Crime Fiction In Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

1034 Words 5 Pages
Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film, “Pulp Fiction,” is another film that applies classic crime fiction norms to a more believable and realistic world. This movie is a play on its title, which refers to sleazy, gritty, violent fiction that was originally printed on low-quality paper created out of wood pulp. The film features multiple segments focusing on three main characters: Vincent Vega, Butch Coolidge, and Jules Winnfield, who are all connected by a mobster named Marcellus Wallace. This film is a member of the neo-noir genre of crime fiction. The film also contains certain noir characteristics such as a pessimistic or nihilistic nature, a McGuffin, and common characters such as a femme fatale, a sap, and a hardboiled leading man. To begin, …show more content…
There are scenes taking place in diners, suburban streets, residential homes and neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops-all common places for average people to go. Although these places seem to be innocent and common the incidents that occur there are violent and gruesome. This contrasting concept challenges classic noir ideals and presents the story in a more realistic and relatable way. The characters in “Pulp Fiction” present a fresh perspective onto the genre as well. For example, Vincent Vega is presented to be a hardboiled hitman, however he also demonstrates characteristics of a sap. To be hardboiled one must be terse, tough, and masculine. A sap is the total opposite; someone who is clumsy, gullible, and taken advantage …show more content…
Here, the McGuffin is an almost exact reference to the McGuffin used in “Kiss Me Deadly.” This one is a black briefcase, but inside it too features a golden light, and the source of the golden light is never revealed to the viewers. The idea that this McGuffin was inspired by the one used in “Kiss Me Deadly” is further reinforced in the shot where Vincent Vega opens up the briefcase. His facial expression, the camera angle, and the way that the glowing light hits his face are stylistically similar to the shot in “Kiss Me Deadly” when Gabrielle/Lilly Carver opens up the box at the end of the film. The McGuffin being in the form of a briefcase, yet referencing a classic film noir reminds audiences of the inspiration for “Pulp Fiction” while still keeping things fresh with the utilization of a briefcase-an item that populated many homes at the time of the film’s release and still populates homes

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