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What is "Pulp Fiction" ... about?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I don't know if anyone else listens to NPR's "Filmspotting" show, which is available via Podcast on iTunes every week. It's a tremendous movie review show. They usually start off with a 15-30 minute discussion/review of a current release, followed by some other short segments and concluding with a "Top Five" list - examples include top five Stephen Soderbergh scenes, top five movies where the ending comes first, etc., etc.

    Anyway, this week they went back to 1994 and did a top five list of the best five films of the year. But the best part of it is a 45-50 minute discussion right off the top looking back at how well "Pulp Fiction" holds up after all these years. The consensus between the two hosts: Pretty damned well. They disagree a little on the strength of Travolta's performance - one of them says he doesn't keep up well with Jackson's casual banter. They loved Bruce Willis's performance and think it was underrated at the time. They hated Tarantino's acting in it and see it as a low point. And they dismiss the briefcase as a "McGuffin" that Tarantino threw in there just to make audiences think they had to use it to unlock what the movie was about.

    Hence, the title of this thread. Because, honestly, I can't really put a finger on it. I know it's great film making. I know that it's highly influential. I'm just having a tough time getting my head around what it's trying to say, ultimately.

    When listening to the podcast, I started to think that "Pulp Fiction" and "Seinfeld" had a lot of similarities - shows about "nothing" with a lot of banal, but entertaining, debates tossed in to keep things lively.

    Some of the movies they talked about from '94 as the best or honorable mentions included: "The Shawshank Redemption," "Forrest Gump," "Hoop Dreams," "Quiz Show," "Heavenly Creatures," "Chungking Express," "Natural Born Killers," and "Ed Wood."

    It would be tough for me to put together a list from that year and not include "Clerks."

    And, it goes without saying, "The Client."

    Anyway, interesting question they posed that is the impetus for this thread. And an interesting podcast if you're so inclined to download it.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I watched Pulp Fiction in college with Roger Ebert. We would watch a scene, he would stop it and the room of a couple hundred of us would discuss it.

    For a film geek, it was just an amazing, but really long night.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I think the movie was about some cool, gritty shit that Tarantino wanted to make up.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    That was basically a large part of what Ebert discussed.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I'm not much into film geekery, but is it okay to say I liked Reservoir Dogs better?
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I liked it much better than Pulp, but both films would be in my top 10 ever.
  7. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    No, I know a lot of people who like Reservoir Dogs more than Pulp Fiction. But almost all agree Pulp Fiction is the better film.
  8. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    It's funny you mention that.
  9. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    "Pulp Fiction" is about the intersecting stories of some interesting and/or funny characters told in an inventive way. Does it need to be about more than that?
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yeah, Reservoir Dogs isn't one of those movies that you watch over and over and over again, but Pulp is.
  11. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    I know several people who consider it offensive, especially to Jews.
  12. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    And copy editors.
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