After my divergence into the realm of Action Films, I now return with my post on Pulp Fiction, as promised a few days ago.
This isn't really a review, more a personal post explaining the effect Pulp Fiction had on me.
Recently I watched Pulp Fiction for the fourth time. It brought back all sorts of memories of how I became interested and eventually obsessed with Cinema.
For I really have become obsessed with Cinema, it might not be the healthiest way to pursue my interests but I am by nature obsessive. Naturally this means my focus on Cinema is extreme and has allowed me to build up quite a solid base of knowledge in a relatively short time period, it also means I have been neglecting other domains in favour of Cinema.
Anyway, I believe I first saw Pulp Fiction when I was around 15 years old. And although it wasn't until I turned 16 that I really "discovered" Cinema, this film certainly sowed the seeds that lead to me wanting to become a film director.
The fact that this was a film unlike any I'd seen before, with it's broken narrative, extensive cast, brilliant dialogue, the countless references and trivial little facts that surround it, all of these elements and many more caused this to be the first film I was really obsessed with.
It stayed in my mind for a long while after watching it, the more I thought about it the more I realised that much of what made it great, the film references and such things was lost on me seeing as I wasn't exactly a film buff.
Pulp Fiction is probably the first film I discussed at length with other people and the first film I seriously considered more than just an entertaining pass time.
It felt so personal, with it's soundtrack clearly made up of some of QT favourites tracks, it's small scale set around where QT lived etc... And yet there were so many odd things about it, the twisting narrative that managed to stay entirely unpredictable throughout, the undefined era in which it takes place. But most of all the fact that it showed a side to America I had never seen of film before, despite the fact that I had watched a great many American films before seeing this one. It was really quite intriguing the way it depicted the underbelly of America, the small time criminals, washed up boxer's, rapists, drug addicts etc... and yet somehow made it entertaining while still being shocking.
For I had watched many films before this, I had been quite an avid film watcher since a very young age and due the rather liberal attitude around such things that I grew up with, I was able to watch many such films as Die Hard and The Last Of The Mohicans, both of which were childhood favourites.
So I was already very familiar with Cinema as a whole, I can't say Pulp Fiction "introduced" me to Cinema, because it didn't, but it certainly made me aware of another level of Cinema, above that upon which I had previously dwelled.
It was probably the first film I looked at from an "auteur" point of view, before I never paid attention to the names behind the film and barely knew the names of the biggest of stars. But this film really awakened me to the fact that it's the one behind the camera that make the film great, not those in front of it. QT's style was so unique and evident that I then had no problem tracing it to his other works and seeing how they all worked together to form a whole "filmography".
After watching this I moved on to the rest of Tarantino's work, which then led me to Scorsese where I lingered long and ended up watching most of his work. Then to Kubrick, the Coen brothers, and then internationnally to Herzog, Kurosawa, Clouzot ect... And I've never stopped since.
My memories of those time are rather vague now, but I do remember feeling like Pulp Fiction had opened up a whole new world for me to explore. So for that I am grateful, but I do not consider it the greatest film ever made as many seem to.
My "relationship" with Pulp Fiction has been quite a complex one, at first I was blown away, it was the best piece of Cinema I'd ever seen, but then I broadened my horizon's considerably which led to the realisation that it is in fact not the greatest film ever made. In fact when I watched it for a 3rd time, I was surprisingly disappointed, I had thought of it so highly that in my mind it was better than it actually was in reality.Thankfully this fourth viewing made me fall in love with it all over again!
While I know it is far from being the greatest film ever, it will always have place in my heart, as without it this blog would certainly not exist and I would still be uncertain as to what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
What film started your passion for film? Don't forget to comment below!