“Pulp Fiction” – Fun with Time and the Mysterious McGuffin
Quentin Tarantino’s film “Pulp Fiction” in a couple of years will celebrate its first solid anniversary: a quarter of a century. For a 25-year-old man – youth, for a film – maturity. The film received the status of a cult film immediately. As it came out in 1994, it took root at the height of popularity, weighing itself in enthusiastic fans, as well as sincerely bewildered opponents. Some of them throw their caps into the air with screams: “Bravo-bravo, the film of the century!”, Others do not understand why a movie about criminals is so honored. What honor is it for? And for innovation. For being unusual. By the hand of the demiurge, felt in every frame.
Why Tarantino started playing games with time
The composition of the film is non-trivial. Strange, to say the least. No classic expositions, strings, climaxes, denouements for you. No chronology. Several stories united by one hero. Killed, however, somewhere in the middle of the tape, but again appearing in the frame – like a devil out of the box. The story is non-linear!
Some consumers of the cinematic product were unhappy with Quentin’s libertine treatment of our Tarantino over time. They took, and changed the episodes of the film in places with a slight movement of the hand, in order to arrange them in order. For example, in Saudi Arabia, all stories were re-edited in chronological order.
This is how the chronological sequence looks like:
- Vincent and Jules deal with the boys who appropriated the boss’ suitcase.
- “The situation with Bonnie” – the elimination of the bloody consequences of the showdown.
- Robbery in a cafe (both parts of the episode, which were looped in the film in the original, are connected).
- “Vincent Vega and the wife of Marcellus Wallace.”
- “Gold watch”.
Did the distributors have the right to brazenly reshuffle the episodes? Do distributors have the right to rename films, catastrophically distorting the meaning? The film of the same Tarantino, titled Death Proof, which translates as “mortal”, in the Russian box office suddenly received a strange name: “Death Proof”. “What is your evidence?” – I just want to repeat after the hero of another famous film.
And what about the Italians, in their version of “Reservoir Dogs” of the long-suffering Tarantino, who launched slow-motion (slow motion) of the appearance of gangsters at the beginning of the film in a regular rhythm ?!
Is it really permissible: to spoil someone else’s work? Is copyright just words in this case? Since this happens with impunity, then the question is rhetorical.
Let’s return, however, to reading. Tarantino’s vision was based on non-linear composition.
In the original, the film is arranged like this:
- The first part of the roadside cafe robbery.
- Vincent and Jules go for the suitcase.
- “Vincent Vega and the wife of Marcellus Wallace.”
- “Golden Hours” – the story of the boxer Butch.
- The Bonnie Situation.
- Completion of the eatery robbery.
What is characteristic: only three parts are entitled by the author, others were left without titles.
So why does the director jump from fragment to fragment, ignoring the real passage of time? The question is again rhetorical. Because he wants to. Because with his own money, he decided to make a movie that would become his calling card. First, he composed an episode about the adventures of the wife of the chief of gangsters Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and his subordinate, the assassin Vincent Vega (John Travolta). Then I came up with another story, then a third … And, like puzzles, I put all the plots together in no particular order.
271 not a fact, but a fact
Actually, this is a record. In another Tarantino film, there are 2 fewer obscene words: in Reservoir Dogs, there are 269 phrases from the arsenal of obscene vocabulary. You can even make a mini-version of the film with soundtrack solely from swearing, which the enthusiasts did.
Forward to the future, or When does the film take place?
Remember the watch that Bucha’s father hid for 5 years … er … in a secluded hole in his body, and his colleague, who took over the baton of clever storage for two years, brought it to the son of a deceased participant in the war?
We count. The Vietnam War for Americans began in 1965 and ended in 1973. This means that the veteran was in captivity until 1973 at the most. The boy during the visit of Captain Koontz (Christopher Woken) is 5-7 years old, maximum 9. The hero of Bruce Willis during the meeting of the viewer with him is 39 years old (that is how much the actor was, for these years Butch looks like). If in 1973 a boy is 5-7-9 years old, then in three decades what year comes? That’s right, 2003. And the film was shot in 1994. These are the games with time.
True, the news that Matt Dillon, younger than Bruce Willis, was initially planned for the role of Butch Coolidge, refutes the infernality of previous conclusions. They took an older actor, but did not make adjustments to the script. It happens.
I owe everything good in me to books, or What Vincent Vega reads
Who invented that reading ennobles? Visiting the closet, hitman Vince does not part with a paperback book. This opus exists in reality: Peter O’Donnell wrote the novel “Modesty Blaze” about a secret agent woman based on his own comic book series.
A couple of years later, Tarantino will sponsor a film about this very heroic Modesty. The love of reading during the physiological act let the bandit down: he took the book to the toilet, but frivolously left the gun on the table in someone else’s kitchen. The boxer, who ran home for his father’s watch, may not have planned to shoot at the ambush killer, but the click of the toaster did its job: the hand involuntarily pressed the trigger. So it became one less villain. And all the books … Boulevard, be it wrong, reading …
Why Quentin Quotes
The film is stuffed with reminiscences from abundant cinematic material.
Marcelas suddenly appears in front of the car of a boxer fleeing from retaliation, like the chief of the secretary from Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Psycho” who stole money.
Vincent and Mia twist
reminiscent of either a choreographic performance by Franz (Sammy Frey), Odile (Anna Karina) and Arthur (Claude Brasseur) from Jacques-Luc Godard’s film Bande à part (The Outsiders),
or the episode with the dance of Gloria Morin (Barbara Steele) and Mario Mezabotta (Mario Pizu) from Federico Fellini’s 8 ½.
Somehow the wounded Butch escaping from Marcelas repeats the final “run” of Belmondo’s hero from Jean-Luc Godard’s film A bout de souffle (In his last breath).
Butch chooses weapons in the shop of perverts, trying on either an ice ax (hello to you, “The Assassination of Trotsky”!), Then to a chainsaw (hello to you, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and the like!), Then to a samurai sword (hello to you, “Highlander “,” Seven Samurai “and many others!).
Why does the director need all this? Yes, he wants to push in the film allusions to the previous cinematic tricks – for connoisseurs. Who knows, he will check it out.
What’s in the briefcase?
Tarantino’s public curiosity does not even intend to satisfy. We see only the amazed faces of those who look into the mysterious briefcase and the reflection on their faces. The director told a radio listener during a 2003 interview that the suitcase is what the viewer wants to see there. A petty thief from a roadside cafe, nicknamed Pumpkin (Tim Roth), opens the case, shocked and asks: “Is this what I think about?” Some people believe that the black soul of Marcelas is hidden there, which is hinted at by the suitcase code – 666.
If anything, the briefcase contains a shining artifact called MacGuffin. The term was coined by Alfred Hitchcock and it means something around which the plot is built. If anyone is interested, you can learn more about the McGuffin phenomenon .
The actor John Travolta, who looked into the bowels of the suitcase, completely removed the romantic flair from the contents and revealed all the secrets: there was a light bulb that worked on a battery.