Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction postmodernism-

Postmodernism is a term used to describe media texts that suggests that creativity can no longer happen today as everything has already been done.

Postmodernism in films can include some of the following:
Pastiche/Homage, Intertextuality, Parody, Bricolage and are often Self-Reflexive.

Bricolage can be seen in the Jack rabbit slims scene in Pulp fiction as there are references to 1950s and 1960s culture this is shown by Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe lookalikes and retro movie posters. Vince and Mia are also seated in a retro car from the 1950s.

Pulp fiction pays homage to several classic gangster films such as Scarface and the godfather. This can be seen as Pumpkin in the opening scene is wearing a Hawaiian shirt in the opening and closing scenes this pays homage to Scarface as Tony Montanna is also  wearing a Hawaiian shirt in the opening scene.

Pulp fiction is self reflexive as Tarantino makes a cameo as jimmy making the audience aware that Pulp Fiction is constructed.

Narrative in pulp fiction-

Pulp Fiction features a non linear multi stranded narrative this is a feature of an experimental film this encourages a active audience.

The three main narrative strands within pulp fiction are-

Vincent and Jules

Vincent and Mia


Quentin Tarantino as an Auteur-

Tarantino is an auteur and shows a similar  style in all of his films. Some features of his auteur style is-

Complex non linear narrative

Vibrant colours

Hyperreal approach

Comic book style

Homage to old films from the 1960s and 1970s.


Themes of extreme violence

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Analysis of key scenes-

Opening scene-

It is not conventional of the gangster genre to open with irrelevant characters such as Pumpkin and honey bunny who are not seen again until the end of the film. Pumpkins brightly coloured costume is also unconventional of a gangster film. The names pumpkin and honey bunny could be used to provoke humour and could parody the traditional gangster duo. The high key lighting also creates a relaxed blissful atmosphere and is contrapuntal against the robbery which is about to take place.

Flat scene-

A long take is used this is a auteur signature of Tarantino’s.

References to pop culture such as McDonald’s  and burger king is a feature of postmodernism.

Difference in costume shows a clear binary opposition between Vince and Jules and the people they are interrogating.

Extreme low angle shots are used to make Vince and Jules appear intimidating and in control.  And extreme high angle shots show that their victim is vulnerable.

Introduction to Mia-

Mia is represented as a stereotypical femme fatal in this scene as she has control over Vincent as she is observing him from CCTV cameras. Close ups of her red lips is also a characteristic of the femme fatal. Mia is only featured in one chapter of the film however she was used to market the whole film therefore creating enigma codes for the audience.






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