Now we understand that Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction opened a new era in cinema. Then, at the festival in Cannes, Nikita Mikhalkov was mortally offended by the “schemer Catherine Deneuve”, who did not understand the high spirituality of his “Urga” and, as the head of the jury, awarded the prize to some kind of American action movie with “shooters”.
Now we know that this is not an action movie with shooters, but a luxurious postmodern film, which is not at all as simple as it seems to Mikhalkov. So, what is the point of this film and is there even one, or is it all about funny stupid dialogues, gory scenes and the same bloody black humor?
Firstly, the film struck everyone with a non-linear narrative – it is a collection of several stories, the characters of which unexpectedly intersect in different episodes. As Tarantino himself said, a good story must certainly have a plot, a climax and a denouement, but not necessarily in a direct sequence. As he said, so he did.
The new American postmodernism is wild and pretty
The main thing that we must understand is that this film brought to a new level not only cinema, but also the very postmodernism in which we have been living for so long. Only Tarantino did not make a tortured, anemic European postmodernism, but a cheerful and ferocious American one, full of life, cruel laughter, and even still! – masculine energy.
As you know, existing in postmodernism, art is doomed to repeat, ironize, quote and look back at its predecessors. The artist lives with a sense of intellectual excess and lack of primitive creative power – naive and crushing. After all, everything has already been, everything has already been said! This is why postmodernists are so fond of ironic references to famous works of the past.
Tarantino is busy with the same thing – he is ironic, all the time referring us to the famous examples of American cinema, comics and cartoons. Pulp Fiction contains scenes from Hitchcock’s Psycho, Hitchcock’s The Flintstones, and a host of classic ’60s and ’70s action films that Tarantino watched as a teenager when he worked at a video store.
Tarantino quotes, but so vividly, so cheerfully, that there is no question of any loss of creative energy. It seethes in his films, because the director never parted with the tradition of the western, crime thriller. It is no coincidence that one of the main roles of Bruce Willis appeared in the film, although Matt Damon was originally going to be taken. But do we remember who Willis is? This is a “tough nut”, behind it is a whole layer of plots and a powerful archetype of American cinema.
However, as it should be for a postmodernist, using the tradition, the director destroys it. He takes all the most hackneyed moves and plots, and first breathes new life into them, and then turns them inside out, as if putting an end to it. After it, a scorched field remains, no one will just shoot a good crime thriller – the public, and critics will always smile a little, remembering Pulp Fiction.
Another signature style of Tarantino is his dialogues. Modern theater has long mastered verbatim, raw, colorful colloquial speech, as a powerful artistic element. Tarantino enjoys “boyish dialogues”, seemingly meaningless, but with his own laws of “rhetoric”. Yes, this is empty talk, but how much style is in it! By the way, he does not need dialogues at all in order to develop the plot – here he, as a screenwriter, violates all the canons.
It was Tarantino who brought into fashion “luxurious foul language”, which is now so difficult for advanced intellectuals to refuse – they now swear more than any locksmith. Fans counted that 429 curses were spoken in Pulp Fiction, and the most selective ones.
Violence in Tarantino movies is always used as a narrative element, as an exciting game. There is so much blood that you can’t take it seriously, it’s just ridiculous.
The “divine” ending of the film
If you still want to get to the bottom of the deepest, real, serious meaning and you are not satisfied with the idea of universal interconnection and bizarre twists of fate, then here’s another one for you … Some seriously argue that Tarantino is talking about the Law of God in this film. The fact that Jules, who quoted the Bible, managed to get out of a dirty game, having seen the finger of the Lord in one of the scenes, chose the right path, and Vince was mired in vice and died very stupidly.
But even here we have to disappoint you – the grin of postmodernism lies in the fact that in fact Jules does not quote the Bible, but completely invented words written by the screenwriter – they are not in the book of the prophet Ezekiel.
Of all the deep, true, secret and explicit meanings of Pulp Fiction, only one remains – a luxurious movie game.