Pulp Fiction say something again, script letters
Quentin Tarantino's film “Pulp Fiction” was released in 1994 and, in addition to the sometimes extreme depictions of violence, caused a sensation in particular with its unorthodox narrative style. Several people I know think the film is overrated and can't do much with Pulp Fiction to begin. One reason for this may be the sometimes long dialogue passages, which at first glance do not advance the plot. Many viewers switch off mentally here - a mistake, because it doesn't exactly make it easier to understand the plot. I consider the film to be an absolute cult that has had a lasting impact on the film scene. What I like about “Pulp Fiction” is the unusual narrative structure, the characters and the brilliant soundtrack of surf rock, country and soul.
Pulp Fiction, Image: movieberry.com
At first glance, Tarantino's second feature film is not a film that, in terms of its narrative structure, is based on classic Hollywood conventions. In 2008, as part of a seminar paper, I tried to investigate to what extent “Pulp Fiction”, despite the apparent removal of conventions, adheres to or deviates from classic narrative patterns. The main focus was on an in-depth analysis of how we dealt with cinematic time. The causal relationships formed another point of analysis, which I have dealt with a little more superficially, however. However, since both analytical approaches are mutually related, I still addressed the issue of causality. As a starting point for the definition of classic narrative structures, I orientated myself on David Bordwell. Here I used his narrative theories from the books “The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960” and “Narration in the Fiction Film” as a basis. In “The Classical Hollywood Cinema”, Bordwell describes, in collaboration with Kristin Thompson and Janet Staiger, how a certain film style was formed, developed and established in Hollywood through various factors (including technologies, institutions), which has been known as “classical “Is described. In the chapters “An excessevely obvious cinema” and “Story causality and motivation” relevant to my work, Bordwell examines how Hollywood tells its stories. In “Narration in the Fiction Film” Bordwell also describes the way in which storytelling is filmed, but here the author goes into greater detail on the narrative factor of time.
In order to examine the handling of the cinematic time in the episodes more closely, I looked at the story "The Gold Watch" as an example. What is striking about this episode (and the overall “Pulp Fiction” package) is the narrative skill and the associated awareness of the possibilities that cinema has to express different aspects of time. The whole episode revolves around the importance of time, the past, the history of a family, the history of a country, and especially keeping a memory alive. The story of boxer "Butch", played by Bruce Willis, is the longest of the three episodes with a total of 41 minutes. It is told very slowly and in detail, story and plot duration and screen time are identical in most of the scenes.
At the end of my elaboration, I come to the conclusion that, despite the apparent departure from narrative conventions, Tarantino still uses a number of classic narrative elements. The film as a whole deviates clearly from the smooth linearity of classic Hollywood films. However, this only applies to the narrative framework, because within the narrative the characters, the events and the causal relationships are presented and connected in a classic way.
Here is a brief overview of the structure and scope of the paper:
1. Introduction ... p. 1-2
2. Narrative structures in classic Hollywood cinema… p.3-7
2.1 Basic terms: story and plot ... p. 3
2.2 Basic principles of narrative causality ... pp. 3-5
2.3 Time structures ... p. 5-7
3. The narrative structure of "Pulp Fiction" ... pp. 8-14
3.1 Plot overview ... p. 8
3.2 Story - overview in chronological order ... p. 8-11
3.3 The time structure within the episodes ... p.11-13
3.4 Causal structures ... pp. 13-14
4. Conclusion ... p. 15
If you are interested in my entire paper, please send me an email and I will send it to you as a PDF document.
But please remember to always cite the source when adopting passages from my work!
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