Friday, 23 October 2009

Postmodernism & Pulp Fiction Intertextuality

Media reality is the new reality. We no longer have any sense of the difference between real things, images of them, or real experiences and simulations of them. Representations are re interpreted and played around with through pastiche and intertextual references. People will deliberately expose the text as constructed to tell the audience that the piece is not real and it never pretends to be real at any point, they don't try and hide the fact the media text is constructed. An example of this is in Quentin Tarantino's film 'Kill Bill' the mise en scene shows the audience that this is a film and not real life. There is a childs painting on the wall which is meant to be a "doodle" but indicates splattered blood. The cereal is called "kaboom" showing the audience a gun exposion may happen. The spraying blood is over exaggerated. The camera shot in which it shows a birds eye view, shows the audience it is a film set because the angle shows there is no room of the house.

Pulp Fiction (1994) directed by Quentin Tarantino tells the story of hitmen linked into different stories. The criticism for this film has been that because the film makes so many intertextual references it is so sly and knowing that it doesn't seem 'real' it feels/looks like a construction. Does this make Pulp Fiction postmodern?

Jules quoting from the Bible is reminiscent of Robert Mitchum's character quoting from the Bible in Night Of The Hunter (1955 Charles Laughton)

Mia's haircut styled after Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box (1928 G.W. Pabst)

Marilyn Monroe's skirt flying up over a subway grating in The Seven Year Itch (1955 Billy Wilder)

The weapons that Butch considers before saving Marcellus:
Hammer—The Toolbox Murders (1978)
Baseball bat—Walking Tall (1973)
Chainsaw—The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The moment where Butch is waiting at a crossroads in his car has his path crossed by Marcellus Wallace is a direct reference to the moment in Psycho (1960 Alfred Hitchcock) when Marion Crane sees her boss walk in front of her car after fleeing from him, having stolen $40,000.


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