Friday, March 11, 2016

Pulp Fiction

Get on the chopper, babies, it's time to look at Tarantino. So, one thing about this project really makes me realize how much of Tarantino's movies are about how much he likes other movies. He really, really likes a lot of genres of movies, and apparently he wanted to see them all re-done with a big bucket of gore and an explosion of expletives on the screen. Everyone in his world seems very aware that they're in a movie, and they want to play to the camera by being either as dramatic or as shouty as possible. Sometimes both. But hey, Deliverance, just gave you rapists shot by arrows. Pulp Fiction has them cut down by katanas and felled by shotgun blasts to the genitals. The movie does follow a postmodern structure which is very stylish. The whole film, like all of Tarantino's work, is long on style. That's probably what gets this film remembered – the out-of-order structure, the three separate stories that form a cohesive whole, and the way shots are framed. Everyone is smoking, the movie is peppered with women in dark lipstick looking mysterious, and of course, there are plenty of shots of bare feet. Everything is so stylistic that it's hard to talk about the movie as a whole. But the whole of the movie, beneath the layers and layers of academic discussion, is that Quentin Tarantino has watched a boatload of films and taken something from most of them. I don't know if that qualifies him as a genius or as an encyclopedia. I don't know that I'm in a position to judge, since I'm working on becoming a functional movie encyclopedia myself, and I don't even work in the film industry in any capacity. I would say for people who aren't squeamish to give this one a shot. It's a good movie about other movies. It's very hard to speak on its own merits, however, because it's a jigsaw puzzle of hundreds of other movies. Only you can decide whether you like that or not.

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