George Ritzer said that "in the modern world everything seems pretty clear-cut, (but) on the cusp of the postmodern world many things seem quite hazy." This is the case with regard to classifying Pulp Fiction. In contrast to most previous American (modernist) movies, which fit into a specific genre, e.g. Western, comedy, gangster, combat movie, etc., Pulp Fiction breaks with all previous formulas and is therefore difficult to categorize. Is it a gangster film? A film noir? A black comedy? Or even a musical?
[pic]This article will attempt to explore why the movie Pulp Fiction is thought to be a post modern, rather than just a modern movie.
In practically all modernist movies, the protagonists are heroes, however flawed or tragic, who stand for and express the ideals and morals of the day. The hero stood for traditional values and often had with the capacity to influence or transform society, or at least stand up for what was right, even against enormous odds. Classic examples would be Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) or Fred Zinnemann's High Noon (1952). Even anti-heroes would end up doing the right' thing, even if they had to struggle most of the film to get there. I guess that this was partly due to Hollywood's strict censures on films, especially in the 1940s and 50s, and also because the filmmaker usually wants the audience to sympathise with the lead character(s).
In Pulp Fiction there are no heroes in the traditional sense. The protagonists are extremely violent and show no remorse for their actions yet, due to the way that the violence is handled or styled in the movie, plus that it is treated as normal behaviour and is