CLASSICS: Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino (screenplay)
Starring: John Travola, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis

It’s hard to weigh the merit of a movie like Pulp Fiction.  Quentin Tarantino’s bloody chat-fest had a sudden and immediate impact on the landscape of American film, yet it’s still young in the eyes of the art form.  It is a classic like all those old movies you associate with that word (some of which it references), yet it’s filled to the brim with sleaze.

Pulp Fiction forges its story of fragments of other movies, most of which wouldn’t have made it past the cutting room floor.  There are heated exchanges about fast food in Europe, riffs on the sexual nature of foot massages and lengthy discussions on what a television pilot is.  All of those happen in the first scene that hit men Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules have together.

After a similarly chatty opener where two lovebirds decide to rob a diner, these two hit men banter back and forth.  Much has been made of the highly stylized dialogue, so much so that these types of conversations have earned this director his own label: “Tarantinoesque.”

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Five Awesome Movie Moms

Good movie moms often go unrecognized.  The past two years, the Best Supporting Actress Oscar has gone to two mother monsters (not Lady Gaga) who give the role kind of a bad name.  So, to celebrate Mother’s Day, we take a look at some moms who either kill their children with kindness, or literally kill for them.

The Bride (Kill Bill)- As played by Uma Thurman, The Bride spends all of the first Kill BIll movie thinking her daughter is dead.  The second half of Volume 2 delves more into their relationship and adds some disarming humanity to the story.  Here’s a mom who takes time out of finishing her revenge conquest to lay in bed and watch Shogun Assassin with her daughter.  If that’s not a great mom, I don’t know what is.

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If they were in television… Quentin Tarantino

Image courtesy of Fused Film

When I heard that the venerable Martin Scorsese would be the executive producer and director of the new HBO show Boardwalk Empire this fall, it got me thinking.  What would other directors do with the expanded storytelling capability of television?  So I’ve decided to start a new segment dedicated to analyzing what an acclaimed film maker would do with a whole season (12-13 one hour episodes) on HBO or Showtime.  I pick those networks because they are the only ones where you can be uncensored like the directors in their films.

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Notable Films: Pulp Fiction, Death Proof, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Inglourious Basterds.

Famous For: Poetically vulgar dialogue, messing with structure, fetishized violence, sympathetic criminal characters, melding genres the average person doesn’t know exist.

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