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New Ways of Showing/Seeing Violence Essay

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Updated: May 4th, 2019

There has been a shift in the way film directors depict different themes on the screen. The directors and producers in contemporary film making use a variety of styles and cinematography to highlight and present a wide range messages in their films. The technical aspects of film making are emphasized great deal in the new emerging way of making film.

An example of this is depicted in the Pulp Fiction film which was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in 1994. Quentin uses a variety of styles and cinematographic techniques to depict violence in the film.

The reformulation of screen violence has no doubt affected the way of viewing and showing and viewing violence. This paper will highlight and discuss how Quentin uses style and cinematography to show violence in the Pulp Fiction film.

The Pulp Fiction film is very rich in terms of style and cinematographic techniques. The nonlinear narration style is used by Quentin to effectively bring out three different stories in a chronological order with all stories emphasizing the theme of redemption through violence. The staging of the film in a suburban setting of Los Angeles was very relevant because of the crime and violence history of the place.

The stage portrays the mood of an unexpected violence and danger. Four characters in the Pulp Fiction film are shot onscreen to categorically demonstrate the intense violence in the film. Effective utilization of the mise –en-scene element in most parts of the film was key to the director’s success in highlighting violence.

The shots in Pulp Fiction are up-close with the majority of the conversation scenes being shot in door and window frames (Pratt 28). This type of cinematography makes the audience to appear as if they are in an eavesdropping position. The subjective point of view of the audience is what makes the film look real. The film is full of satire and highlights the causes and effects of crime in the contemporary America.

The extensive use of irony and rib –cracking humor by Quentin makes the film interesting to watch. Crime life in Los Angeles is deeply highlighted in the film by the inventive forms of dialogue employed by the director to bring out his primary themes.

The use of irony together with cinematic allusions gives the director room to use his cinematic techniques rather than characters to depict violence. The crime mobs in Los Angeles form a good number of the main characters in the film and are specifically used by Quentin to highlight the theme of crime and violence.

The pictures in the Pulp Fiction film demonstrate high reflex degrees. Quentin uses homage in most instances a style that has made the film to be labeled as postmodern. The extensive use of humor in the film makes the film look like a comedy and yet it is violent.

The self –referential nature of the film is depicted by the way Quentin presents the plot in an ordered sequence. The film also features the use of pastiche which is an element that gives the film a more modern way of showing violence on the screen (Pratt 38).

The Pulp Fiction film is presented in a very sequential manner with the three intertwined storylines being effectively brought out as one. Quentin uses the chronological arrangement technique to present his film sequences. The film contains quite a number of episodes that are separately presented but all focusing on the main theme.

The circular events in the film facilitate easy reference among different elements in the film (Pratt 46). The film was made using a slow stock because Quentin wanted clear images free from grains. Rock and surf music are mostly played in the film to connect the film with younger viewers who have expansive knowledge about modern cinema (Pratt 52).

Rock music is known to appear violent in nature and the music plays a big role in giving the film a violent effect. What make Quentin special are his extra-ordinary creative and imagination abilities. Quentin extensively uses graphic violence in this film to highlight change in the way of showing violence to the audience.

The extensive use of pop and rock music gives the film a trademark violent mood (Pratt 59). The structure of the film is chronological in nature and highlights the overall meaning of redemption through violence.

In conclusion, the film making has undergone a lot of transformation especially in the way the directors highlight themes and show the meaning of their films. The Pulp Fiction film is a perfect example of how violence is shown on the screen in a modern manner.

The emphasis on the use of style and cinematographic techniques has become very popular in modern film making. Quentin effectively uses a variety of cinematic techniques to show the theme of violence in the Pulp Fiction film.

Work Cited

Pratt, Mary K. How to Analyze the Films of Quentin Tarantino. Minnesota: ABDO Publishing Company, 2010. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "New Ways of Showing/Seeing Violence." May 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-ways-of-showing-seeing-violence-essay/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'New Ways of Showing/Seeing Violence'. 4 May.

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