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									16. Pulp Fiction
Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino Story by Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary About the writing of the film:
• • • • “It’s not about the scene where a guy blows someone’s head off. It’s how we react to them in extremely normal ways.” —Uma Thurman on the true meaning of the script, Pulp Fiction DVD extra Every time the character Vincent goes to the bathroom, something bad happens. —IMDB The word “fuck” is used 271 times in the film. —IMDB Film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert compared the breakthrough of Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary’s writing in Pulp Fiction to that of David Mamet in the plays of a decade earlier. Ebert remarked, “In both cases, they are giving something that superficially sounds like realistic dialogue, but the more closely you listen to it, the more you hear that it is written dialogue. It’s not recorded off the street; it is created as an imaginative work.” —Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, the Tarantino Generation, Pulp Fiction DVD extra The film’s line, “Any time of day is a good time for pie,” is also spoken in True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino. In terms of Tarantino’s non-linear storytelling: “Novels have had a complete freedom to tell their story any way they see fit. And that’s what I’m trying to do. For both novels and film, 75% of the stories you are trying to tell work better from a dramatic basis to be told in a linear way. But there is that other 25% that can be more resonant by telling it this way.” —Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Rose Interview, 1994 Tarantino wrote two of the three stories in Pulp Fiction before he wrote Reservoir Dogs and True Romance. After the success of those films, he decided to write a third story for Pulp Fiction, initially intending to have each segment directed by a different person. —IMDB According to Roger Avary, the original plan was to have the briefcase contain diamonds. This seemed neither exciting nor original, so Avary and Tarantino decided to have the briefcase's contents never appear on screen; this way each filmgoer could mentally fill in the blank with whatever struck his or her imagination as best fitting the description “so beautiful.” —IMDB “I can have an idea in floating around my head for five or six years. But when I sit down to do it, whatever is going on with me at the time, finds its way into the piece. It has to, or the piece isn’t worth making.” —Quentin Tarantino, from an interview on The Charlie Rose Show During the New York premiere, at the very moment John Travolta plunges a needle into Uma Thurman’s heart, an audience member had a seizure. Producers Lawrence Bender and Harvey Weinstein helped the man get help. The attack was caused by a diabetic seizure and not a reaction to the film. Tarantino later joked about incident and that film was “too intense for human beings.” —Pulp Fiction DVD extra Tarantino wrote the script while he was in Amsterdam. He stayed for several months and left the video rental store Cult Video with an unpaid bill of about $150. This visit may explain references to Dutch culture and customs at the beginning of the movie. —IMDB “Pulp Fiction does not satirize our media culture. It succumbs willingly to that culture, celebrates it, exploits it and successfully spreads its meaningless violence and jokeyness across all human lives shown. Tarantino’s sustained portrayal of an amusingly violent world leads the spectator—particularly the cool, detached spectator—to a loss of the sense of reality. The cinematic attitude that everything is a spectacle, a camera shot or a dream sequence now applies to all life, even our own. No clue in the movie sends any different message. Look, it says, you could live this way.” —Los Angeles Times, “The Art of the Alibi,” 1998 Pulp Fiction received the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Ten years later, Tarantino was selected as a judge for the festival.

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About the writer:
• Quentin Tarantino was named after the Burt Reynolds character Quint Asper from Gunsmoke. He moved to California with his mother when he was two years old. His mother often took him to the movies. —Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, the Tarantino Generation, Pulp Fiction DVD extra Tarantino acts in the film. He debated over the choice between the character he was going to play: Jimmie or Lance. He ended up playing Jimmie because he wanted to be behind the camera in Mia's overdose scene. —IMDB Tarantino never took any formal writing classes. He applies the same principles to acting that he does to writing: Regardless of the genre or the story you are telling, the life of the writer must work its way into the story. —Pulp Fiction DVD extra Tarantino first won attention at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival with the premiere of Reservoir Dogs. Avary wrote some additional dialogue for the film. Screenwriting awards/nominations for Quentin Tarantino: 1 Golden Globe win, for Pulp Fiction; 1 Academy Award win, for Pulp Fiction. Roger Avary and Quentin Tarantino met and worked at the Video Archives video store in Hermosa Beach, California. Avary and Tarantino parted ways creatively in 1994. Avary has hinted that it has to do with how much creative juice they suck from each other. —IMDB Screenwriting awards/nominations for Roger Avary: 1 Academy Award win, for Pulp Fiction.

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