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An attempt at a series where we examine various films and their cultural and political impact.

Last time we viewed and analyzed the film Ides of March, this time around I'd like to take us farther back in our cultural lexicon for a titular film from the 90's, the iconic and supercharged film Pulp Fiction.

Reams upon reams have been written regarding this film, for indeed it is a watermark test for Post Modernism, Nihilism, and even perhaps a pivot point in cultural history in the United States. Rich in symbolism, deep in meaning, even the violence where what might seem gratuitous in other films has far reaching meanings for not just the plot, characters, and theme but also should invoke introspection for the audience.

Join me after the bump for more, I promise you won't get shot in the face.

As said, much has been written about this movie, so instead of rehashing the obvious I'd like to write about what I feel is the main theme is. What it means from an audience perspective about the characters arch through the story and the symbolism they create.

Released in 1994, directed by Quentin Tarantino and written by him with co-author Roger Avary, Pulp Fiction was a tour de force. It had a litany of cast members now considered A-listers and even recovered the fading career of one John Travolta. It won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and when released in wide release received numerous praises. It has become iconic in our culture and still to this day gets numerous references across all forms of media.

Why though?

At the time and even now today we see ourselves awash in consumerism and hype for hypes sake. Empty symbols given meaning just because they are said to be, I'm looking at you Kardishians, these symbols are lofted on high because we are told they are important. We join in a frenzy of forced acceptance in this vain attempt to validate ourselves as we search for meaning. Quentin Tarantino is said to be a director who mashes stuff together until something sticks. I respectfully disagree for I feel he very carefully takes the discarded that already exists and then creates a collage out of those discarded items to form an actual message, the essence of what was pulp fiction. What was a vacuous symbol for nothing, a meme in the wind or something simply many of us buy every day, say a quarter pounder with cheese, now actually gives meaning towards something bigger.

Lets look at one of the two characters that goes through a marvelously portrayed transformation of character.

Samuel Jackson stars as Jules, a gun hand for the Mob leader known as Marcellus Wallace, played by Ving Rhames. After a quick prologue with Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer starting a robbery on a diner, after post card the movie then opens with Jules and Vincent, played by Travolta, preparing for what seems something sinister. They are at an apartment building to retrieve a briefcase for their boss, Marcellus Wallace. Most everyone that are fans of the film focus on the crescendo that is Jules and Vincent firing on a young man after having given one of the more famous speeches in movie history, however I think that every bit of dialogue and its framing before their entry into the apartment is so much more important.

In the movie Jules and Vincent are quipping back and forth about literally the mundane in their gangster lives. From what Burger King hamburgers are called in France, to waxing intellectual about the sexuality of a foot massage. While slick and enticing, what we see here are two men at their job. Not much different then two men on a roof somewhere replacing shingles, or two guys working at a retail clerk spot shooting the shit as it were. Even the cinematography is projects this loose and free feeling. With long hallway shots and steady cam shots as the men walk, it is meant to invoke the idea that everything is copacetic and normal. To Vincent and Jules, the depravity of what they intended to do really has no more significance than taking out the garbage on any given day. This is cemented when Jules says to Vincent before they enter the apartment "Okay, lets get into character". While they may be wearing the symbolic black suits, they have yet to put on the mask that is 'hitman'.

This is an important setup for the character Jules, where we get to see man with no moral compass, save for what he is told. He is a tool for Marcellus and does what he is told. Anything that is remotely symbolic only holds symbolism for Jules unless it either gets in his way or stays out of his way of the objective given to him by Marcellus. Marcellus defines the things that Jules should weight as containing wealth of importance. You don't realize this fact till well near the films conclusion, but this setup early on is important in the characters transition.

The apartment scene has some amazing tension as we see Jules literally command the room. An entire thesis paper could be written about the masterful way Quentin set this shot up. Jules and Vincent enter the room and from the minute they enter the other characters of the room are literally locked into a box. With the man on the couch getting up to rise and Jules politely informing him "relax, chill" its obvious that the men are there to do nasty business however they proceed in such a calm and polite manner so as to be unnerving. Indeed Quentin has a talent for this and does so in many of his films, I recommend Inglorious Bastards just for the Nazi agent interrogation scene alone as an example of this.

After some amazing dialogue, ripe suspense and the obvious outcome, a character transforming moment occurs. A man, unknown to there by Jules and Vincent, leaps out with a revolver and opens fire at the two men. He unloads his gun and misses completely. Obviously he is gunned down by Jules and Vincent, but Jules is touched by the moment. He proclaims that "this was divine intervention". Vincent is unmoved, not fazed and literally throws off Jules' comments, to which Jules loudly yells at Vincent "Don't you throw this off, what just happened here was a miracle".

Here is the dialogue of that scene

Jules: This was Divine Intervention! You know what "divine intervention" is?
Vincent: Yeah, I think so. That means God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets.
Jules: Yeah, man, that's what it means. That's exactly what it means! God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets.
Vincent: I think we should be going now.
Jules: Don't do that! Don't you fucking do that! Don't blow this shit off! What just happened was a fucking miracle!
Vincent: Chill the fuck out, Jules, this shit happens.
Jules: Wrong! Wrong, this shit doesn't just happen.
Vincent: Do you wanna continue this theological discussion in the car, or at the jailhouse with the cops?
Jules: We should be fuckin' dead now, my friend! We just witnessed a miracle, and I want you to fucking acknowledge it!
Vincent: Okay man, it was a miracle, can we leave now?

The text alone doesn't do the scene justice. Travolta does an excellent job portraying someone who is placating for a response. He doesn't actually agree with Jules in any sense but is paying lip service out of selfishness. The line "Do you wanna continue this theological discussion in the car, or at the jailhouse with the cops?" nails it really. Vincent is out for himself and only agrees with Jules so they can leave the apartment. There is a stark polarity between the Nihilism of Vincent and the newly found spirituality from Jules.

At the end of the film we have Jules and Vincent in a diner whereby they again are quipping back and forth at each other about not a whole lot. Vincent, after a bout of laughter regarding the delicacies of dirty animals, remarks to Jules that he is glad he is his normal self. Jules rebuffs him and the two go on a verbal sparring match regarding Jules choice to leave the business and the merits of 'What is a miracle?'.

This is an important scene meant to create the polarity between a man who has no compass and merely accepts things for what they are and another who examines everything with a weight of spirituality now. Vincent berates Jules after Jules states that he will "Just be me". Vincent sets the stage of power as he verbally derides what we here would consider the disadvantaged and ignored. Jules is not fazed and Vincent visibly frustrated at his attempts to convince his friend leaves scene for the restroom stating "To be continued".

The scene that follows is, in my honest opinion, one of the finer moments in cinema history. Roth and Plummer's character begin the robbery at the diner. We see mostly from Jules vantage point as Roth goes down the line collecting all the diners wallets. When he arrives at Jules booth, Jules is questioned whats in the case.

Ringo "Whats in the case?"
Jules "My boss's dirty laundry"
Ringo "Your boss makes you do his laundry?"
Jules "When he wants it clean"
Ringo "Sounds like a shit job"
Jules "Funny I was thinking the same thing"

That last line is pretty powerful when examined with everything that has happened to Jules at this point. What then ensues is a tense moment where Roth threatens to open the case while Jules refuses. Eventually the case is opened to Roth where by he remarks "Is that what I think it is?" and then "It's beautiful". What is in the case is a topic of another discussion, I prefer to just agree that it was a Macguffin designed to advance the plot and is all things to all people. In this instance its Jules who has found redemption and putting it on display for Ringo.

Quickly Jules does what he does best getting the upper hand on Ringo, and what occurs is a wonderfully done Mexican stand off between Jules, Yolanda, Ringo and eventually Vincent after entering the scene later on. Jules during this scene begins to espouse on Ringo that normally they would be dead, but Jules wants to help them instead. He goes on to have Roth fish his wallet out and then gives Roth the money inside. Jules explains to him stating that he is buying something, his life.

He then immediately asks Ringo if he reads the bible, to which he then goes into the now famous Ezekiel 25 17 line. Afterward however he tells Ringo that he never had given much thought to the meaning but that the events of his life on that day, changed his mind. He ponders if it means Ringo is the evil man and Jules the righteous man with his weapon being the shepherd; or that perhaps Ringo is the righteous and Jules is the Shepard while the world is cruel evil and in darkness? He then states very unequivocally that while nice, it is but a pipe dream, in fact it is Ringo that is the weak while Jules is the tyranny of evil men. Jules being in a position of power has the choice to either participate in the tyranny of evil men, Marcellus, or to be the shepherd and help the couple perhaps not walk the same path he has.

Indeed even as we find ourselves as stated above, awash in empty symbols and consumerism. It is our desires and wants to have more, consumer more, take more that help and assist to prey on the weak. Our positions of power, the power or purchasing, the power of voting, the power of community, make us at times the tyranny of evil men. This happens through either our actions or inaction. How many times have I walked past someone on the street and not just given my change out of the pocket. How many times have I been lazy and stopped at the big box store for the cheapest items. How much better could our world be if we used one less this, or recycled that, or voted with our minds instead of our feelings. Every decision you make gives you a chance to be the shepherd, it only requires the hard choices and hard work.

The movie closes to Vincent and Jules holstering their weapons and leaving the diner. Interesting to point out that Vincent dies, chronologically speaking after the diner incident but in scene order before the closing moments. This is done on purpose I think, as we have two men who went through life altering instances, but we already know that one will live while the other will die. The one not having made the choice to get out, a chance and choice to change his ways, dies; in a bathroom of all places.

This is just one of many wonderful themes and messages the movie has to offer but I feel none of them stand as clear and as wonderful than the message of transformation. We often find ourselves changing our opinions and stances for the better. Even myself, thanks to diaries here by very wonderful writers, have been presented information which has forced me to evaluate my place in the world and what I think of its occupants. There are days where I'm forced to hotlist items just so I can catch up on all you wonderful people with amazing writing.

And as a matter of fact, those same folks also remind me to try to do better. To do right and be right, to not just talk the talk but to also walk the walk. To which I , and I would suspect a great many of us would answer.

I am trying, I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.

Wed Jun 20, 2012 at  5:09 AM PT: Woke up this morning to find this on the spotlight.... thank you rangers, you all rock. Thank you everyone else for reading as well. I love a good movie discussion so I'll try to respond as much as possible.

Originally posted to Hoosier Progressive on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Music a big part of PF also, starting with opening (16+ / 0-)

    credits, (Dick Dale's masterpiece cover of Miserlou):

    ... there was this great use of the Statler Brother's Flowers on the Wall:

    And this great dance scene, one of the coolest ever filmed ...

    And in the closing credits (I think) they had The Lively Ones playing a song written by the great Nokie Edwards (of the Ventures):

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:46:27 PM PDT

  •  My all time favorite movie (15+ / 0-)

    I know practically every line word for word. But this is my favorite part:

    "Please would be nice." The way Travolta slouches forward slightly, with one hand in his pocket, and the other on his belt... Genius.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:04:19 PM PDT

  •  Great post, minor nit (11+ / 0-)

    Please set your phasers to faze. Twice.

    The second scene at the diner is one of my favorites. It is a story of someone (Ringo) thinking he is hot shit stepping into shit so much deeper that he has no conception of it, and never will. Jules is masterfully cool in his new found wisdom, but he always was cool.

    One of my favorite lines from the movie, which hardly relates to the movie at all and which I quote (usually paraphrased) often is when Jules asks to take a bite of Brett's Big Kahuna Burger. He relates that he doesn't get to eat meat much anymore: "See, my girl friend's a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian." Hilarious.

    •  So many inferences can be made from that (6+ / 0-)

      one scene. I see it as a show of dominance, literally the head lion showcasing to the other male lions "I own this meal, you do not despite my companion dictating my meals"

      And I agree with you about Ringo literally diving into the deep end of the pool not realizing how deep the water treads.

      Just an amazing movie, not enough awards given to it though. At least it got the Cannes recognition it so well deserved.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:18:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Samuel L. Jackson Shoots The Kid On The Couch (9+ / 0-)

    He looks so cold and casual when he shoots the kid because they just dub in the sound of the gunshot - no muzzle flash, the slide does not cycle.  It works because it's so shocking, but looking at it twice nothing happens

    Go to 4:20


    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:23:33 PM PDT

  •  S.L. Jackson + Pulp Fiction +Donald Rumsfeld (8+ / 0-)

    Samuel L. Jackson as the white prep school hoodlum on the Boondocks doing Pulp Fiction and Donald Rumsfeld.  It is the Sistene Chapel of mashups. Also Charlie Murphy (Eddie's brother).

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:30:22 PM PDT

    •  I forgot about that great reference (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, bumbi, kestrel9000, JVolvo, Matt Z

      Would have linked it in otherwise. I'm a huge Boondocks fan.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:34:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw PF alone in a 500 seat theater in Vienna. (7+ / 0-)

        I was in Austria working as a crew person on a different indie film at the time, one about two kids who meet on a train and have a magical night together called BEFORE SUNRISE.  We were in preproduction and I had some spare time and was offered the chance to see the film with a local journalist so I took the opportunity to see it.  I'd seen Reservoir Dogs and now I'm trying to remember if I had already met QT or not at that point... I've seen him a least two dozen times or more since then, he's hard to avoid if you live in Austin Texas and like to go the movies as much as I do.  If I had met him it was only once or twice at that point, at a festival party or some such function.  He's QT, and he loves to talk about movies like the big fan/geek that he is and he can appreciate you if you can keep up with the conversation somewhat, and when you can't that's fine too because he'll just talk enough for the whole room.  I've had essentially the SAME conversation with him in Austin, LA, NYC, or Sundance.  The talk is movies... and occasionally a tiny bit about whatever females are about the area and what's going on later that evening.  

        In any case, the theater was completely empty except for me and one or two j's who showed up at around 10AM to screen the film.  We all seated ourselves far apart and barely spoke after, so the experience was quite different than the way many encountered the film - as it grew into a hit, in crowded theaters filled with enthusiastic viewers as part of a 1000 theater wide opening that was faced up against a forgettable Sylvester Stallone movie that weekend at the "box office" at a time when the public was learning to "care" about what the #1 film was, as if that was ever proof of anything.  

        I think of the three people there, I was the only one who laughed out loud, and it was first at the Howard Hawks reference to John Garfield's character from AIR FORCE - just the name Winoki that I recognized as a hat tip to cinephiles, but this is pretty well into the film.  By that point in the film there had been plenty of "homages" to Frank Tashlin, Jean Pierre, Melvile, Scorsese, etc but that one got to me.  Later, there is a comment about a pair of pliers and blowtorch and gettin' medieval on someone that is stolen verbatim from a Don Seigel film, and I laughed aloud at the audacity of the lift, not the humor of the line.  And that's how the film first struck me, as a sloppy hodgepodge of stolen lines and situations and a very very talky mess that lacked the overall cohesiveness of a Robert Altman ensemble film, where there can be sloppiness but everyone is IN the same movie, but felt PF was enjoyable nonetheless.  In fact, it seemed like it wasn't nearly as accomplished as a MASH, or a LONG GOODBYE to me, more of a BREWSTER MCCLOUD than a MCCABE AND MRS MILLER.  There was talent, but not mastery there, as I saw it. I told my friends it was a ton of fun but that Reservoir Dogs was probably better.  I knew the film had cost 2 million more than DAZED AND CONFUSED and yet looked cheaper in some ways.  

        I don't have the time or space to go into it, but Kurt Cobain had just died recently before I saw PF and I think the sadness and the post-modernness of that event clouded the way I saw the film.  

        And then a few months later I saw the film again in Austin, as part of a benefit premier for the Austin Film Society and it was quite a different experience.  Tickets were the hottest commodity in town and the house was packed to the gills at Hogg Auditorium on the college campus of the University of Texas.  This was the same venue where dozens and dozens of Hong Kong films had been screening for a few years, and where cinephiles like myself were soaking up Jacky Chan films like PROJECT A and nutty things like Tsui Hawk Chinese Ghost Story.  The place was often empty and the sound poor, cavernous as the building was without a crowd and in glorious mono with hard seats and stale air.  It's since closed...  sadly as the University barely bothers to support a once vibrant cinema culture that for us was part and parcel of getting an education in film but now is seen as a distraction somehow.  

        And the excitement was INCREDIBLE for the film.  I'm not sure how the Weinsteins do it, but they do it well.  This was one day before the film opened nationwide in the USA, and the film had been praised at Cannes, Munich and Locarno and also played the NY film fest too, IIRC.  

        And I was in a unique place - able to see the film for a second time in a completely different way.  I enjoyed it tremendously that time, but still felt it was the work of an immature artist who might never quite CARE to mature in the way he should.  QT was there and spread his personal enthusiasm like the maniac he is - which is a large part of the enjoyment of the film - you have to hand it to him, he puts himself and his energy into the pictures.  The problem is, he's not Mozart.  He's Moulty, the one armed drummer.

        And at the same time, for someone caught up in the whole indie film culture at the time and having at least some stake in the game, it reminded me again of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana  - I think Kurt wanted to be the Meat Puppets and offed himself partly because he got too big - the underground had gone and become "Alternative" which essentially meant an acceptable commodity at the mall.  

        For many Pulp Fiction was the start of something - for others like myself, it signaled the end of some other things.  

        I'll have to end here for now...  love the movie, wish it were better, and that QT's career would live up to his promise.  

        Jackie Brown is my favorite of his, possibly, although parts of Kill Bill part Two are great.  

        •  Wish I could rec this more than once (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bumbi, Xapulin, Matt Z

          It deserves a longer write up.

          Its funny how in the world at the moment tends to color our viewing of any film, nay any art form I would say. There are movies still to this day that though I might recognize them as true 'classics' of any particular genre or era, that I do not 'like' them despite others telling me of their praise for them.

          Before Sunrise was an amazing movie too. I had to look up the release date real fast and see that it came out in 95....I keep looking and it astounds me how much amazing material came out of the years 90 to 95 and then started to taper off late into the 90's

          Perhaps maybe you were witnessing the end of something and the birth of something else.

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:53:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes to "the birth of something else" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            idbecrazyif, johnbrown12962, Matt Z

            But this was a culture war that the "high art" side lost. QT simply followed the "films should appeal to 13 year old boys" route by thinking like one and slightly maturing with that generation to the point of "29 year old boy with a collection of low art" should be the ones given the reins.  Certainly Kevin Smith is the king of that dubious crown.  

            My "gang" wanted, foolishly or not to push the bounds of cinema art the way that Scorsese was doing it, with reverence for the past, not by looting it like a cannibal zombie who ran a string of drive in theaters...  which is all well and good, it just wasn't my cup of tea.  

            PULP FICTION was NOT an "indie movie," it was financed by Disney thru Miramax which it had just acquired.  And I don't wish to come across as some minor artist sniping around the edges of someone else because their projects got funded and mine didn't... far from it.  It's just that PF marks the turing point when a trend went public in a big way, the trend NOT  being a new generation of writer/directors anointed to be the voices of a new generation, and unafraid to be post-modern when they felt like it.. that was already happening.  It was a turning point into something else... and I'm not yet sure what, but I'd love to hear what others think.  

            Here's a very quick list, very incomplete of what had already been made before PULP FICTON was released - I've put PF at the end to show how there was more than a progression towards such a film; in many ways the film is just a throwback to what's already been developed and mastered by others - THE PLAYER and SHORT CUTS come to mind, but that's just because I'm such an Altman fan...

            Is GOODFELLAS a better film?  Of course it is.  But I enjoy THEY LIVE as much or more than PF in some ways, as a romp through pop culture.  

            If there is a "before and after" effect from Pulp Fiction it's because the film grossed 100 mil at the box office, and that's great, too but for now let's focus on the "before."  Reservoir Dogs is a before film, too, and a good one.  

            hard to know where to start....  hmmm...  okay let's put BLUE VELVET as a milestone, released in 1986

            pre 1986
            Over the Edge (Kaplan)
            Cutter's Way (Passer)
            Coup de torchon (Tavernier)
            Diva (Beineix)
            Mad Max 2 (Miller)
            Time Bandits (Gilliam)
            Diner (Barry Levinson)
            Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling)
            The State of Things (Wenders)
            Rumble Fish (Coppola)
            Breathless (McBride)
            Blood Simple (Joel Coen)
            This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner)
            Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch)
            The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (W.D. Richter)
            The Brother from Another Planet (Sayles)
            Something Wild (Jonathan Demme)
            Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
            The Color of Money (Martin Scorsese)

            Sherman's March (Ross McElwee)
            Big Trouble in Little China (Carpenter)
            Down by Law (Jarmusch)
            Mauvais sang (Carax)
            River's Edge (Hunter)
            Sid and Nancy (Cox)
            Crime Story (Ferrara)
            Landscape Suicide (Benning)
            Raising Arizona (Joel Coen)
Barfly (Barbet Schroeder)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow)
            Angel Heart (Parker)
            Evil Dead II (Raimi)
            Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick)
            Matewan (Sayles)
            RoboCop (Verhoeven)
            Walker (Cox)
            Wings of Desire (Wenders)
            Withnail & I (Robinson)
            The Last Temptation of Christ (Scorsese)
            They Live (Carpenter)
            sex, lies and videotape (Steven Soderbergh)
Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, Jr.)
Say Anything... (Cameron Crowe)
            Mystery Train (Jarmusch)
            The Abyss (Cameron)
            The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Gilliam)
            Heathers (Lehmann)
            The Killer (Woo)
            Last Exit to Brooklyn (Edel)
            Parents (Balaban)
            Roger & Me (Moore)
            Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica)
            Miami Blues (George Armitage)
Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)

            Life Is Sweet (Mike Leigh)
Metropolitan (Whit Stillman)
Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen)
            After Dark, My Sweet (James Foley)
            Edward Scissorhands (Burton)
            The Grifters (Frears)
            Once a Thief (Woo)
            Jacob's Ladder (Lyne)
            To Sleep With Anger (Burnett)
            Wild at Heart (Lynch)
            Barton Fink (Joel Coen)

            Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (Leos Carax)

            Slacker (Richard Linklater)
            Delicatessen (Jeunet & Caro)

            Black Robe (Beresford);
            Boyz n the Hood (Singleton)
            Days of Being Wild (Wong)
            Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Bahr & Hickenlooper)
            Highway Patrolman (Cox)
            JFK (Stone)
            My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant)
            Naked Lunch (Cronenberg)
            Once Upon a Time in China (Tsui); Point Break (Bigelow)
            Poison (Haynes)
            Zentropa (Von Trier)
            Operation Condor (Chan)
            A Little Stiff (Watkins & Zahedi)
            Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
            Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)
            Laws of Gravity (Nick Gomez)
            Hard-Boiled (John Woo)
The Crying Game (Neil Jordan)

            Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley)

One False Move (Carl Franklin)
            The Player (Altman)
            Another Girl, Another Planet (Almereyda)
            Bad Lieutenant (Ferrara)
            The Living End (Araki)
            Man Bites Dog (Belvaux & Bonzel & Poelvoorde)
            Red Rock West (Dahl)
            Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (Baldwin)
            Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Lynch)
            Naked (Mike Leigh)
            Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater) 

            Short Cuts (Altman)
            Kalifornia (Sena)
            Matinee (Dante)
            Menace II Society (Hughes Bros.)
            Body Snatchers (Ferrara)
            Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson)

            Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)

            Ed Wood (Tim Burton)

            Chung King Express (Wong Kar-wai)

            If this is then end of something , what was it?  And if PF was the beginning of something else, what was that?  I'll make another list next...  

            And BTW, this list is SHORT.  QT himself would rattle off all these titles himself and more before you could drink half your pint of beer.  They are ALL there in his head, and in the heads of all the film makers listed, as well.  They just don't TALK about it so effusively....  

            •  That is a good question, beginning of what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z

              The polly anna in me hopes that its the beginning of a slow wake up to throw off the old habits, revist previous thematic ideas of grandness. Like as you said

              with reverence for the past, not by looting it like a cannibal zombie who ran a string of drive in theaters...
              I think you tend to see that in the list you posted. From  say early on that list "Big Trouble in Little China " which is nothing more than an action film told from the perspective of the side kick being filmed as the hero, to Dazed and Confused which portrays a very rose colored glasses look at the 70's through the eyes of teenagers.

              There was this transition through out the period you listed that I think hoped to throw off that big ticket consumerism of the 80's. It was as if we were having our moment of clarity out of the cocaine fueled haze of that decade.

              And you are correct, PF was a pivot point, for what yet I like yourself do not know. But I do hope its for the better.

              --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

              by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:34:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  let's go to the list! lol (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnbrown12962, Matt Z

                For better or worse when PF hit 100million gross expectations changed for indie writers and directors.  But the industry itself was changing, as evidenced by Mirtamax having been sold to Disney.  Big studios launched "indie" divisions and the Sundance Film Festival got even bigger, where indie movies were acquired by distributors in bidding wars that benefitted the film makers.  

                Most of the indie film makers already knew the story of the last "boom" for creative types in the "New Hollywood" movement - which can be explored more elsewhere, such as in this great article here

                Mike Medavoy, who began his career as an agent for such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, remembers: “When I first started, I started with people like Spielberg and Lucas, John Milius, Hal Ashby, Monte Hellman. I tried to figure out which ones would be the ones that made it and which ones wouldn’t. And, invariably, I would be wrong.”
                And it was the same with the indie directors - some would make it, some would be weeded out by failure or attrition.  But the appeal was made obvious to anyone with a credit card and a video camera - anyone could do it now, right?  Not so fast...  the gates were already closing fast due to the flood of films and the lack of distributors willing to take a chance on less polished films that they would have exhibited a few years back.  "El mariachi" was 1992...  this was 1995.    
                Count the "Bottle ROcket"s and "pi" films that emerged from the festival circuit and started a career for the film makers.  Compare to the earlier list.  

                Here's a list of films released in the wake of PF, in no particular bias, just notable films worth mentioning.  

                Se7en (David Fincher)
                Safe (Todd Haynes)
                Twelve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam
                Toy Story (John Lasseter)
                Hate (Mathieu Kassovitz)
                Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach)
                Before Sunrise (Linklater)
                Casino (Scorsese)
                Clockers (S. Lee)
                Clueless (Heckerling)
                Dead Man (Jarmusch)
                Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin)
                Fallen Angels (Wong)
                Heat (Mann)
                Kids (Clark)
                Strange Days (Bigelow)
                To Die For (Van Sant)
                Underground (Kusturica)
                Underneath (Soderbergh)
                The Usual Suspects (Singer)
                Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne)
                Lone Star (John Sayles)
Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thornton)
                Jerry Maguire (Crowe)
                Bottle Rocket (Anderson)
                Bound (Wachowski Brothers)
                Breaking the Waves (Von Trier)
                Crash (Cronenberg)
                The English Patient (Minghella)
                Fargo (Coen)
                Flirting With Disaster (Russell)
                Kansas City (Altman)
                The Long Kiss Goodnight (Harlin)
                Mission: Impossible (De Palma);
                The People vs. Larry Flynt (Forman)
                Scream (Craven)
                Secrets & Lies (Leigh)
                Trainspotting (Boyle)
                William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (Luhrmann)
                In the Company of Men (Neil LaBute)
                L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson)
                Titanic (James Cameron)
                Boogie Nights (Anderson)
                Chasing Amy (Smith)
                Donnie Brasco (Newell)
                The Fifth Element (Besson)
                Grosse Pointe Blank (Armitage
                Happy Together (Wong)
                The Ice Storm (Lee)
                Jackie Brown (Tarantino)
                Lost Highway (Lynch)
                Starship Troopers (Verhoeven)
                Buffalo '66 (Vincent Gallo)

                Rushmore (Wes Anderson)

                Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh)
                The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
                The Big Lebowski (Coen)
                Bulworth (Beatty)   
                The Dreamlife of Angels (Zonca
                Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Gilliam)
                Happiness (Solondz)
                The Hole (Tsai)
                My Name Is Joe (Loach)
                pi (Aronofsky)
                Pleasantville (Ross)
                Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg)
                Shakespeare in Love (Madden)
                The Thin Red Line (Malick)
                Velvet Goldmine (Haynes)
                The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) 
 Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella) 

                Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze) 

                Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh) 

                Jesus' Son (Alison Maclean)
                Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
Go (Doug Liman)
                American Beauty (Mendes)
                American Movie: The Making of Northwestern (Smith)
                Boys Don't Cry (Peirce)
                Bringing Out the Dead (Scorsese)
                Election (Payne)
                Fight Club (Fincher)
                Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jarmusch)
                The Insider (Mann)
                The Iron Giant (Bird)
                The Limey (Soderbergh)
                Magnolia (Anderson)
                The Matrix (Wachowski Bros.)
                Office Space (Judge)
                Pola X (Carax)
                South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker)
                The Straight Story (Lynch)
                Three Kings (Russell)
                The Virgin Suicides (Coppola)
                Memento (Christopher Nolan)
State and Main (David Mamet)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)

                You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan)
                Almost Famous (Crowe)
                George Washington (Green)
                Traffic (Soderbergh)
                Almost Famous (Crowe)
                American Psycho (Harron)
                Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (A. Lee)
                Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier)
                Ginger Snaps (Fawcett)
                High Fidelity (Frears);
                O Brother, Where Art Thou?
                Requiem for a Dream (Aronofsky)
                Wonder Boys (Hanson)
                Battle Royale (Fukasaku)
                The Man Who Wasn't There (Joel Coen)

                Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)
                Training Day (Antoine Fuqua)
Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)

                Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

                Black Hawk Down (Scott)
                Bully (Clark)
                Donnie Darko (Kelly)
                Gosford Park (Altman)
                The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson)
                Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann)
                Ocean's Eleven (Soderbergh)
                The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson)
                Vanilla Sky (Crowe)
                Waking Life (Linklater)
                Y tu mamá también (Cuarón)

            •  Stranger Than Paradise (0+ / 0-)

              on of my favorite movies.Jim Jarmusch film.

        •  That's an interesting point, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think you nailed Tarantino, not going to mature, and not going to try.  I think he did try a little bit with Jackie Brown but it was a bust IMO.

          Don't know about your explanation for Cobain's suicide, there's just too many things going on when someone dies like that to attribute it to any single thing.  The only safe thing to blame, IMO, is heroin.  It's no accident that the sucide came at a time when he was trying to quit, which for someone who is prone to depression is a very dangerous time.  He should have been in lock down.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:20:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  why grow wheat when the slices are free (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yes, but his immaturity is his strength and he'd probably be foolish to abandon it, anyway.  You gotta lead with your best arm...  

            I don't know what to say about Cobain personally either but his band and career came as time when something underground became something mainstream - he was not amused by this - but QT was well adjusted enough to take his success in stride somewhat.  

            It's just odd that someone that popular and that talented doesn't make more films.  I blame the weed he's smoking - it's good weed!  Howard Hawks directed over 50 feature length films...  John Ford made more like 150.  QT will be luck to break into double digits at the rate he is going, and it's not because he is following the Kubrick method.

            Something that bothered me greatly about the "indie" movement was that it never managed to organize ITSELF.  Instead it allowed the studios to water it down and take it over.  A lot of big fish in small ponds who never joined forces... or organized themselves.

            Can anyone here name an "indie" screenwriter who worked with multiple directors and had a career JUST as a writer?  Everyone knew that film was a director's medium but film is a craft just as much as it is an art form.  A little discipline would have made a big difference.  Actors, writers, producers all spent the 80s and 90s re-inventing the wheel with each new film and a lot of good effort went to waste.  

            •  I think that maybe this is where we find ourselves (0+ / 0-)

              in film today.

              Can anyone here name an "indie" screenwriter who worked with multiple directors and had a career JUST as a writer?  Everyone knew that film was a director's medium but film is a craft just as much as it is an art form.  A little discipline would have made a big difference.  Actors, writers, producers all spent the 80s and 90s re-inventing the wheel with each new film and a lot of good effort went to waste.
              I don't think the effort was wasted honestly, to some degree a lot of those folks went into the smaller places that got consumed but well funded by the larger big houses. They got there and started influencing larger film productions in good ways and allowing their smaller knowns shots in the dark. So that while yes the indie film scene could definitely use a shot in the arm at times, you have directors, writers, actors who grew up in that scene now at places like Focus Features and Paramount Vantage making great movies like Traffic or the lessor known The Man Who Wasn't There

              --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

              by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:10:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The workers never gained control of the factory (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                In the end the indie film movement was just a way for a few to crash the gates of a moribund industry that was like a major league baseball club that refused to field a farm team.  

                Imagine if the Yankees and the Dodgers ONLY had the negro leagues to pull talent from - I'm not saying anything about race - just that they were barnstorming outfits that lacked the formal organization of the bigger professional organizations.  

                Kris Kristofferson once told me that in the wake of HEAVENS GATE that an executive told him that they would "no longer give money to the creative people!"  Kris asked him back, "well who are you going to give it to, the uncreative people?"

                But at the start of the indie movement, there was great promise that there might be a real revolution in the way films were made, financed and distributed.  Was that promise delivered upon?  I'm not so sure.  Film is one of the few things America could be said to lead the world in, anymore.  And it's slipping all the time.  

                Detroit made the same V8 engine since WW2 and sold it to us for as long as it could, despite the obvious advantage of the japanese car.  And GM failed, because they never learned the lesson.  

                Everything that happened to musicians when the major labels died is happening to the indie film maker now, only the "iTunes" model has yet to emerge in the wake of the wreckage.  

                Someone like Kelly Reichardt still has a job teaching school because she knows she can't count on directing movies for a living.  She's forced to compete against Euro filmmakers who get subsidies to live on, but when it comes time to sell the film on the open market, she's still trying to recoup the cost of the film and something to live on whereas the Danish director has health care and a director's fee in the bank already.  

                •  I think the itunes model is finding traction in (0+ / 0-)

                  The way demand consume entertainment is being promoted by companies like Comcast and the lot. For better or worse they are putting pressures on big studios to abandoned release window model.

                  I see a bevy of more independent houses jumping in feet first with the VOD day-and-date model. Magnolia Pictures had one with Steven Soderbergh called Bubble (I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it) that was day and date released. I watched via comcast's ondemand service.

                  So it is emerging, whats going to come out on the other end though?

                  I guess one could look at the music industry and see where they are for a glimpse.

                  --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

                  by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:53:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Loved "Before Sunrise" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          factbased, Matt Z

          As well as the sequel, "After Sunrise" (really).

          They don't seem to get discussed much.

        •  Before Sunrisei (0+ / 0-)

          s another remarkable film that deserves its own analysis.  Even the sequel, Before Sunset is well made, though not as gripping as the first.

          President Barack Obama...I like the sound of that.

          by aloha and mahalo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:08:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Such an important film. (7+ / 0-)

    How many other movies rely on and make reference to this one?  Like "Star Wars," "Pulp Fiction" changed the way we expect movies to be. It is difficult now to remember how different it was when it first came out. Almost every line is quotable.

    "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

    by koosah on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:17:10 PM PDT

    •  There were a number of films in the 90's (5+ / 0-)

      That changed the game for film making, I agree that this was one of them.

      It changed the indie scene much in the same way that clerks had and cemented miramax as the go to movie house for indie film makers.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:23:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Miramax! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        idbecrazyif, ColoTim, Matt Z

        (Or, "Fucking Miramax!" as Jay and Silent Bob referred to the studio, LOL.)  My husband and I used to watch practically anything coming from them.  There were a few clunkers, but lots of clever, unique stuff from them.

        Seeing the "Focus" logo on something will immediately get us to buy tickets nowadays...if we have time...or money...or a babysitter available.  :^)  

        "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

        by koosah on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:10:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its a shame Disney screwed the pooch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With that studio. They had a winner with the Weinsteins and as with all things in Hollywood, it got ugly over money.

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:15:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The sign of a great writing (5+ / 0-)

    The beauty of pulp fiction is that you can listen to the film and enjoy it almost as much as if you're watching it. In my mind this is what truly sets it apart from alot of the cgi crap out in theatres today.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 04:27:56 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, the dialogue and how it was delivered (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707, bobinson, Matt Z

      is so powerful as it almost work on its own. The actors did a stellar job. I know Samuel Jackson often gets mocked as time as the guy that screams Mother Effer but I think he genuinely is an amazing actor because of his delivery, exemplified by this film.

      A coworker of mine and I always joke that we'll always see him as Gator though.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:19:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any of you fuckin' pricks move, and I'll execute (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, koosah, kestrel9000, Matt Z

    every motherfuckin' last one of you.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:26:24 AM PDT

  •  One of my personal favorites, too. (4+ / 0-)

    I bot the DVD soon after it was released. Ive watched it prly 2 dozen times. Now the DVD is scratched and wont work.

    If I had to name a fav scene, it would be Marcellus Wallace in the club telling the "palooka", also known as the "white boy" to take a dive in the upcoming fight. The red hue on the actors and the shot from behind Rhames head (lurves the band aid on his neck) is one of the best in cinema history.

    Every chrarcter in this film has attitude. And sooo many little pop culture '70's references.

    Mitt Romney deserves a lot of credit for creating Mitt Romney.

    by A Runner on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:33:07 AM PDT

    •  I debated doing the Butch transformation write up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, bumbi, ColoTim

      or the Jules. In the end I prefer Jules mostly because of the dialogue but Butch's transformation is another write up in and of itself.

      The scene you describe is integral to that as well. The dialogue is important but much of Butch's transformation is done through scene shots and cinematography. I see it as Butch dealing with the devil (Marcellus) and hence the red hue of that shot.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:40:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome diary, good write up on my favorite movie. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, koosah, Matt Z


  •  Tarantino Had Christopher Walken (6+ / 0-)

    in 2 of the great walk on parts ever. In this movie where he directed and in "True Romance" which he wrote.  Always thought there was kind of a dark comic metaphor in the "Pulp Fiction" scene with the US legacy as a superpower, that anybody who lived in the last half of the 20th Century experienced with the US role in Vietnam.

    "And now little man, I give this watch to you"
    •  Interesting to note (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood, bumbi, Subterranean, Matt Z

      That the watch changes time, indeed it advances as the monologue from Walken is given. It implies that there was so much more to the speech but that what we hear through the film is the only thing Butch remembers. The monologue represents pulp in that only the high points are remembered.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:17:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a way it's a very old-fashioned movie. (6+ / 0-)

    Interesting people saying interesting things and doing interesting things. Plot and dialogue driven, with great cinematography and music in the place of effects.

    The common thread running through all of the subplots seems to me to be how men interrelate with other men--the one involving Butch and Marcellus being most obvious. Both were trying to kill each other over a breach of contract--but still Butch was not going to allow his former associate to suffer the indignities of the dungeon, which would have violated an unspoken code of conduct. In order to accommodate this focus, all the potential brutalization of women that might occur in real life seems to have been suspended. All of the attached male protagonists (Lance, Jimmie, Butch, Jules, even Marcellus) were habitually deferential to their women, if not a bit hen-pecked. This had the added benefit of making a very violent movie more palatable to women. It's also, I might add, another old-fashioned quality of the film.

    •  Nice observation about male and female (4+ / 0-)

      The choices about the way male and female relations were portrayed isn't something I noticed but now that you point it out it is interesting. Marcellus is deferential but not well connected to his woman (feminine) while Butch is deferential and connected to his woman (feminine) side. Butch in particular handles the loss of his watch, caused by his woman, with a fair amount of skill, particularly given the brutal nature of his masculine world (Marcellus and having just beaten his boxing opponent to death in the ring).

      The ethical, emphatic, move is made by Butch who has a more solid relationship with his feminine side. Marcellus seems to respect this in the obvious ways but there seems to be something more to it, Marcellus has had to deal with his own vulnerability and the need for mercy, which if coming from a man seems to come from the feminine side of his nature. This also fits the men of spiritual insight, Jules, reaching out a helping hand in a way other men, Ringo and Vincent, can acknowledge and either accept of reject as an opportunity for transformation.

      Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

      by Bob Guyer on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:52:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re Butch and Marcellus (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      idbecrazyif, johnbrown12962, Matt Z

      I like the moment when Butch has escaped from the Freak and is about to leave the shop -- and he stops, and you can SEE him make the decision to go back for Marcellus.

      •  If I was Butch (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know if I would have gone back to save Marcellus.He still lost all his California privilidges.

        •  He did. (0+ / 0-)

          But he got a reprieve from the standing order for his termination.  Likely it would've survived Marcellus's death.  He's either making that calculation when he goes back, or he makes a moral decision.  For the hour or two before that he and Marcellus have been on even terms (trying to kill each other, but still...)

  •  I'm glad somebody has the patience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, Matt Z

    to make movies, if it involves the kind of lengthy detail work that analyzing movies does. Because speaking just for myself, I enjoy getting into a movie and watching it a whole lot more than understanding its workings. That's probably why I like "Get Shorty" at least as much as "Pulp Fiction". A lot of the rest of my time is actually spent analyzing things, perhaps that explains why I don't have the patience to analyze movies.

    Thanks for this diary, at least I do have the patience to read such once in a while.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:25:50 AM PDT

    •  I love Get Shorty, and its sequel Be Cool (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, bumbi, Matt Z

      One of those rare moments where the film is just as good as the novel.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:30:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember liking Be Cool, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BonesJones, Matt Z

        but I remember Get Shorty in much more detail. Perhaps I should watch Be Cool another few times.

        My all time favorite movie remains Mad Mad World. It has been since I first saw it when it came out. Dr. Strangelove is a very close second, though.

        There have been lots of others that have stood out for me over the years, but not all that many recently. I think that's one aspect of blossoming geezerhood, lol.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:36:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ohh I loved Mickey Rooney in that one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          One of those rare films where even though you have literally every A-lister packed into the thing, it still works for some reason or another.

          And Be Cool was slicker than Get Shorty but had slightly less...substance of character. It wasn't as deep but it was prettier, perhaps a reason why I like yourself remember most moments of Get Shorty but only remember a few highlights from Be Cool.

          In any event, if you can read the novels they are based on I would highly suggest them!

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:43:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As a mere fan, two things I find interesting (0+ / 0-)

      About film as a medium:  it is a collaborative art form on an entirely higher level than painting, etc., or even live theater. In order to realize a creative vision it is necessary to get a virtual army of people all moving in the same direction. The second is probably related to the first: how often something with a financial investment rivaling the construction of an actual major skyscraper emerges from the process and is presented to the public with obvious and basic flaws analogous to building a multistory building without, say, elevators or windows.

      It has always seemed to me that indies provided a renewed opportunity to realize an individual vision.

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:26:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Well..." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, richdpa, Matt Z

    "...bring out the Gimp."  -  Zed

  •  Pulp Fiction came out around the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was 13 or 14, so naturally Uma Thurman went on to star in a number of my dreams.  

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:52:50 AM PDT

  •  My favorite thing (4+ / 0-)

    about the film is that it is one of those movies where you can quote a line and people will get the reference.

    I'm a teacher and my go-to praise for a student when he or she gets an answer right is: "Check out the big brain on (whoever). That's right, your a smart little booger."

    I haven't had any seventh or eighth graders get the reference, but I've had a parent spit his coffee.

  •  His best film. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pretty-much downhill from there.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:27:18 AM PDT

  •  Well, I looked and looked.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, Matt Z

    But I'm just gonna hafta feed you guys the best f#^&%@* line in this movie:

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

  •  Very much worth the deep dive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks, loved the movie, the diary and the comments.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:55:29 AM PDT

  •  The religious element (5+ / 0-)

    I've always been amazed that people, especially religious people, missed the religious element, whereas I, an atheist, didn't.

    You have a hitman witness a miracle, decide to give up his life of sin and follow the path god lays for him.  Immediately after he makes this decision he is confronted by two other sinners and he turns their lives around.

    "I'm going to wander around and have adventures like Kwai Chang Kang from Kung Fu."

    Anybody notice that Vincent is in the bathroom anytime something important happens?

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:29:38 AM PDT

    •  People are often put off by the violence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      But lets not forget there are often violent times in nearly all religious texts, so its not like understanding cannot come with some form of chaos.

      And yes, the bathroom thing is intriguing. I read someones term paper some years ago where they had a theory on the significance of it. Gonna see if I can dig it up.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:30:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not that violent. (4+ / 0-)

        I once did a body count and somewhere between 5 to 10 people die.  One of them is bloody - head blown off in the car - and one is gruesome - shot in the crotch with a shotgun.  That last one really shouldn't count because he doesn't die onscreen.  It feels violent because QT makes you feel each death.  

        Many other movies which don't have a reputation for violence have a far greater body count and with much more gruesome deaths.

        Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

        by Rezkalla on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:31:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Someday Tarantino hopefully will top it.  I suspect that much of it was Avery's ideas, and Tarantino got too much credit.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:05:12 AM PDT

  •  Reservoir Dogs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, mythatsme

    An Art Director at an ad agency that I freelanced for was stunned that I'd never seen Reservoir Dogs back in 1998. On his lunch break he brought not only sandwiches to share but a DVD that I could borrow.

    It was fantastic.

    Good sandwich too.

    Tarantino's movies are worth watching because Tarantino loves watching movies. Every second is a tribute. I haven't seen many of his films. Some, just by subject matter, I suspect I'd not be very interested in. I'm probably wrong though. Pulp Fiction certainly ranks among my favorite movies.

  •  Thank You - N/T (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:44:56 AM PDT

  •  I think the theme of the movie is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    the possibility of redemption. The main characters are rewarded, so to speak, according to the magnitude of the decision to do something good or unselfish, whether it be Butch's choice not to leave Marcellus to be killed or Jules' conversion. Those that don't have this epiphany have any number of bad things happen.

    •  Agreed, I had a seperate write up on Butch but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      chose Jules because I like the scenes better. But Butch's could be more compelling.

      From washed up Boxer who gambles with gangsters, to a warrior returning home having saved another mans life the same man he stole money from.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always had a problem with the "miracle" scene (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not one to usually find movie continuity flaws but this one sticks out:

    [1:48:19] In the apartment miracle scene where Jules and Vincent are about to be shot at by the kid in coming out of the adjoining room, there are bullet holes already clearly visible in the wall behind them.
    Every movie has continuity problems. Leads me to believe making movies is hard to manage.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:44:14 PM PDT

    •  There are times where I'm willing to let slide (0+ / 0-)

      Because it is difficult and honestly everything else was so well done things like that I usually just meh. I like to keep the eye on the final product.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 01:12:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It was McDonalds not Burger King (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif, Matt Z

    In the car Jules and Vincent were talking about going to Mcdonalds in Amsterdam not Burger King Royale with Cheese was what a quarter pounder was called.Jules asked Vincent what a Whopper was called and Vincent said he didn't know 'cos he didn't go to Burger King.Don't know if its a good thing or a bad thing I know this much of the dialogue.Pulp Fiction on of my top 5 fav films along with Titanic,Saving Private Ryan,The Dark Knight,and Empire Strikes Back.

    •  I used BK an a consumer example but yes (0+ / 0-)

      You are correct.

      Just happened that I was forced to eat there yesterday so it was on my mind.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 01:43:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I still have never quite figured out the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    chronology.  I think part of the reason is I think it more fun not being quite sure just what came when.

    Thursday was the retrieval of the case, plus the scene with Wolf?
    Friday was the date?
    Saturday was the night of the fight?
    Sunday was the rest of the scenes between Butch and Marcellus (and Zed, and the Gimp, and, and)?  

    If so, then Thursday would be the day Vincent and Jules split up, but I seem to remember him from later.

  •  Perhaps it is generational, but I think Quentin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenomanic, idbecrazyif

    Tarantino is a sick fuck with no redeeming social value.  His male characters are all violent sick twisted characters and most of the women are just props to be used to advance the male splatterization.  It is kind of like sicko cartoons put to life in a world of his own sick imagination.  Tha "Bastards" WWII film was the worst that made a cartoon out of WWII in a way that wasn't particular satire but a twisted Quentin Tarantino homage to an equally sick film "The Dirty Dozen."  It is violence for those who love the splatter but want to see it in a "fun" way that will not involve them being hurt.  Kind of like Dick Cheney and the Vietnam War.  

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 03:13:33 PM PDT

    •  It very well could be (0+ / 0-)

      I've found that many people a decade older than I am and above (I'm thirty) often find the film distasteful. I could see where QT's approach comes across as juvenile and crass.

      I would say however that its those qualities that QT revels in that helps to tell the tale. He does a good job IMHO in using the juvenile and proving that those qualities can still weave a good message.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:09:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For me. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The central theme is Redemption. If you've seen the movie enough times to break the timeline down into chronological order, it's Tarantino's Morality Tale.

    Two men are carrying out a job. The gold glow is God's Judgment. What's in the briefcase? The Holy Grail. It hears the quote of the Bible and in their execution of Brett, they're awashed in a golden glow.

    When the guy comes out of the bathroom, magnum belching bullets, but they all miss. Jules recognizes it as a miracle and swears off violence. Vincent fails to recognize the miracle and every subsequent time he goes into the bathroom, he comes out to a worse reality until he comes out to Butch holding his uzi.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:25:08 AM PDT

    •  I agree with the Vincent arch there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He does tend to come out every time to something worse than what was before. From loosing his partner, to Mia overdosed, and then finally death.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:10:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's more to back up my theory. . . (0+ / 0-)

        In Brett's apartment:

        "Do you know what Divine Intervention is?"
        "I think so. You mean that God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets?"
        "Yes! That's exactly what it means. God came down from Heaven and stopped these mother fuckin' bullets!"

        In the car. . .
        "Marvin, what do you think of all this?"
        "Man, I don't even have an opinion."
        "Well, you've got to have an opinion. Do you think that God came down from Heaven-"

        BLAM! The gun goes off, shooting Marvin in the face.

        The rest of his sentence would have been: ". . .and stopped the bullets?"

        The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

        by Pacifist on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 01:49:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I honestly like that angle of thought (0+ / 0-)

          It presents a world where better is possible but clutching onto the nihilism of Vincent is ultimately self destructive.

          As I said reams on reams could be written about this movie

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:05:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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