Pulp Fiction was released in 1994, and Hollywood marvelled that it had produced an arty, popcorn, blockbuster that was box office and very cool. It was like a cult hit, an underground movie that appealed to the masses and was packed with stars – where do we go from here the agents and executives asked Tarantino? The answer was nowhere.
The plot and editing are great, the script which according to the industry wasn’t all Tarantinos work is a great, funny and quotable night on the town. The casting is perfect too. But the film is a little too hip, and much too surface and show to suggest anything else.
The film is a gourmet burger rather than a great meal, but it’s one tasty burger.
I liked Reservoir Dogs but understood that it was stolen from Melville and City on Fire. I like Pulp Fiction as a great film of its time. Nothing Tarantino has done since has impressed me, including Inglorious Bastards and Django. He seems a adrift and without original ideas. But it doesn’t matter.
Another film I saw in 1994 was Gas, Food, Lodging which was directed by Allison Anders a friend and contemporary of Tarantino, Allison now directs for TV. It seems to me that today, I’d rather watch her film than Pulp Fiction. Even though Pulp Fiction was a sensation, Gas, Food, Lodging (a small romantic tale of sisters) has more lasting impact, and seems born from life, and not a life watching movies.
So, 68 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.