“I have dedicated my life to making Exploitation-Arthouse films.” - Quentin Tarantino
Pulp Fiction, the smash follow up to the cult classic debut film Reservoir Dogs. Pulp was such a big phenomenon when it came out in 1994 and really made QT the King of Modern Moviemaking. It influenced artists and filmmakers from all over the world and definitely changed how movies are made and regarded by critics and viewers.
What did I love about Pulp? Well, first of all, it was bigger in scope than Dogs was. I liked that alot, it showed QT was moving into a bigger arena. Second, I loved how QT mixed all of his favorite genre films into a modern but still classic style. You had aspects of the smooth, dialogue filled French New Wave abstract crime films by Melville, Godard and Truffaut (Jules/Vinces suits, the introspective conversations in the restaraunts, Butch and Fabiennes relationship), Spaghetti Western and Italian crime films, classic 70s Blaxploitation/Exploitation films and even some Pop Samurai films. (see Jules Ezekial speech and The Gold Watch). Third, Tarantino also took stories that we had all seen before in modern and classic Hollywood films, reimagined them and put his own spin on them (the gangster being left with his boss’s wife and the temptations that are there, a boxer who gets mixed up in a crime, the robbers who happened to be lovers, the hitmen that have to dispose of a body). What Pulp Fiction gives average film viewers is a beautifully rendered mix of cinema from all over the world. Every scene has a reference to other great films or pop culture icons QT loves. As are all his films, Pulp Fiction is a tribute to pop culture and film in all its forms. We all got to learn more about international cinema because of Pulp, thats a great thing.
The music in Pulp Fiction is another big part that rounds it all out. You cant have a Tarantino film without great pop culture music. Pulp gave us music from 50s rock n roll icons like Ricky Nelson and Chuck Berry, 60s Surf music from Dick Dale, The Lively Ones and The Centurians (reflecting QTs background living in Southern California and also giving the film a modern Spaghetti Western sound) and 70s Funk/Soul/R&B of Kool and The Gang, Al Green and Dusty Springfield.
I think Pulp Fiction is a brilliant work of filmmaking by someone just reveling in his biggest love: Cinema. It fills the screen as the characters talk and move to the music and it resonates long after youre done watching the movie.