Posts Tagged ‘Pulp Fiction’
Tags: dogs and cats, i dare you, image dump, meme, Pulp Fiction, samuel jackson
Tags: directing, filmmaking, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs, screenwriting, writing
Tags: analysis, Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, race, screenwriting, script, violence
Pulp Fiction is the 1994 breakout hit by director Quentin Tarantino that won the Academy Award for best screenplay, and was nominated in several other categories, including best director. The film is segmented into various vignettes and follows an ensemble of criminal characters through the Los Angeles underworld. The film’s unique chronology is what sets it apart from most crime dramas. Scenes are edited completely out of chronological order, jumping forward and backward in time in a manner that is mysterious. The reason for examining the script for this movie is to discover why Tarantino and Avary chose to chop up the sequence of events in this manner and to present them to the audience in such a confusing manner. This paper will lay out the scenes and sort out the viewing order versus the chronological order in which these scenes would have occurred. Hopefully this will give some clues as to how the film is so powerfully engaging and carries a sense of mystery and magic throughout.
Pulp Fiction includes numerous characters, and each is developed with strong dramatic scenes, which play rather quickly in order to squeeze all the vignettes into a feature length. Pulp Fiction opens with the definition of “PULP” on the screen, establishing some kind of formalism to the presentation. The people pulling the strings are acknowledged with this choice. Next PUMPKIN and HONEY BUNNY ( Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer) are a young couple who discuss robbing banks, armed robbery, strategies and targets while eating at a Denny’s. At the end of the meal, they both jump up with guns to rob the restaurant, which leads immediately into a disjointed credit sequence and a jump away from this scene to another time and another place.
JULES and VINCENT (Samuel Jackson and John Travolta) are two hit men driving on their way to a job. Later we learn that this scene is prior to the restaurant scene. Their conversation details Vincent’s trip to Amsterdam and offers a clue to his reason for going there: drug tourism. They also reveal that their crime boss, MARSELLUS and his wife MIA (Ving Rhames & Uma Thurman) are going to be relevant. Marsellus is violently jealous of men making approaches to Mia and had someone thrown out of a window. The overreaction of Marsellus affects the two hit men differently. Jules (Jackson) is horrified that a simple foot massage brought such a harsh penalty, but Vincent (Travolta) agrees with Marsellus, in principle, that the offense was serious enough to warrant a harsh response. Vincent is strong on principle and inflexible, while Jules is in transition with his thinking throughout the film. The kicker is that Vincent has been tasked with “looking after” Mia while Marsellus goes out of town tonight. Jules suggests this could be perceived as a “date.”
Inside the apartment, MARVIN (black), ROGER and BRETT are caught off-guard by the two hit men. The three in the apartment have a briefcase belonging to their boss Marsellus for some reason. Inside the case is a bright golden light, which adds a sense of magical realism to the film. Jules and Vincent are there to execute the wayward young thieves. Jules attempts to justify his acts by quoting a bible passage full of fire and fury. The hit men then execute the two white boys in the room for the offense of trying to steal Marsellus’ briefcase.