Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece review

Pulp Fiction The Complete Story (Cover)In 1994 a young movie maker named Quentin Tarantino forever changed the world of film when he threw the movie making rule book out of the window and created the masterpiece that is Pulp Fiction.

Then aged just 31, Tarantino managed to craft a new way of storytelling, with his disorientating, interwoven, multi-character style, and instantly became not only a movie making legend but a cult figure, who would continue to dominate the movie world with his distinctive style.

Now, almost 20 years later, movie expert and author Jason Bailey has created an incredible look back at this piece of cult cinema, with ‘Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Tarantino’s Masterpiece’.

In this beautiful and incredibly addictive book, Bailey (who saw the movie no less than six times during its initial release) explores the mythos of Pulp Fiction, what made it such a beloved and influential piece of cinema and discusses some of the revolutionary ways in which Tarantino utilised dialogue, time structure and the beautiful cinematography that flows throughout. Tarantino brought it all together to forge a movie that forever changed the industry and artistry of independent cinema, paving the way for other like-minded visionaries.

Whilst reading I could not help but feel not only nostalgic and impressed, but also incredibly geeky, as the book takes the reader on a guided tour through the back streets of Pulp Fiction.

Many questions about the movie are answered, though some are not. For instance, the biggest unanswered question about the movie is the contents of the briefcase, and Bailey does a fantastic job in covering many of the theories, the most interesting of which is that the case in fact contains the soul of Marsellus Wallace, which he sold to the devil, whom had removed it via the back of Wallace’s neck, a wound which is covered by a band aid throughout the movie. Wallace had decided to buy back his soul, and sent Vincent and Jules to retrieve it from the devil’s helpers in room 666, but when one of those helpers decided to unload his “hand cannon” the two are seemingly saved by divine intervention. Crazy, but fun. Tarantino still to this day refuses to reveal what was in the case, he simply tells people that: it is whatever you believe it is.

Each section of the book contains a box out section which explains any and all references mentioned in the section, to give the reader a better understanding, which is incredibly helpful. There are also a number of ‘Pulp Facts’ sections that offer little facts about that particular section.

From Tarantino’s early life in movies and his love for restaurants and cafes, and how this links his movies, together with his influences, the secrets, the release and aftermath of this groundbreaking movie, and the awards it won, Bailey has not only created a wonderful sneaky peek behind the scenes of a movie masterpiece, but also into the head of the mastermind who created it. A man who once said during an interview that he hopes that “if a million people see my movie, they see one million different movies.”

But wait, there’s more.

On top of all that, this fascinating read is filled to the brim with film stills, and behind the scenes photos from Miramax and Quentin Tarantino’s archives, as well as a host of guest essays that cover everything from the film’s structure to the use of swear words. My favourite of these is the wonderful Drew McWeeney piece ‘Tarantino, Movie Geek.’

If you like Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, or any of his movies, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, then this stunning 200 page hardcover is a must read.

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