Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Creating a Classic: Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

Twenty-two years later, the film Pulp Fiction still has the power to take one's breath away. I saw it in 1993 when it came out in theaters, several times in fact. It's that kind of movie. You can't watch it just once.

The making of Pulp Fiction is an amazing story in itself, how a high school drop-out, video store clerk who lived off others, rarely showered and wore nothing but old tee shirts came to write and direct this film that went on to gross over $200 million at the box office.

Last night when it showed up on Netflix, my husband and I looked at each other. We had to watch Pulp Fiction! It had been two decades since we'd seen it, yet the power, intensity, and story-telling genius of that work has not diminished.

Whenever an artist creates a work, whether it's a film, a novel, a play, whatever--there's the feeling inside that this is special-- the hope, the desire others will see it too. There's the dream that one's creation might connect with an audience and make magic.

In reality, however, this rarely happens. Sure, there's plenty of fine entertainment. There's blockbuster movies, best-selling novels-- the movies that make money and win awards, the books everyone is reading.

Until one day, out of nowhere it seems, will come the creation of something so different, so amazing, brilliant and radical it changes everything. This was Pulp Fiction. This was also Harry Potter. When it happens, it inspires every artist with a dream to continue working.

Most of us don't expect to ever create anything of this magnitude. Still, it helps to know if we do, there are people out there who will find it. Even if comes in the form of a messy script full of typos and grammatical errors, written in spiral notebooks, about a couple of chatty hit men in Los Angeles.

23 comments:

  1. You're right there are some books and movies that you can what over and over and some you can't -even though they were fantastic the first time. There's just a subtle different that give movie like Pulp Fiction that bump.

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  2. I had no idea about the back story of "Pulp Fiction." What an inspirational way to start my day! Thanks Karen.

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  3. Oh my goodness. I never saw this one. Or maybe I did long long ago in Provo with Larry. I'm going to watch it today on Netflix. I'm so excited. So glad you posted this.

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    1. Ann, be prepared for a lot of violence, profanity, drug use. How I ever got my husband too watch it, the guy who prefers cartoons and happy musicals, I'm not sure but he loves it as much as I do.

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    2. I just started watching it. Realized I didn't ever see it with Larry, since it came out in 1993. I should have noticed that. Anyway, I was watching it with Jen on the side playing her Bookworm, but she fell apart ten minutes into because, she says, of the violence. I can get past that. It's the F word that has bothered me ever since the Larry days when I saw, with him, so many R movies, even some X rated ones I could never sit through today. I've changed a lot, but I'm going to turn on my iPad, put in my ear buds, and give it a try. I'll let you know tomorrow. I can see what Alex meant when he said it's dramatic genius on Tarantino's part the way he puts two people together and has them talk. Yes, that first long scene with John Travolta is a classic.

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    3. When I say I can get past the violence....it depends. So far they haven't really shown anything graphic, only shoot, shoot, shoot. It's the characters' voices, so far, that are violent; maybe that's what really got to Jen. So, off to watch it with my "literary" mind....

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    4. Just finished it. It IS an incredible film. The dialogue is...how to describe it....simply amazing. Now I'm going to watch the other two Tarantino films that are also on Netflix. WOW!!!!

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  4. Great movie. Made me wonder if there are any books on my shelves that fit your description of unforgettable.

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  5. Oh, I do remember this quirky and powerful movie. It sapped the WOW out of me when I saw it. What I can't imagine is seeing it again... It was almost "too much."
    Yes, here's to the dreamers who don't worry so much about "the rules," and the mentors of dreamers are not put-off by rule-breakers.

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  6. I've always thought it was a great film. I discovered Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs first and have enjoyed most of his films since then. He knows how to take a simple scene of people just talking and make it fascinating.

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  7. I'm sure it's wondful - but I can't manage the violence. Having worked in Child Protection, and known the worst that men and women can do to children, I just can't manage violence as entertainment.

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  8. Now I want to watch it again. But we don't have Netflix. You're right. It's that kind of movie.

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  9. Gotta have a dream, so may as well dream big. never know what will happen.

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  10. This just exploded onto the screen and resurrected Travolta's career. The music is so part of his films and one forgets that Bruce Willis is in this film and does a great job!

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  11. I rarely shower and wear old tee-shirts all the time. I keep waiting for the genius to come out.

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  12. Pulp Fiction is amazing and Quentin Tarantino is a genius. Didn't know those historical tidbits about him, but I'm not surprised. Guess if I ever run into him I'll stand upwind.

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  13. I never saw Pulp Fiction, but I know what it's about; I must admit that even though I do think Quentin Tarantino is a talented filmmaker, his movies make me squeamish. But I do know what you mean about certain movies, books, or other works of art that you feel deserve all the recognition it gets or even more recognition; I know of many artists out there whose work deserves to be recognized, praised, and enjoyed.

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  14. Thanks for coming over to my blog, Karen. I wouldn't mind being in your shoes, and only missing snow a wee, wee bit!

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  15. I've said it before, Karen. I LOVE that photo at the top of your blog. I'd like to be there, too. As for Pulp Fiction, I've been trying to get someone to watch it with me for...well...20 some years. I'll just have to buy or rent it and watch it myself. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Victoria, I will happily watch it with you!

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  16. I love that Jesse Stuart quote! I think when we write for ourselves, it is 'art' as God made us and He is the perfect Artist! I actually wasn't a fan of Pulp Fiction, however I did really like the quirky, dark show Twin Peaks a lot!

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  17. I feel the same way about this movie Karen. In fact, I feel the same way about most of what he has done. Not all, but most. The dialog in Pulp Fiction is amazing!

    I also feel the same way about Shawshank Redemption and many Cohen Brothers movies.

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  18. Hi Karen - I haven't seen this .. better catch it sometime ... thanks for bringing it to my attention .. cheers Hilary

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