Pulp Fiction Narrative

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Pulp Fiction is a controversial film, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, in 1994. It has almost everything you could wish for in a movie; drama, hilarity, intensity, action, thrills, fun, intelligence, romance, intimacy, over-the-top bravado, vulgarity, sweetness, humor, and soul-searching. The film is very raw and brutal, but has a unique sense of style that keeps the viewers entertained. It will build its way up gradually to an incredibly intense scene, before dropping down to a relatively calm, only to build back up again a few scenes later. This goes on throughout the entire course of the film, pummeling the viewer from one scenario to another.

In Pulp Fiction we see how Vincent (John Travolta) and the dealer are bringing Mia (Uma Thurman) back to life, after she had an overdose. In a medium shot the dealer explains to Vincent what to do. While the dealer is counting to three, the camera zooms into even tighter close ups of Vincent and Mia's face, the needle where the adrenaline is dribbling off, and the dealer and his pierced girlfriend's face. This effect is used to show how nervous the dealer is, how much his pierced girlfriend enjoys this spectacle, and how afraid Vincent is. The spectator is able to identify with all these emotions.

According to the feminist film theorist, Laura Mulvey, one of the most important pleasures of the classical narrative is identification. This is send to occur when the spectator narcissistically identifies with an idealized figure on screen, typically a male hero whose actions determine the narrative, in a process that recapitulates the discovery of the image of oneself in the mirror phase. For the scene just discussed, the idealized figure is Vincent, whom the spectators personally identifies with.

Then, to even increase the tension of this extraordinary scene, the camera zooms into the place where the needle has to push in, while there is no noise at all. As Vincent pushes the needle down, the camera shows...
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