Monday, April 12, 2010

PULP FICTION (1994) - Quentin Tarantino

Coming in at #29 on The List, one of my absolute favorite films of all time. And a film that definitely solidified my love of good movies, back in the day, 1994, when I was a mere 15 year old girlie.

I haven't watched Pulp Fiction in many years, and what a treat it was to review this film with 30-yr-old eyes. It made me utterly nostalgic for my teenage days of becomming an alterna-teen. Some of my fondest memories from those formative teenage years are surrounding films like Pulp Fiction (and Trainspotting, etc. etc.). I recall driving from Westland to Ann Arbor with car loads full of friends, to catch the midnight show of PF at the groovy art cinema, only to return home at 4am after a kickass excursion.

I watched this film endlessly, as it was "So Cool" and, well, I'd never seen anything like it before. Most people hadn't. PF made 'Tarantino' a household name. Infact, I've had the discussion with film-nerd pals about how strange it must be, for Tarantino, to peak at such a young age, with one of his early films. Because truly, I don't believe any of his subsequent films have been as amazing as PF. The Kill Bill films? - excellent. Jackie Brown - quite good. Inglorious Basterds? - fantastic. But I reckon he peaked with PF. Pulp Fiction is brilliant.
Mostly because his style of cinema was unheard of at the time. He became a well known director, whose style could be talked about in terms of "very Tarantino like".

So, in my viewing of this film the other day, I was delighted that I could still recite many scenes verbatim. In year 12, I remember doing the Mia/Vincent restaurant scene as my final acting project and receiving an 'A'. I looooved being Mia Wallace. The button up white shirt, the stern makeup, and, best of all, the alluring way in which she smoked, blowing the ciggy trail up from one side of her mouth.
Call me silly & pretentious (and oh how I was at age 15, hee hee), but oh how I wanted to smoke like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. And speak like her - well, not just her, but everyone. In the overly cool, overly affected way in which everyone spoke the hipper-than-could-possibly-be dialogue.

Everything about this film was - and is! - exciting. The music. Ohhh the music. I bought the CASSETTE TAPE soundtrack, and listened to it endlessly. Infact, how many people can hear a song like "You'll be a woman soon" and NOT think of pulp fiction?

So how has Pulp Fiction changed for me, seeing it as a 30 yr old in a totally different place in her life?
Well, to be annoyingly mom-like, I do see now how gratuitously violent the film is, and how it most definitely could be deemed as "glorifying drugs". Although, I really really Hate when people criticize films for glorifying drugs. Mostly because I am fascinated by drug culture and love watching drug movies, simply for the fact that it (drug culture) is so far from my world, and so unbelievable to me. It has never, nor will it ever, encourage me to try/use drugs, as so many conservatives believe drug depictions do.
So yeah, I see Tarantino's use of violence and drugginess as a bit gratuitous. Sure, he tries to make the gansta' life look somewhat appealing (well, if you can call getting gunned down on a toilet appealing, I spose ;), but it's a film. It's entertaining. It's well done. It's interesting. And most of all, it's excellent filmmaking.
And my god ,how young do Sam Jackson & Uma Thurman look? And Tim Roth?! a little youngin. I feel old. :)

5 out of 5 monkeys, most definitely.

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