Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Discusses Pulp Fiction

I just finished watching Pulp Fiction. It has probably been three or four years since I actually sat down and watched the whole thing through. When I saw it in the movie theatres it totally turned my head around. I was amazed and awed by the film. I remember going back to the theatre to see it again, this time with a notebook so I could scrall notes to myself. I don't think I took any notes, but it was the thought that counted. Pulp Fiction really did affect me in many ways, for one, I discovered film. I discovered that movies can more than entertainment, they can make one think.

I have always been intriqued by the debate surrounding various aspects of the film. Particularly, in relation to the briefcase. What is in the briefcase? Some postulate that it is nothing more than gold, others say that it is the diamonds that were stolen from the jewlery store in Reservoir Dogs (the character name Marsallis does appear in that movie, so one can give that theory a little credence). Then there is the spiritual thoughts of the film. The briefcase contains Marsallis' soul. That is an interesting thought because I have heard that there are faiths that think the sould is taken through the back of the neck, Marsallis has a large bandaid on the back of his neck throughout the movie. There is no explaination for that, it just is. So, if you wanted to you could postulate that yes, that glowing briefcase does in fact contain Marsallis' soul. I kind of like that idea. Another "clue," if you will, that the briefcase holds a soul is when Jules and Vincent shoot the guys in the apartment there is a yellow glow that fills in the screen. Okay, I'm thinking too hard on this, I'm sure.

As I said, its been awhile since I've seen the film and I am happy to report that I am able to quote whole portions of it as I watch it. Matter of fact, sections of dialogue have found their way into my everyday speech (some of the pithy phrases, not the curse words so much).

What did I think of the film as I watched it again? First of all, topping off at over two and half hours it is a long movie. I never realized how long Pulp Fiction really is; it seems to go on and on at times. Tarantino has a tendency to use too much dialogue. He doesn't let the action help the movie, he often over powers the view with his dialogue. At times, it works, at others, it doesn't (he is particularly guilty of that in Reservoir Dogs). I think Tarantino's scenes are too long and his camera work, thought good, is a bit too static some times, though the scene outside the apartment as Jules and Verne discuss the pros and cons of foot massage is still one of my favorite scenes in any movie because the camera work and the dialogue really do work together. The Jack Rabbit Slim section of the film really doesn't seem to do too much for film. I found myself wishing it had been shortened and edited a bit tighter.

This is an important film. It certainly did move modern cinema into new directions. Looking at the film again for the first time in a long time I am able to say that it is a good film (though, I'll admit calling it a film and not a movie is actually kind of difficult), it doesn't spin my head like it did the first time, but that's probably because I watched once a week when I was in college so its like wearing a well worn pair of jeans, there is a certain amount of familiarity that I brought to the viewing. Pulp Fiction certainly is a film worth studying.

If I had to grade it, I'd give it a good solid B+

1 comment:

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I was so overwhelmed by the blood and gore that, I'm sorry to say, I never "got" the message -- in Pulp or Reservoir.

I always say I'll revisit this one, but I'm not sure I have it in me.