As the cult classic “Pulp Fiction” turns 21 years old this October, many people still see this movie as just another action shooter by award-winning writer and director Quentin Tarantino.
But it’s so much more than that.
Visually, this movie is work of art. Just like any other movie, “Pulp Fiction” has traditional shots that you see everyday. But Tarantino gives this creative flair to the film.
Throughout the film we are given many different types of shots and camera workings that give it this sense of beauty. When John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s characters are first introduced, we are give a traditional back and forth shot between the two, but there are multiple slow moving long shots that follow the actors from their car all the way to the inside of the apartment building. Though the camera moves around to best fit the actors or to help transition their movements, we are still given a nice, steady following shot.
Another an example of a unique, gorgeous shot is when Bruce Willis’ character, Butch, is being introduced. It’s just a medium close-up shot of him looking at a person to the right of the camera. This shot stays on Butch for a solid two minutes, which really lets us see the intensity of Butch and how focused he is. Even the shot after, in which we see the back if Marcellus Wallace, still contains beauty through this simple shot choice.
Some of the most beautiful shots in this movie are the drug scenes. When we see Vincent shooting up on heroin, there is the montage that gives us a representation of what it’s like to get the high of the drug. It’s the back and forth from the process of shooting up and the calm high which gives us an almost welcoming feel. When we see Mia snorting her cocaine, we almost have the same feeling as we experienced with Vincent and his heroin. What makes hers different is when she overdoses. There is a slow, and slightly shaky, zoom on Mia when she starts overdosing, which shows us other side of drugs.
Though there are more examples of visual beauty in this film, the more it is written about, the more it loses its luster. You’ll just have to watch it or re-watch it to see how truly gorgeous “Pulp Fiction” is.