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Pulp Fiction


An outrageously violent, time-twisting, pop culture funhouse, Pulp Fiction is widely considered to be Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, as well as the most influential American movie of the 1990s. A remarkably accomplished stylistic pastiche, the film boldly draws from such disparate sources as ‘30s hard-boiled crime novels, ‘40s film noir, ‘70s kitsch, Howard Hawks, Jean-Luc Godard, American gangster flicks, David Mamet, Looney Tunes cartoons, video games and Hong Kong action flicks, all played out using the fragmented story-telling structures of such experimental classics as Rashomon and La jetée. The Oscar-winning screenplay by Tarantino and Roger Avery deftly intertwines three stories that intersect in surprising, and often shocking, ways, following the misadventures of two philosophical hit men (played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a vicious gangster (Ving Rhames) and his moll (Uma Thurman, proving remarkably adept at both dancing the twist and surviving one of the most literally heart-stopping scenes in movie history), and a washed-up boxer (Bruce Willis) who catches a lucky break through the most unlikely of circumstances. The film’s smart, rapid-fire dialogue, kinetic energy and near endless parade of great cameos (from Christopher Walken, Harvey Kietel, Eric Stoltz, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Rosanna Arquette … not to mention a leather-clad oddity known only as “The Gimp”) still pack a pulpy wallop today. (Dir. by Quentin Tarantino, 1994, USA, 154 mins., Rated R)

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