I think it’s safe to say that most people would have the urge to watch the entire film once they are subjected to a mere 30 second clip of it. You just can’t tease people like that. It was only right for me to pick up from Honey Bunny and Pumpkin’s infamous diner scene, just as Dick Dale’s rockin’ Misirlou rolled us into the opening credits. So, good ol’ Netflix provided me with a sweet viewing of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, 20 years on from its box office hit of a release in 1994, becoming the film of the Indie sector, breaking barriers for a wildly different, yet attractive style of filmmaking.
We still remember the heavily profane, yet simply entertaining banter between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta. The iconic moment of twisting at Jack Rabbit Slims and Bruce Willis’ highly effective choice of weapon in the pawnshop, all in this haphazard order, jumping back and forth to create multiple strands of storytelling and one hell of a viewing experience. And, its not just the pleasure of watching it all unfold, but listening out for the sub-culturally cool assortment of surf, rock, soul and pop music, adding another layer of post-modernity to an already highly hyperreal vision of Los Angeles.
What we love about Tarantino’s creations is just that, they are creations, not just a string of moving image with sound all chucked in, over an hour and a half of conventionalism. He stirs with the likes and dislikes of an audience, twists and turns characterisation and stories and produces an aesthetically pleasing conception of his individualism. From Reservoir Dogs (1992) all the way down the line to Django Unchained (2012), he flirts with the normative Hollywood movie, and even while doing that they still love him and so do we.
Why did the film become the face of Indie? What even is Indie? It can be said it’s indefinable due to the various strands it embodies. I would deem an Indie film as self-consciously individual and eccentric, in terms of aesthetic and technical values, and distributes itself within a niche film market, thus differentiating it from a major blockbuster. The words individual, eccentric and niche are the picture of Tarantino’s filmography, including Jackie Brown (1997); Kill Bill Vol 1& 2 (2003-4), Death Proof (2007) and Inglorious Bastards (2009).