Aug 5, 2023Liked by Anna Rettberg

Pulp Fiction is a fantastic film, no doubt about it. For me it acted as a gateway to French cinema of the 60s. Watching films by Rohmer and Godard, my experience was filtered through Tarantino's reinterpretation of their cinema.

You might have heard of Harold Bloom's concept of "apophrades," when a new work of art is so strong that it forces a reinterpretation of older works. I think Tarantino captured lightning in a bottle with Pulp Fiction, the ideas he explored were in the air but nobody executed it as convincingly as he did.

For American cinema that could be viewed as precusor, like you said the Coen brothers also made neo-noir films a bit earlier than Tarantino. There's also Robert Altman who did ensemble cast movies before Tarantino. He also did some reinterpretations of genre movies, so his ideas are somewhat similar —though, personally, I find Tarantino's screenplays more punchy and captivating.

Moreover, Wild at Heart by David Lynch is close in spirit to Tarantino, with nods to French New Wave and Akira Kurosawa. He also uses grotesque and humorous violence. But Lynch is more unsettling.

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My favorite shot of Pulp Fiction is the tracking shot when Vincent enters the Jack Rabbit Slim's. It feels like walking inside the head of Tarantino. https://youtu.be/4-GeaUL-T34?t=57

There's also the ending when they exit the diner. When they push the door like it is a saloon swing door, it feels to me like a renewal of westerns, not just a pastiche.

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That tracking shot in Jack Rabbit Slim's is so incredible!

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Yes, it has a dreamy quality, it's a little bit surreal but still concrete. It's very well done. The whole movie is great but I think it is my favorite segment. I watched again the scene and I never noticed before but when they start talking about uncomfortable silences, Tarantino switches to profile view. Wong Kar Wai did the same thing in In the Mood for Love. I'm pretty sure they both took that from Le mépris. What's interesting is that they used the same visual language but they made it their own.

Pulp Fiction: https://youtu.be/enBhv0iAnts?t=427

In the Mood for Love: https://youtu.be/09sYnsT2ENU?t=20

Le mépris: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6bxds

I also really like the car paintings in the apartment of the drug dealer, they look like german expressionism. He also has displays for design shoes (we see that earlier when Vincent buys drugs). They are very nice touches of set design.

Pulp Fiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFlSk_fB9qs

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Aug 5, 2023Liked by Anna Rettberg

Just to give an example from Wild at Heart, here's the sequence where he quotes Yojimbo by Kurosawa: https://youtu.be/kZz5k_xsG0Q?t=120

And Yojimbo: https://youtu.be/nviQGm0g_zM?t=125

To me it's similar to the way Tarantino uses quotations, but with Lynch it's not as seamless and the joke is somewhat lost if you don't know where it's from. But anyway he was definitely playing with the idea of direct quotations and remixing.

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