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Tarantino Verse Essay

2136 words - 9 pages

Kiran SontyMichele SchrieberFilm 391: Quentin Tarantino PaperAnalyzing Quentin Tarantino's Impression of Reality: Pulp FictionPrevious films and film styles seem to permeate through Quentin Tarantino's entire body of work. Countless books have been written and fan sites created have detailed how Tarantino has successfully 'borrowed' from his greatest influences to create his own unique works with a specific "Tarantino" quality. His films are excruciatingly reflexive, yet are gushing with the qualities of a true auteur. It has been suggested by many fans, and indirectly confirmed by Tarantino that his films all operate within a self-contained diegesis (further divided into a "Realer than Real" and a "Movie Movie" Universe, where the latter films are to be watched by characters in the former). While this theory has been well articulated and discussed, analysis often overlooks the impacts of this type of social context on the characters of his films. In breaking down the mechanism by which these derivative and unique filmic elements are intertwined, there is evidence for a realistic universe that operates on a heightened awareness of cinema and pop culture. The consequence of this a slightly dystopian sentiment and a desensitization of violence from the characters that live in what is otherwise a society modeled after the real world. The 'cine-meta' qualities of Quentin Tarantino's films, particularly Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds offer a biting commentary on how violence is glorified and excessive in cinema.The emphasis of pop culture in the Tarantino universe is best decoded in terms of realism. The films of Tarantino are not ontologically real in every sense, but excel at rendering what Christian Metz coined as the "impression of reality". The impression of reality is a problem in film realism that makes cinema more naturally realistic compared to other art forms, such as the novel (Metz 4). The theory is embedded in psychoanalytic and semiotic analyses from the same theorist. When the film space (diegesis) and viewing space are segregated, the physical laws of the real world are stripped and the viewer is left to perceive the events on the film as real (Metz 10-11). For Tarantino, pop culture is the most effective means by which faith is put into the image. Dana Polan is keen to note the consequences of pop culture in Pulp Fiction. He describes a conversation between Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) at Hollywood-themed restaurant, Jack Rabbit Slim's that enforces how important it is to have knowledge of mass media in the Tarantino universe (Polan 12). In the scene, Vince takes pride in being able to recognize most of the celebrity costumes worn by employees of the restaurant (including Buddy Holly, Marilyn Monroe, and Mamie Van Doren), but is ashamed to admit that he does not watch much television (Polan 13). The two characters form a bond over this that experience that establishes a mutual sense of trust that is...

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