fast. This gives the audience an agitated view of these characters so that when the viewer sees these two characters he does not see them as laid back, thus he does not feel that they are hip like Jules and Vincent.

Some of the hipness of this film comes from Tarantino’s reverence for the classic. It seems that in the Nineteen Nineties things of yesteryear that are integrated with modern technologies and styles have become hip. In many ways during Pulp Fiction Tarantino, in a sense, bows to people and things that have come before him and inspired him. To do so he integrates these things into his very modern film. A prime example of Tarantino’s tipping of his hat is the scene at the restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims. The restaurant is a very classy Fifties-styled place with cars converted into booths for people to sit at, an Ed Sullivan look alike for a host, and meals named after famous people of that time. To compliment the setting Tarantino does not do anything out of the ordinary with the cameras. All of the shots are steady, at eye level, focused on whomever is speaking at the time, and the cutting is what one would normally expect from a Fifties film where everything is done according to strict norms and values.

Another way that Tarantino pays homage to the past is through his many allusions. Like Scorsese did with the “toys” of the rich in Age of Innocence, Tarantino too plays with and glorifies the “toys” of these underworld people. Tarantino spends well over a minute on Vincent taking his heroin. Tarantino slows down the film speed and uses numerous cuts to get many angles on Vincent opening his neat bag of heroin paraphernalia. Lighting cigarettes is also glorified by Tarantino where again he (like Scorsese did with cigars before him) tightens a shot to focus on nothing but the expensive lighters that these characters use.

Perhaps Tarantino’s use of allusions can also be explained by his “training” in film. Tarantino is a hip guy himself. He never went through any official schooling for directing or screenwriting, everything he knows about film he learned from working in a video rental store where he would watch nearly every film that came into through the door. Yet, for not having any formal training and having only put out three major works, Tarantino is one of the most talked about directors in film today. The idea that a tall and rather dorky looking guy can make it to the top of his field without ever having played by any of the official rules is a pretty hip one.

Finally to prove that his poetic license for hipness is deserved, Tarantino makes numerous allusions to other films. As Sarah Kerr writes in The New York Review of Books:

To give just a few examples, the briefcase that John Travolta opens with the glowing contents that are never revealed is a reference to The Long Goodbye, the film by Robert Altman…The First words that appear in the credits–the name of Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart–are a reworking of the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s film about a robbery team of two boys and a girl, Bande ? Part.

When one recognizes one of these allusions, he is related to something familiar, all part of being calm and laid back, which is all part of feeling the hipness that Tarantino intends for the audience to feel.

In keeping with the vanity and modern parts of the hipness idea, Tarantino ventures out and does some very unconventional things with Pulp Fiction. The most apparent unconventionality that Tarantino uses is the out of time sequencing of scenes. In one scene someone is shot and in the very next scene that same person is alive again; not because he is reincarnated but because the scene where he was shot took place later in time but was put first in the film. Placing scenes out of chronological order is a very modern idea which lends itself easily to hipness, but the end product also creates an alarm in the audience (carefully noted by the director and placed in places where it will not destroy an already built calmness) because the totally irrational happens and the audience is left to deal with that, also a very modern idea.

Tarantino also uses unconventional camera angles; for instance, when Vincent and Jules arrive at the apartment complex to collect the brief case and are entering in what is normally thought of as a unnerving experience Tarantino does not let their built up hipness fade. Instead of showing the two characters nervously going to collect the brief case from an apartment in which they do not know how many people there are, Tarantino spends time on shooting the dialogue of the two characters annoyed at the fact that they do not have shotguns for this task. Where most directors would simply shoot the two conversing, Tarantino uses a more hip way of showing this conversation. The shot is looking up at the two characters from the trunk of the car from which they pull their pistols. This shot serves two purposes: first, it is somewhat unconventional which works for Tarantino’s purpose which seems to be to achieve hipness by going against convention yet still getting his point across. The second purpose of this shot is that it is a sort of subjective foreshadowing, for later in the film the audience looks into the same trunk only then it has a dead body in it.

The foreshadowing that Tarantino uses is also unconventional, for two reasons. The first reason that Tarantino’s foreshadowing is unconventional is because he sometimes foreshadows pointless things; the other reason his foreshadowings are unconventional is because they would be conventional, except that because of the sequencing of the scenes, the effect is more of a post-shadowing. The best example of post-shadowing is with Vincent Vega. If the scenes were put in chronological order the audience would see Vincent go into the bathroom with a book. The audience would then see Vincent emerge from the bathroom a few minutes later with the same book but also pointing a gun at someone. Then later on in the film the audience would again see Vincent emerge from a bathroom with the same book only this time Butch would be pointing a gun at Vincent. Because the scenes are out of order, the audience sees Vincent get killed by Butch first then in a scene later in the film the audience sees Vincent exiting the other bathroom with the book and his gun.

All the hipness that Tarantino puts into this film serves itself and one other purpose: because everything about the film is so hip and laid back the viewer finds traditionally grotesque and disgusting things, funny. Jules’ treatment of the low lives in the beginning of the film is not necessarily funny, but because Samuel L. Jackson plays his character so “cool” one just has to laugh when he turns around and says “ah-Well allow me to retort.” At one point Tarantino pokes fun at himself when he has Jimmy (the character that plays) lend Vincent and Jules some clothes of his after washing blood off of the two gangsters. Once they’ve changed clothes, Jimmy tells the two that they look like dorks, and Jules replies with a swift, “They’re you damn clothes, fool.” Another moment when one feels bad about laughing but simply has to because the film has set up the audience to see the humor in the situation is when Vincent shoots Marvin in the back of Jules’ car. Normally when someone gets his head blown off the reaction is of disgust and sadness. But one has to laugh as Jackson and Travolta do such a great job of reacting to the problem. The two begin to bicker and argue over why Marvin was shot, neither one is concerned with Marvin himself. The hipness with which they are not even worried about the person in the back seat, but instead are more concerned about the dirty car and how they are going to get out of this problem makes the scene funny.

If Pulp Fiction were a film just about the violence in it, it would be just another action movie for the masses. This film is not about the violence in it but about the characters it portrays and mostly it is about the thing they all strive for: hipness. Quentin Tarantino uses odd time sequencing, unconventional cuttings and camera angles, and a very twisted wit to achieve a film that is well grounded in tradition and history but at the same time separates itself by giving the audience the unexpected and forcing a viewer to consider its characters who are the most hip (and most unrealistic).Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much, and on top of that Tarantino even adds the haunting shiekness of upper-scale drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Tarantino absolutely harps on the wonderful dichotomy that gangsters present to get this hipness across to the audience. The gangsters are shown both at their coolest and at their worst, having money and enjoying life with the top down and radio on or overdosing on heroin and having to save each other because going to a hospital would result in an arrest. Most of the characters in this film are the very personifications of hipness, and Tarantino accentuates that in new or at least less conventional ways. Using conventional directorial techniques, sometimes in unconventional ways, Tarantino gets the viewer to experience the hipness of his characters and to laugh at traditionally non-comedic scenarios.

To keep his audience calm and cool so that it may experience the hipness of the film, Tarantino uses a lot of long static camera shots. During a conversation, instead of cutting from one character to another, which tends to create tension, Tarantino has the camera lay back and remain completely static for long amounts of time. In the beginning of the film Jules and Vincent are riding in a car, going to collect a brief case (probably full of money) for their boss. This scene could be particularly tense except: Tarantino beautifully directs the two actors to be the coolest that they can be, and to enhance this effect, Tarantino uses only two different camera shots in the car. One shot (the lesser used of the two) is a camera looking straight at Jules’ face. The other shot is a look at the two thugs from just inside the passenger side window. This second shot helps the viewer feel comfortable with the two characters because it makes one feel like he is cruising along in the car. The long staticness of this shot is calming. Unlike some cinema conversations where the camera is switching from one character to another, with the second shot here the viewer can choose which character he wants to look at, which gives the viewer a sense of security because he has control.

At times the long static shots become boring. For instance, when Butch (the aging prize fighter played by Bruce Willis) is being told by Marsellus Wallace (the crime boss played by Ving Rhames) that he must lose his next fight in the fifth round, Tarantino does nothing with the camera except leave it on Butch’s face for over a minute. This is very boring but does serve a purpose. Traditionally shots that stay on a character’s face are meant to get the viewer to concentrate on that character and think about what that character is feeling or thinking. Here the audience sees a traditionally type cast heroic actor being told what to do and being paid off to do it. Tarantino leaves the camera on him so that the audience is forced to consider how powerful Wallace is and how washed up Butch is. With modern movies being so overly produced and cut, this is actually a pretty rare technique in film today; but, Tarantino uses seems to allude to many things of films past, this just being one of them.

When Tarantino does not want the audience to feel hipness about the characters in a scene, he uses opposite techniques of those that he uses with the more hip scenes. In the diner with the two amateur thieves (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), Tarantino uses conventional shots of looking at the person who is speaking, and cuts back and forth between the two. Because it is a fast moving conversation, the cuts that follow are also very fast. This gives the audience an agitated view of these characters so that when the viewer sees these two characters he does not see them as laid back, thus he does not feel that they are hip like Jules and Vincent.

Some of the hipness of this film comes from Tarantino’s reverence for the classic. It seems that in the Nineteen Nineties things of yesteryear that are integrated with modern technologies and styles have become hip. In many ways during Pulp Fiction Tarantino, in a sense, bows to people and things that have come before him and inspired him. To do so he integrates these things into his very modern film. A prime example of Tarantino’s tipping of his hat is the scene at the restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims. The restaurant is a very classy Fifties-styled place with cars converted into booths for people to sit at, an Ed Sullivan look alike for a host, and meals named after famous people of that time. To compliment the setting Tarantino does not do anything out of the ordinary with the cameras. All of the shots are steady, at eye level, focused on whomever is speaking at the time, and the cutting is what one would normally expect from a Fifties film where everything is done according to strict norms and values.

Another way that Tarantino pays homage to the past is through his many allusions. Like Scorsese did with the “toys” of the rich in Age of Innocence, Tarantino too plays with and glorifies the “toys” of these underworld people. Tarantino spends well over a minute on Vincent taking his heroin. Tarantino slows down the film speed and uses numerous cuts to get many angles on Vincent opening his neat bag of heroin paraphernalia. Lighting cigarettes is also glorified by Tarantino where again he (like Scorsese did with cigars before him) tightens a shot to focus on nothing but the expensive lighters that these characters use.

Perhaps Tarantino’s use of allusions can also be explained by his “training” in film. Tarantino is a hip guy himself. He never went through any official schooling for directing or screenwriting, everything he knows about film he learned from working in a video rental store where he would watch nearly every film that came into through the door. Yet, for not having any formal training and having only put out three major works, Tarantino is one of the most talked about directors in film today. The idea that a tall and rather dorky looking guy can make it to the top of his field without ever having played by any of the official rules is a pretty hip one.

Finally to prove that his poetic license for hipness is deserved, Tarantino makes numerous allusions to other films. As Sarah Kerr writes in The New York Review of Books:

To give just a few examples, the briefcase that John Travolta opens with the glowing contents that are never revealed is a reference to The Long Goodbye, the film by Robert Altman…The First words that appear in the credits–the name of Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart–are a reworking of the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s film about a robbery team of two boys and a girl, Bande ? Part.

When one recognizes one of these allusions, he is related to something familiar, all part of being calm and laid back, which is all part of feeling the hipness that Tarantino intends for the audience to feel.

In keeping with the vanity and modern parts of the hipness idea, Tarantino ventures out and does some very unconventional things with Pulp Fiction. The most apparent unconventionality that Tarantino uses is the out of time sequencing of scenes. In one scene someone is shot and in the very next scene that same person is alive again; not because he is reincarnated but because the scene where he was shot took place later in time but was put first in the film. Placing scenes out of chronological order is a very modern idea which lends itself easily to hipness, but the end product also creates an alarm in the audience (carefully noted by the director and placed in places where it will not destroy an already built calmness) because the totally irrational happens and the audience is left to deal with that, also a very modern idea.

Tarantino also uses unconventional camera angles; for instance, when Vincent and Jules arrive at the apartment complex to collect the brief case and are entering in what is normally thought of as a unnerving experience Tarantino does not let their built up hipness fade. Instead of showing the two characters nervously going to collect the brief case from an apartment in which they do not know how many people there are, Tarantino spends time on shooting the dialogue of the two characters annoyed at the fact that they do not have shotguns for this task. Where most directors would simply shoot the two conversing, Tarantino uses a more hip way of showing this conversation. The shot is looking up at the two characters from the trunk of the car from which they pull their pistols. This shot serves two purposes: first, it is somewhat unconventional which works for Tarantino’s purpose which seems to be to achieve hipness by going against convention yet still getting his point across. The second purpose of this shot is that it is a sort of subjective foreshadowing, for later in the film the audience looks into the same trunk only then it has a dead body in it.

The foreshadowing that Tarantino uses is also unconventional, for two reasons. The first reason that Tarantino’s foreshadowing is unconventional is because he sometimes foreshadows pointless things; the other reason his foreshadowings are unconventional is because they would be conventional, except that because of the sequencing of the scenes, the effect is more of a post-shadowing. The best example of post-shadowing is with Vincent Vega. If the scenes were put in chronological order the audience would see Vincent go into the bathroom with a book. The audience would then see Vincent emerge from the bathroom a few minutes later with the same book but also pointing a gun at someone. Then later on in the film the audience would again see Vincent emerge from a bathroom with the same book only this time Butch would be pointing a gun at Vincent. Because the scenes are out of order, the audience sees Vincent get killed by Butch first then in a scene later in the film the audience sees Vincent exiting the other bathroom with the book and his gun.

All the hipness that Tarantino puts into this film serves itself and one other purpose: because everything about the film is so hip and laid back the viewer finds traditionally grotesque and disgusting things, funny. Jules’ treatment of the low lives in the beginning of the film is not necessarily funny, but because Samuel L. Jackson plays his character so “cool” one just has to laugh when he turns around and says “ah-Well allow me to retort.” At one point Tarantino pokes fun at himself when he has Jimmy (the character that plays) lend Vincent and Jules some clothes of his after washing blood off of the two gangsters. Once they’ve changed clothes, Jimmy tells the two that they look like dorks, and Jules replies with a swift, “They’re you damn clothes, fool.” Another moment when one feels bad about laughing but simply has to because the film has set up the audience to see the humor in the situation is when Vincent shoots Marvin in the back of Jules’ car. Normally when someone gets his head blown off the reaction is of disgust and sadness. But one has to laugh as Jackson and Travolta do such a great job of reacting to the problem. The two begin to bicker and argue over why Marvin was shot, neither one is concerned with Marvin himself. The hipness with which they are not even worried about the person in the back seat, but instead are more concerned about the dirty car and how they are going to get out of this problem makes the scene funny.

If Pulp Fiction were a film just about the violence in it, it would be just another action movie for the masses. This film is not about the violence in it but about the characters it portrays and mostly it is about the thing they all strive for: hipness. Quentin Tarantino uses odd time sequencing, unconventional cuttings and camera angles, and a very twisted wit to achieve a film that is well grounded in tradition and history but at the same time separates itself by giving the audience the unexpected and forcing a viewer to consider its characters who are the most hip (and most unrealistic).

Endnotes

Pulp Fiction, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino was released in 1994. The film won the Academy award for Best Original Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film is three days in the lives of two Los Angeles gangsters, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, their stories and some of the stories of the people that they deal with during those two days.

Some critics denounced Pulp Fiction for its violence, yet the film is not about the killings that happen in it. Pulp Fiction is about its characters in potentially comic situations. Tarantino uses these characters and their situations to achieve a hipness, a “…funky, American sort of pop masterpiece.” This hipness is a laid back nonchalant attitude mixed with some vanity and a sense of loyalty all with a modern flair. The hipness is all part of the gangster mystique, which American movie audiences love so much

Denby, David. ?Movies.? New York. 3 Oct. 1994: 96-98.

Giroux, Henry A. ?Pulp Fiction and the Culture of Violence.? Harvard Educational Review. 65 #2 (1995): 299-304.

Kerr, Sarah. ?Rain Man.? The New York review of Books. 6 Apr. 1995: 22-23.

Pulp Fiction (Directors cut). Videocasette. Dir. Quentin Tarrantino. Miramax, 1994. 130 min.

Salamon, Julie, and Amy Gamerman. ?New Movies Worth Seeing.? The Wall Street Journal. 10 Jan. 1995, East ed.: A18.

Wild, David. ?Quentin Tarantino.? Rolling Stone. 3 Nov. 1994: 77-81.

Works Cited

Denby, David. ?Movies.? New York. 3 Oct. 1994: 96-98.

Giroux, Henry A. ?Pulp Fiction and the Culture of Violence.? Harvard Educational Review. 65 #2 (1995): 299-304.

Kerr, Sarah. ?Rain Man.? The New York review of Books. 6 Apr. 1995: 22-23.

Pulp Fiction (Directors cut). Videocasette. Dir. Quentin Tarrantino. Miramax, 1994. 130 min.

Salamon, Julie, and Amy Gamerman. ?New Movies Worth Seeing.? The Wall Street Journal. 10 Jan. 1995, East ed.: A18.

Wild, David. ?Quentin Tarantino.? Rolling Stone. 3 Nov. 1994: 77-81.

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