16 June 2007

Tarantino (1994)

1994 - Pulp Fiction - One of the most quotable movies of all time. By the time I made it to college in 1995, the VHS of this flick was in heavy rotation in the dorms. Every other sentence out of my schoolmate's mouths back then was a line from this movie. Jules' dialogue, naturally, was the favorite. The soundtrack was often played in people's CD players. A group of us even caught it replaying at a local theater. If anything, this movie offers me a lot of nostalgic comfort.

Luckily, it offers a lot more than that. It's a confident movie. It feels like Tarantino accomplished exactly what he set out to do with it. It sports vividly realized characters spouting endlessly entertaining dialogue, a masterfully assembled soundtrack, and a story arranged non-chronologically not just for the novelty. Pop culture references abound, but, unlike some things, they aren't necessary to enjoy the film. The movie works if you don't catch any of them and is even more fun if you do.

After the movie, we watched You're Still Not Fooling Anybody, Mike White's follow-up to his Who Do You Think You're Fooling?. Instead of comparing PF to another film with a similar plot, this short merely shows where some of the pop culture references in PF came from. The Ezekiel quote is from the opening scroll to Karate Kiba, the "pair of pliers and a blowtorch" line came from Charley Varrick, Butch encountering Marcellus at a crosswalk is like that scene in Psycho, etc. It's a weak effort to pin Tarantino with the charge of plagiarism and smells more like sour grapes.

Pulp Fiction: unless Kill Bill blows me away, this is Tarantino's best. It's also one of my favorite films of the 1990s. (9/10)