Pulpe Fiction (1994)(in memorium)
Pulp Fiction is a highly charged docudrama about the role of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission in the early 90's. Here, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino does an excellent job of taking some very complicated subject matter and making into something accessible to all audiences. For this he is to be praised. However, there are several colloquialisms, which can lead to misunderstanding, confusion and even feelings of alienation on the part of some viewers.
One such landmine occurs when Jules says to Jimmy, "This is some serious gourmet shit." Here, one can probably assume he is referring to the coffee rather than some off screen turd. This theory finds support in the extended explanation of how the coffee really is very good coffee. Again, out of context, people might take this the wrong way. They might think Mr. Tarantino buys gourmet shit "because he likes to taste it." If Tarantino began receiving bags of poo in the mail from well-meaning fans, he would have no one to blame but himself. That Jules uses the word "serious" only reinforces this misinterpretation. It's almost as if he is saying, "Hey, no I mean literally, this really is gourmet shit." Jules is at it again later when he says, "I ain't trying to fuck your shit up." This one still remains a challenge for most Pulp Fiction scholars, but many think it may in some way be an important comment on the film industry as a whole.
But unfortunately, the problem is not limited to people who are watching the film itself. What if someone innocently passing by a room full of people playing the game of the film were to hear the words "I'm on the motherfucker." This could induce flushing, muscle spasms and even precipitate a moral crisis. Of course, we all know when Mr. Wallace says this to Jules in 'The Bonnie Situation', he clearly means he is going to make the necessary calls to achieve a speedy resolution to their problem and not that he is physically on top of someone whom he is calling, for the sake of expediency, "the motherfucker." However, to the uninitiated, an entirely different interpretation might occur.
Pulp Logic is a theory which holds that all aspects of modern life would be both simpler and more stimulating if common everyday language was replaced by phrases of the kind appearing in Quentin Tarantino's oeuvre. It was developed by John Roebling, noted Film Studies professor at Williams College in Massachussetts. According to Roebling, one could correctly answer a question like, "Could you tell me where would we find the Clarke Art Museum?" by simply saying, "Fuck you" and pointing in the museum's general direction. If it were Monday, you could follow with a nice "Goddamn cocksucker motherfucker." More than likely they'd know you were telling them the museum is closed on Mondays and that you're very sorry they drove all this way, but they are blocking the fucking road.
Editor's Note: Pulp Friction is a good movie with a lot of important themes: 1) People who sit on the toilet too long may get shot. 2) There are few drugs that could make Uma Thurman undesirable. Heroin is not one of them. 3) Is there too much violence?