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Cinematic Techniques in Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jan 25th, 2022


Artists have a unique way of expressing their ideas to the public through various genres of entertainment. Today, modern technology has reduced the work of movie producers, musicians, actors, and other artists. Art involves creativity and hard work to produce work that resonates with audiences and achieves the objectives set by producers and screenplay writers. This essay presents a critique of the cinematic techniques and how they have helped establish the theme of ethical choices in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.


Pulp Fiction is a fictional film featuring criminals who have different interests in criminal activities. Jules and Vincent are hitmen for hire and their mission to eliminate Marcellus Wallace is cut short by an unknown shooter (Trushell, 2004). They kill the intruder, but Jules decided to quit this game since he believes that his escape from the jaws of death is a miracle and thus one needs to reflect and change his lifestyle. Vincent thinks they made the right choices, and that is why the six bullets fired by the intruder missed them by a whisker. Vincent does not realize it is time to change his behavior and continues to commit more crimes (McCann, 2000). Life offered him numerous opportunities to change his ways, but he never realized that criminal activities do not pay. Other characters and Vincent succumbed to bullet wounds or drugs because of their carefree lifestyles.

Cinematic Techniques

Quentin Tarantino is known for his unique cinematic techniques that enable him to pass his messages to audiences through images. Pulp Fiction was produced in a unique way that is a trademark of this gallant producer. The cinematic techniques are evident in his film and make it interesting and appropriate in the modern age.

Camera angles and shots

The producer has used the trunk and hood point of vision shots that make the film appear real. This technique is unique and very few producers know how to use it. The audience can see the full image of the characters in the movies and this brings out the elegant nature of their prowess in different scenes and casts (Trushell, 2004). Reverse trunk shot techniques are also evident in the movie, and the producer used them to ensure the movie had a different angle. It is boring to watch a movie that has a landscape portrait from the beginning to the end. Audiences can remember various scenes because of the camera angles used to capture events like the shooting of Vincent and Jules by the intruder. The producer has used the corpse point of vision angle to create the tension and anxiety that fills cinema halls when the unexpected happens in movies (McCann, 2000). This angle prepares audiences for the gory scenes of blood, injuries, and death. For instance, the audience expected Marcellus to be dead because of the camera angle used to capture his movement as he woke up after Butch’s car knocked him down. The same technique is used when Butch hits Maynard and everybody expects him to be dead.

Color variations

A color is an important form of non-verbal communication that artists use to pass their messages to audiences. Tarantino did not disappoint in using black and white to express various messages intended to be digested by his audiences. Cinema critics argue that this producer uses these two colors to emphasize the significance of tradition in modern societies. It is correct to argue that he believes in conservatism ideologies because of his love for black and white sequences. The French New Wave era had a profound effect on his creativity and use of colors to denote ancient scenes and ideological concepts like cultural values and traditions (Trushell, 2004). In addition, Tarantino has admitted several times that he has an undying love for the movies produced in the early days of cinema. He believes that technology should not change people’s ways of life, and that is why the use of black and white in this movie pre-dominated scenes that were influenced by historical events (McCann, 2000). For instance, the black and white suits worn by Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, and Mia Wallace have been used to portray the lifestyles of the wealthy and influential members of society.


Tarantino used unique props to communicate to his audiences and ensured each of them fitted with eh scenes and characters used. He believes that some colors give people honor and prestige, and that is why all his main characters were dressed in black and white suits in most scenes. The Vintage cars (white Honda Civic and 1964 Chevrolet Malibu are used by Butch and Vincent Vega respectively) add value and credibility to the movie while enabling audiences to understand Tarantino’s real-life (Trushell, 2004). The producer used Samurai Swords to help audiences understand that criminal activities are not devoid of conduct and order. However, these virtues are misplaced because they are used to propagate illegal businesses.


Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic techniques enhance credibility and make his movie interesting. He used different camera angles to create variation and jiggle the memory of his audiences. Different camera positions were used to make the movie exciting and produce scenes that matched with their events. The color variations resonated with the theme of ethical and legal behaviors that are pillars of a successful life. This technique appreciates the contributions of cultural practices that shape the behavior of individuals. The props used to make the movie credible and highlight the magnitude of the impacts of virtues and vices on social lives.


McCann, S. (2000). Gumshoe America: Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Rise and Fall of New Deal Liberalism. Durham: Duke University Press.

Trushell, J. M. (2004). American Dreams of Mutants: The X‐Men—“Pulp” Fiction, Science Fiction, and Superheroes. The Journal of Popular Culture,38(1), 149-168.

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