The 100 greatest films of all time – 14: Pulp Fiction

by Daniel Suddes

Pulp Fiction (1994)  Directed by: Quentin Tarantino  Produced by: Lawrence Bender  Written by:  Tarantino, Story By Roger Avary and Tarantino  Starring:  John Travolta, Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Christopher Walken  Oscar Count: 1 (Best Original Screenplay. Also Nominated for Best Actor (Travolta), Best Actress (Thurman), Best Supporting Actor (Jackson), Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture).

Amongst everyone born in the 1980s (including myself), Pulp Fiction is the sort of landmark film that will never be repeated in their life time. It was the equivalent of dropping a fox in a chicken coop – an event that so violently and significantly changed the environment as a whole that not addressing its impact would be downright ignorant.

But why is that? As time goes on, Pulp Fiction does not seem as original as it did in 1994. But then, it was not original to begin with. The film was mainly the sort of combination of the French New Wave, Blaxploitation, and Hong Kong Action films as a geek who worked in a local video store (as Tarantino did) would make after staying awake for 100 hours watching Breathless and The Killer on a loop. In other words, Tarantino did not necessarily break new ground. But then, the techniques that Tarantino re-introduced to audiences were techniques that had been forgotten. I hope I do not need to remind readers which films were at the top of the box office before Pulp Fiction was released. The fact that this indie film managed to have such a wide impact is an important part in its mythology.  Finally, masters Godard and Leone became an important part of everyone’s film going life. Continue reading

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THE 100 GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME – 15: BLADE RUNNER

by Dan Suddes

Blade Runner (1982)  Directed By:  Ridley Scott  Written By:  Hampton Francher and David Peoples Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep By Phillip K Dick  Produced by:  Michael Deeley Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah, and Edward James Olmos Oscar Count: 0 (Nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects)

At its release, Blade Runner was regulated to being a visually stunning but emotionally sparse downer that audience who were flocking to E.T. did not tolerate. A quarter of a century later, and the film is considered among the best science fiction films of all time.

Why? Maybe it’s because people finally realized that they could not attack a film’s lack of humanity when the central theme of the work is what humanity is. The replicants (artificial humans) act with more compassion and feeling than the human characters do. They love each other and are capable of affection towards humans. Deckard, in the meantime, barely reacts when he is asked to destroy the replicants and his attempts of love are as seemingly artificial as a robots should be. Watch the scene when he is directing Rachel what to say to express love. It is not for her benefit, but for his own. Continue reading