132nd out of 156 books — 2 voters
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by Dana Polan
In this book, Dana Polan sets out to unlock the style and technique of Pulp Fiction. He shows how broad Tarantino's points of reference are, and analyzes the narrative accomplishment and complexity. In addition, Polan argues that macho attitudes celebrated in film are much more complex than they seem.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 26th 2000 by British Film Institute
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I’ve been enjoying the BFI Modern Classics series in general, but I think Dana Polan’s essay on Pulp Fiction is one of the weaker entries that I’ve come across in the series. I think that the author spends an inordinate time discussing the popularity of the film on the Internet, which includes incorporating recounting sophomoric responses from ill educated commenters. I would have rather read a more thorough discussion of how one of the “Anti-Tarantino” websites suggests that he has “stolen” mos ...more
I have been reading books in this BFI series since the early 1990s (my first was Salman Rushdie's essay on "The Wizard of Oz"). The better ones combine rigorous historical research with insightful critical analysis. This one is not as weak as my least favorite ("Back to the Future"), but it falls far short of the near perfection of the volumes on "Groundhog Day" and "Singin' in the Rain." The author seems to have little respect for the intrinsic artistic merits of the film (so why did he write t ...more
A very interesting analysis of the QT classic. One of my favourite movies and it certainly gives food for thought. It would be interesting to hear what the man himself thinks of the analysis. Some points stretched methinks but makes you look at the movie in a new light.
Not quite as eye-opening as the Taxi Driver pamphlet which introduced me to the series. Polan has found a slightly interesting link between the film's structure and the ways in which people use the internet. It's an interesting point if made only in passing, but it somehow becomes Polan's thesis. It's slightly intriguing that home computers and internet surfing coincide with Pulp Fiction's release and therefore provide a medium ripe for fanboy mania. I could see where this might be a worthy topi ...more
Dana Polan is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Sopranos, Julia Child's The French Chef, and Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film.More about Dana Polan...