‘Pulp Fiction’ by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary is a classic when it comes to screenplays, so it was only a matter of time before I featured it on the blog. The film only won one Oscar in 1995, for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, but the film was also nominated for Best Picture that same year. A very fun read and a very fun review to write, enjoy!
Opening Image: This film opens with a definition of ‘Pulp’. Yup, we the audience are starting with an education lesson. I thought it was interesting, artistic, and honestly bold to start a film this way.
Voice Over: This screenplay uses voice over in a very limited way: only when Vincent is reading a note from Mia, we hear Mia’s voice dictate the note in voice over. I think this technique could be cheesy if used wrong. The only reasons it works so well is that we haven’t met Mia yet, so we get a sense of mystery, and I mean, Uma Thurman might have the sexiest voice on the planet.
Details (Set and Characters): This script is very meticulous for set decorations and shot details. It’s almost novelistic in how much each setting is described, but I appreciate the effort put into creating the perfect shots. The writers are also very detailed with characters nothing things like: accent, age, look, and eyes, even when they are not the main focus of the scene.
Blocking/Direction: There are parts of this screenplay that include a lot of acting direction such as: ‘Their dialogue is to be said in a rapid pace “HIS GIRL FRIDAY” fashion’
As an actress and writer, I don’t believe direction belongs in the screenplay. Actors should have some creative freedom to interpret a scene and make it their own, then collaborate with a director in rehearsal or on set. However, I have to consider here that Tarantino was both a writer and director on this project, so it could be why this happens.
Title Cards & Chapters: This was again a bold artistic move, and I can’t say I personally liked it. I love that theres so many little stories going on, but I don’t think the title cards were necessary.
MY FAVOURITE SCENE:
I think Uma Thurman as Mia completely steals this movie, I mean she’s the entire movie poster although only in the film for a few scenes. So of course my favourite scenes are Mia’s scenes. Above all, I love her flirtation in the diner with Vincent, and I love when she wants to dance. There is something so intriguing about women wanting to dance, wanting to win trophies, and needing a dance partner to do it (think Silver Linings Playbook!).
I loved reading this screenplay, and I even loved writing about it. I’m very glad it won the Oscar for best screenwriting since I thought it was extremely creative AND used so many techniques that are unique to film and its disciplines. Can’t wait for next week!