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Pulp Fiction Critique

  • Date Submitted: 05/03/2011 06:50 AM
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Film Critique : Pulp Fiction
Ashford University
Eng. 225 Introduction to Film
Victoria Stamm
Toni Pix

            Introduction Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, released in 1994, was both a commercial and critical hit. Fans loved it, whilst critics were equally enamored with Tarantino's unique style of filmmaking, with some describing it as a “key example of post-modernist cinema” (Curtis, helium.com, 1997). Although missing out on Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it did take out the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. This essay will discuss the overall form and dynamic that led it to become a groundbreaking film, identifying how its narrative form and characterization differs from the classical Hollywood style, and demonstrating how it has drawn on different genres to make up the 'pulp' story recognized in its title.
          Overall form and dynamic Tarantino includes a definition of its title in the opening sequence, a clear signal that this movie is a piece of pulp fiction, so it probably should not be taken too seriously. Ian Curtis (www.helium.com) stated “Pulp Fiction, in contrast to most previous American movies, breaks with all previous formulas and is therefore difficult to categorize. Is it a gangster film? A film noir? A black comedy? Or even a musical?” Its form is different to what viewers have come to expect from classic Hollywood-style films, which are characterized by actions centering on individual characters as causal agents who usually desire something, which sets up a goal for the film (Bordwell & Thompson 2004, p.89).
            Pulp Fictions structure is unconventional. Its non-linear plot surprises the viewer by disrupting expectations of classical film structure. Classic narrative structure “typically organizes events so that there is logic to whereby each event of the narrative is linked with the next” (Cook, 1985, p. 212). Narrative describes “a chain of events in a cause-effect...


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