Posted by: daveed | January 1, 2012

Straight and narrow

Quick, before it’s gone, check out Pulp Fiction, re-cut in chronological order:

Right after I saw the film for the first time, I tried to reconstruct the events in my head as they would have happened. It hurt. Later, when it came out on DVD, it was an easy matter of skipping to the correct scenes. I have to say it made for an uninteresting experience, and I’m not quite sure why. It’s not like Pulp Fiction is as thematically deep as say, an Ingmar Bergman film, or as avant garde as something sprung from the mind of David Lynch. Quentin Tarantino just isn’t that kind of filmmaker. What you see are three episodic short films that have a tenuous link to each other: Vincent and Jules and the briefcase, Vincent and Mia Wallace’s date night, and Butch and the gold watch.

I recall reading somewhere that Tarantino’s intention was to cut the film chronologically, but that his co-writer Roger Avery or perhaps his editor (and subsequently frequent collaborator until her timely death), Sally Menke, convinced him to make the switcheroo.

The conceit is gimmicky, but I’ll be damned it works. You see more of Samuel Jackson’s iconic character and his radical transformation becomes a much stronger denouement to the film. Here, Jules drops out of the picture before the midway point, never to be seen again. I suppose the film could have ended right there and it would still have resonance as its own, dark and quirky gangster comedy.

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