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Pulp Fiction

5

A collage of fast-food entertainment

Gangster's moll is taken out by her husband’s hired gorilla. An on-the-make boxer refuses to go down in the fifth, takes the money and runs. A bible-quoting hitman has a chance for redemption after escaping death... True, the set-ups and characters of Pulp Fiction are dog-eared hokum recycled from the dimestore paperbacks its title suggest. But the ace up the film’s sleeve was always the high-gloss revamp, the surface sheen that was as far removed as you could get from coal-black noir motifs. Quentin Tarantino’s magic formula might have resulted in a film as vacant and violent as a Tom And Jerry cartoon; less an actual movie than a collage of references pilfered from ’50s/’60s/’70s cinema and pop culture and lit up like a pinball machine. But for better or worse, it’s still a true watershed that rejuvenated the cinematic landscape of the 1990s (and spawned a million copycats). Ezekiel 25:17. Royale with cheese. John Travolta’s dance moves. Samuel L. Jackson’s Jheri curls. That every line and set-piece is now a staple of everything from student digs to Banksy graffiti is proof of its vast influence. And despite it never really being about anything other than its own cleverness, with the dialogue occasionally overshadowing the characters, as fast-food entertainment it still works brilliantly.

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