MEDIA MINUTE: Pulp Fiction

Tarantino's iconic homage to the crime genre

Considered to be one of the most influential films of all time, “Pulp Fiction” is director Quentin Tarantino’s second feature-length film.

Released in 1994, “Pulp Fiction” displays three intertwining crime stories that all take place in Los Angeles. The film is an homage to the violent, witty crime novels of the mid-twentieth century, with the title itself referencing the pulp magazines that were popular during the time.

Tarantino has greatly improved his craft when it comes to storytelling and ironing out his directing style. The nonlinear narrative and chapter layout greatly weave together these interesting plots to tell an engaging story.

“Pulp Fiction” has one of the most iconic casts in movie history. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield, a philosophical hitman who is paired with his burger-loving partner Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta. The two are dispatched to recover a stolen suitcase belonging to crime boss Marsellus Wallace, played by Ving Rhames.

This main storyline is interwoven with other characters such as Wallace’s wife, aspiring actress Mia Wallace, played by Uma Thurman and prizefighter Butch, a boxer under Wallace’s thumb who is looking for an escape from the city, played by Bruce Willis.

The movie also features some familiar faces from Tarantino’s first film “Reservoir Dogs.” Tim Roth plays Ringo, one half of a burglar couple on the run, with an old-fashioned diner as his next target. “Pulp Fiction” also features Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolf, an experienced criminal under Wallace who specializes in cleaning up crime scenes and making evidence disappear.

Each and every one of these performances pair well with Tarantino’s witty and quirky dialogue. Many of the character interactions feel so unique and genuine. There is a good reason why two hitmen discussing the regional differences of the McDonald’s menu in Europe as they drive to their next target is so iconic and referenced. One of the movie’s taglines is a quote from Mr. Wolf, being “Of course you are a character. It doesn’t mean you have character.” I think that quote is a perfect representation of this film.

I’ve always liked how Tarantino depicts 90’s L.A. between this film and “Reservoir Dogs”. The vintage diners, many back alleys and old apartments make for a unique take on the famous city and create a consistent world between movies. The soundtrack also enhances this feeling, with some notable inclusions being “You Never Can tell” by Chuck Berry, “Surf Rider” by The Lively Ones, and Dick Dale’s “Miserlou.”  Supported with amazing, consistent cinematography and a great variety of unique camera angles, it all comes together to make a movie masterpiece.

If you like the crime genre or enjoy Tarantino’s work and somehow haven’t seen this film, I thoroughly recommend it! The movie can be found on the streaming services Amazon Prime Video, Max, and Hulu with a subscription. You can also rent the movie on Youtube for $3.99.

You can watch the film’s trailer by clicking here.