• A three-pronged masterpiece— magnificent writing (on par with or superior to the great works of say Bergman or Before Sunset),  tour de force direction behind the camera (the dance contest sequence, the freeze frame on Amanda Plummer with soundtrack drop), and a structural non-linear sonic boom
  • Such confidence from Tarantino- this thing could have gone so wrong— Wigs on our three leads, 40 minutes longer than Reservoir Dogs (153 minutes)
  • The freeze frame on Amanda Plummer opening is a jaw-dropper—I’ve overlooked it- one of cinema’s great freeze frames— holy hell. And then we go to the music drop of “The Misirlou” that bridges to the opening titles—an achievement to say the least
  • Writing rich in the dialogue yes, and the skeletal arrangement of the story, but also of just ideas- the idea of royale with cheese, and robbing restaurants
  • Trademark beautiful trunk shot—a few here actually
  • Between the big moments (like the opening freeze frame, the long take opening on Willis and then the back of the head of Ving Rhames, and the dance sequence with Travolta and Uma)—we get great little moments like the elevator small talk between Travolta and Samuel L—the awkward silence of the first “date” between Travolta and Uma in the car booth
  • I don’t remember anything from Reservoir Dogs so this may be the beginning of QT’s foot fetishism here- we get the hilarious foot massage debate and then are introduced to Uma through her feet (and lips I guess with that close up of her on the microphone)
  • A nice pairing to the Buscemi/Keitel hallway shot from Reservoir Dogs is one early here with Samuel L and Travolta
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pulp-fiction-hallway-shot.jpg
  • The narrative interlocks— it’s complex– it’s not just three stories split apart—the Uma segment actually starts with that long take of Bruce Willis with Al Green’s music
  • Rarely does Tarantino just sit back and point the camera at these fabulous actors putting forth one of cinema’s great screenplays— there’s almost always work behind the camera. The drug deal sequence between Travolta and Eric Stoltz’s character in his bedroom is shot with a great Wellesian low angles
  • A perfect shot of the neon light on the windshield as they arrive at Jack Rabbit Slim’s (a marvelous set piece in itself) — this is just still frame museum art quality
  • The camera absolutely floats around Jack Rabbit Slim’s with Travolta—it’s a great shot and married to the narrative and he’s lost in the dizzling place (and high)
  • The dance contest scene is cinematic bliss— maybe it doesn’t touch the opening of The Searchers and a dozen other scenes (Goodfellas Copacabana is another) but it’s in that next tier—it deserves a Psycho shower-scene breakdown. We get symmetrical wide shot, the camera glides in on both individually and then again together– and the fade to black at the end is crucial
  • In the very next scene we actually get another great shot of Uma dancing to “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” as it’s done in one take and she dives back and forth behind a column in the house
  • A bit of nice homage casting with Walken as a POW (Deer Hunter)- exceptional short story writing and performance—Keitel as “The Wolf” is incredible, too—amazing performances behind the principals (who are all giving career-best work)
  • The De Palma (from Vertigo) 360 degree shot here is Willis in a phone booth—Tarantino’s favorite director from the movie brats of the American 70’s new wave is De Palma—his Wyler/Welles/De Palma (used really well in The Untouchables) shot here is when Rhames is chasing Willis and Willis is behind a brick wall in the foreground
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pulp-fiction-split-camera-de-palma-shot-lasdkjflkdjasfkla-1024x435.jpg
  • Willis choosing the sword as weapon always makes me smile
  • The coffee shop discussion in the third act with Samuel L talking about miracles and philosophy is My Dinner with Andre or Seventh Sea-level stuff and there’s a narrative tie—as we know from the story’s structure Samuel L lives and Travolta dies
  • Another Mexican standoff like Reservoir Dogs
  • A masterpiece