A Hard Woman: A Story In Scenes

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Pulp Fiction nourishes, abets, cultural slumming. Debate about the film spread beyond the review pages. Violence was often the theme. In The Washington Post , Donna Britt described how she was happy not to see Pulp Fiction on a recent weekend and thus avoid "discussing the rousing scene in which a gunshot sprays somebody's brains around a car interior". In the Chicago Tribune , Todd Boyd argued that the word's recurrence "has the ability to signify the ultimate level of hipness for white males who have historically used their perception of black masculinity as the embodiment of cool".

Only in this age could a writer as talented as Tarantino produce artworks so vacuous, so entirely stripped of any politics, metaphysics, or moral interest. At the 52nd Golden Globe Awards , Tarantino, named as sole recipient of the Best Screenplay honor, failed to mention Avary in his acceptance speech. Travolta, Jackson, and Thurman were each nominated as well for the 1st Screen Actors Guild Awards , presented on February 25, but none took home the honor.

Pulp Fiction quickly came to be regarded as one of the most significant films of its era. In Siskel's view,. Each film shook up a tired, bloated movie industry and used a world of lively lowlifes to reflect how dull other movies had become. And that, I predict, will be the ultimate honor for Pulp Fiction. Like all great films, it criticizes other movies. And that the parody or alteration of that film creates a new form, a different experience for the audience. In a widely covered speech on May 31, , Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole attacked the American entertainment industry for peddling "nightmares of depravity".

Pulp Fiction was soon associated with his charges concerning gratuitous violence. Dole had not mentioned the film; he cited two less-celebrated movies based on Tarantino screenplays, Natural Born Killers and True Romance. Paula Rabinowitz expresses the general film industry opinion that Pulp Fiction "simultaneously resurrected John Travolta and film noir". Less than a year after the picture's release, British critic Jon Ronson attended the National Film School 's end-of-semester screenings and assessed the impact: "Out of the five student movies I watched, four incorporated violent shoot-outs over a soundtrack of iconoclastic 70s pop hits, two climaxed with all the main characters shooting each other at once, and one had two hitmen discussing the idiosyncrasies of The Brady Bunch before offing their victim.

Not since Citizen Kane has one man appeared from relative obscurity to redefine the art of moviemaking. Its impact on Hollywood was deeper still.


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According to Variety , the trajectory of Pulp Fiction from Cannes launch to commercial smash "forever altered the game" of so-called independent cinema. Once the studios realized that they could exploit the economies of small scale, they more or less gave up buying or remaking the films themselves, and either bought the distributors, as Disney had Miramax, or started their own And its impact was even broader than that. It has been described as a "major cultural event", an "international phenomenon" that influenced television, music, literature, and advertising.

Several scenes and images from the film achieved iconic status; in , Entertainment Weekly declared, "You'd be hard-pressed, by now, to name a moment from Quentin Tarantino's film that isn't iconic.

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In , BBC News reported that "London transport workers have painted over an iconic mural by 'guerrilla artist' Banksy Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns. One of the more notable homages to Jules "Biblical" quote was one Jackson himself played a part in, near the end of 's Captain America: The Winter Soldier , Jackson's character Col.

Nick Fury , presumed dead, visits his own gravestone, on which, below Fury's name is inscribed "The path of the righteous man Pulp Fiction now appears in several critical assessments of all-time great films. In , Entertainment Weekly named it the best film of the past quarter-century. A Empire poll combining the opinions of readers, movie industry professionals, and critics named Pulp Fiction the ninth-best film of all time.

Tarantino has stated that he originally planned "to do a Black Mask movie", referring to the magazine largely responsible for popularizing hardboiled detective fiction. Both dealt heavily in the realm of improbable coincidences and cruel cosmic jokes, a realm that Pulp Fiction makes its own.

He suggests that Leonard's "rich dialogue" is reflected in Tarantino's "popular-culture-strewn jive"; he also points to the acute, extremely dark sense of humor Leonard applies to the realm of violence as a source of inspiration. Robert Kolker sees the "flourishes, the apparent witty banality of the dialogue, the goofy fracturing of temporality [as] a patina over a pastiche. The pastiche The movie's host of pop culture allusions, ranging from the famous image of Marilyn Monroe 's skirt flying up over a subway grating to Jules addressing a soon-to-be victim as " Flock of Seagulls " because of his haircut, [] have led many critics to discuss it within the framework of postmodernism.

Describing the film in as Tarantino's "postmodern masterpiece He characterizes its convoluted narrative technique as "postmodern tricksiness". She proposes that it "can be seen as effecting her resurrection from the dead, simultaneously recalling and undermining the Gothic convention of the vampire's stake.

On this model, the referencing of previous aesthetic forms and styles moves beyond Mark T.

Conard asks, "[W]hat is the film about? Pulp Fiction unmasks the macho myth by making it laughable and deheroicizes the power trip glorified by standard Hollywood violence. There is no nudity and no violence directed against women Where Stone sees a celebration, Kolker finds a vacuum: "The postmodern insouciance, violence, homophobia, and racism of Pulp Fiction were perfectly acceptable because the film didn't pretend seriousness and therefore didn't mock it.

That's why Pulp Fiction was so popular. Not because all audiences got all or any of its references to Scorsese and Kubrick, but because the narrative and spatial structure of the film never threatened to go beyond themselves into signification. Henry A. Giroux argues that Tarantino "empties violence of any critical social consequences, offering viewers only the immediacy of shock, humor, and irony-without-insight as elements of mediation. None of these elements gets beyond the seduction of voyeuristic gazing Regarding the violence and nihilism in the film, Pamela Demory has suggested that Pulp Fiction should be seen in light of the short stories of Flannery O'Connor , [] which likewise feature "religious elements, banality, and violence with grotesque humor.

Pulp Fiction is full of homages to other movies. According to the filmmaker;. Everybody thinks that I wrote this scene just to have John Travolta dancing. But the scene existed before John Travolta was cast. But once he was cast, it was like, "Great. We get to see John dance. All the better. My favorite musical sequences have always been in Godard, because they just come out of nowhere. It's so infectious, so friendly.

And the fact that it's not a musical, but he's stopping the movie to have a musical sequence, makes it all the more sweet. Jerome Charyn argues that, beyond "all the better", Travolta's presence is essential to the power of the scene, and of the film:.

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Travolta's entire career becomes " backstory ", the myth of a movie star who has fallen out of favor, but still resides in our memory as the king of disco. We keep waiting for him to shed his paunch, put on a white polyester suit, and enter the Odyssey club in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he will dance for us and never, never stop. Daniel Day-Lewis couldn't have woken such a powerful longing in us.

He isn't part of America's own mad cosmology Tony Manero [is] an angel sitting on Vince's shoulder Estella Tincknell notes that while the "diner setting seems to be a simulacrum of a 'fifties' restaurant The 'past' thus becomes a more general 'pastness' in which the stylistic signifiers of various decades are loaded in to a single moment. The pivotal moment in which Marsellus crosses the street in front of Butch's car and notices him evokes the scene in which Marion Crane's boss sees her under similar circumstances in Psycho When Butch decides to rescue Marsellus, in Glyn White's words, "he finds a trove of items with film-hero resonances".

At the conclusion of the scene, a portentous line of Marsellus' echoes one from the crime drama Charley Varrick , directed by another of Tarantino's heroes, Don Siegel ; the name of the character who speaks it there is Maynard. That's definitely the one to beat in that particular category! Neil Fulwood focuses on Butch's weapon selection, writing, "Here, Tarantino's love of movies is at its most open and nonjudgemental, tipping a nod to the noble and the notorious, as well as sending up his own reputation as an enfant terrible of movie violence.

Moreover, the scene makes a sly comment about the readiness of cinema to seize upon whatever is to hand for its moments of mayhem and murder. The traditional Japanese sword, in contrasts, represents a culture with a well-defined moral code and thus connects Butch with a more meaningful approach to life.

Robert Miklitsch argues that "Tarantino's telephilia" may be more central to the guiding sensibility of Pulp Fiction than the filmmaker's love for rock 'n' roll and even cinema:. Talking about his generation, one that came of age in the '70s, Tarantino has commented that the "number one thing we all shared wasn't music, that was a Sixties thing.

Our culture was television. Sharon Willis focuses on the way a television show Clutch Cargo marks the beginning of, and plays on through, the scene between young Butch and his father's comrade-in-arms. The Vietnam War veteran is played by Christopher Walken, whose presence in the role evokes his performance as a traumatized G.

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Willis writes that "when Captain Koons enters the living room, we see Walken in his function as an image retrieved from a repertoire of s television and movie versions of ruined masculinity in search of rehabilitation The combination of the mysterious suitcase lock is , the " Number of the Beast ". Originally, the case was to contain diamonds, but this was seen as too mundane. For filming purposes, it contained a hidden orange light bulb that produced an otherworldly glow. The interview resumes with Rodriguez discussing how radically the "knowledge" of the briefcase's contents alters one's understanding of the movie.

Despite Tarantino's statements, many solutions to what one scholar calls this "unexplained postmodern puzzle" have been proposed. That movie, whose protagonist Tarantino has cited as a source for Butch, features a glowing briefcase housing an atomic explosive. Analyzing the notion, Roger Ebert dismissed it as "nothing more than a widely distributed urban legend given false credibility by the mystique of the Net". Jules ritually recites what he describes as a biblical passage, Ezekiel , before he executes someone.

The first version of the passage is as follows:. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

The second version, from the diner scene, is identical except for the final line: "And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. While the final two sentences of Jules' speech are similar to the actual cited passage, the first two are fabricated from various biblical phrases. Tarantino's primary inspiration for the speech was the work of Japanese martial arts star Sonny Chiba. Its text and its identification as Ezekiel derive from an almost identical creed that appears at the beginning of the Chiba movie Karate Kiba The Bodyguard ; , where it is both shown as a scrolling text and read by an offscreen narrator.

The path of the righteous man and defender is beset on all sides by the iniquity of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper, and the father of lost children.

And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious anger, who poison and destroy my brothers; and they shall know that I am Chiba the Bodyguard when I shall lay my vengeance upon them! In the s television series Kage no Gundan Shadow Warriors , Chiba's character would lecture the villain-of-the-week about how the world must be rid of evil before killing him.

Two critics who have analyzed the role of the speech find different ties between Jules' transformation and the issue of postmodernity.

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Adele Reinhartz writes that the "depth of Jules's transformation" is indicated by the difference in his two deliveries of the passage: "In the first, he is a majestic and awe-inspiring figure, proclaiming the prophecy with fury and self-righteousness In the second It may make you feel good, but it certainly doesn't leave you any wiser. Much of Pulp Fiction ' s action revolves around characters who are either in the bathroom or need to use the toilet.

To a lesser extent, Tarantino's other films also feature this narrative element. Butch and Fabienne play an extended scene in their motel bathroom, he in the shower, she brushing her teeth; the next morning, but just a few seconds later in screen time, she is again brushing her teeth. After Marvin's absurd death, Vincent and Jules wash up in Jimmie's bathroom, where they get into a contretemps over a bloody hand towel.

As described by Peter and Will Brooker, "In three significant moments Vincent retires to the bathroom [and] returns to an utterly changed world where death is threatened. In the Brookers' analysis, "Through Vince She links this fact with the traditional derisive view of women as "the archetypal consumers of pulp":. Locating popular fiction in the bathroom, Tarantino reinforces its association with shit, already suggested by the dictionary meanings of "pulp" that preface the movie: moist, shapeless matter; also, lurid stories on cheap paper.

Perched on the toilet with his book, Vincent is feminized by sitting instead of standing as well as by his trashy tastes; preoccupied by the anal, he is implicitly infantilized and homosexualized; and the seemingly inevitable result is being pulverized by Butch with a Czech M61 submachine gun. That this fate has to do with Vincent's reading habits is strongly suggested by a slow tilt from the book on the floor directly up to the corpse spilled into the tub. Willis reads Pulp Fiction in almost precisely the opposite direction, finding "its overarching project as a drive to turn shit into gold.

This is one way of describing the project of redeeming and recycling popular culture, especially the popular culture of one's childhood, as is Tarantino's wont as well as his stated aim. Pulp Fiction won eight major awards from a total of twenty-six nominations, including a Best Original Screenplay win at the 67th Academy Awards. American Film Institute Lists. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the film. For other uses, see Pulp fiction.

Theatrical release poster. Quentin Tarantino Roger Avary. John Travolta Samuel L. A Band Apart Jersey Films.

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Vincent "stares Vincent's demeanor reinforces the allusion to the scene in Kiss Me Deadly in which Lily Carver, a. Gabrielle Gaby Rodgers , gazes into the glowing case. Conclusion of the "Ezekiel " monologue and Brett's murder. Main article: List of accolades received by Pulp Fiction. Film in the United States portal s portal. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved November 11, Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 13, The Washington Post. Dolph Lundgren and Louis Gossett Jr. For a movie starring Nic Cage about a dude who rides a Harley and turns into a flaming skeleton, this is a surprisingly mundane movie.

We may never figure out what went wrong with Marc Webb 's Spider-Man duology, but his choice of Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker is still brilliant. It just sucks that this movie doesn't really make any sense. It's also hard to remember because it's generally not memorable. The fantasy Marvel movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh , who covers the whole movie in canted angle shots and theatrical stylings.

It's pretty boring, also, but at least it looks cool. More of the same impossible-to-follow hack-n'- slash plotting from the previous movie, offset by Andrew Garfield continuing to be awesome and Jamie Foxx going way over the top as the big bad. Could have been a bizarre ironic summer classic if it were structured like a real movie and had any character development whatsoever. Instead it's just a shot of visual adrenaline that I'll probably want to revisit at some point -- but not when I'm sober.

But as with the first "Avengers" movie its weaknesses are overcome by great character work. It was an inspired choice, because "Spirit of Vengeance" was exactly as nutty as you'd hope a PG comic book movie would be.

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A lot of folks like to complain that all superhero movies are the same. But this was actually a pretty good World War II movie, too. Plot-wise, it never really adds up to anything, but the strength of the cast and the bizarre world they explore more than make up for it. Beloved nerd Guillermo del Toro took over for this one and ramped everything up to More vampires, more blood, more people getting sliced up -- and of course baddies whose jaws can split open and swallow a person's head whole. Disney Animation Studios made a Marvel movie, and it's really sweet.

Sure, it's the kiddie version of Marvel, but that doesn't prevent it from being a wholly satisfying experience. Would be a top 5 comic book movie if it had just reigned in the plot. It was Robert Downey Jr. It didn't sit well with audiences, but "Hulk" remains one of the most compelling and interesting Marvel movies to date.

Whereas the previous "Punisher" movie was melodramatic and contemplative, this one is just murderous. How can anybody resist the pull of Tom Hardy doing comedy? This movie knows exactly what it's trying to be, and what it's trying to be is dumb and fun and nothing else. And it is extremely fun. Its time travel logic is a bit iffy, but "Days of Future Past" is still tremendously entertaining because, while epic, it's not overly serious.

Vulnerability is an idea that comes up a lot when Cooper is talking about A Star Is Born : You can see him, as both storyteller and performer, mining some deep pain to make this movie. When Gaga enters the theater to take her seat, something ripples through the crowd like a shudder.


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There are gasps and shrieks. At the after-party, a swarm of people surrounds Gaga as she works the perimeter of the room, like dozens of planets orbiting a sun. Necks crane and people lift their phones over their heads, trying to capture a glimpse of her. Contact us at editors time. Then He Found Lady Gaga. By Sam Lansky September 27,


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