8.09.2010

"Tulip" is much better than "mongoloid"

Remember when on-screen chapter titles were innovative & nearly necessary -- less hip-kitsch & more punk rock cinema? Didn't last long before every movie with a self-proclaimed 'edge' had text poop all over their respective prologues (Virgin Suicides, Zombieland, Feast, Trainspotting, Go, & the eventual heartbreaking culmination that is Inglourious Basterds). Some of these films were great - some of them were really really not great. That aside, the use of text as a signpost in nearly all of these movies was ultimately distracting, obnoxious, and/or a pretentious mistake. Ironically, leave it to the guy who invented it (& by 'invented it,' we mean popularized it) to eventually - and tiresomely - drive it into our skull in the shape of a bloody swastika. 
And yet, once upon a time, the text gag came across as elegant & tasteful. Could it have been as simple as the fact that we'd seen it used so little in previous films? Or was it the fact that, in Pulp, it was used so subtly & sparingly that it actually worked as the quiet contrast to the frenetic hijinks of the film -- a trick he has yet to recreate. 
The point of all this is... well, nothing. What we'd really like to know is which of these titled-parts of Pulp Fiction is your favorite. You're gonna go to the sidebar, click on your favorite, & that's all you gonna do.

3 comments:

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Proulx + Jessica Sargent said...

I loved basterds. 'twas the title cards that I grew weary of

Max Kyburz said...

Until I read this post, it didn't dawn on me just how kitschy Tarantino's title-cards truly gotten: in the case of Pulp, they were entirely necessary, for, as Quentin himself boasts, these are modernly slick rip-offs of old pulp novel stories. The three titles, 'Vincent Vega & Marcellus Wallace's Wife', 'The Gold Watch', and 'The Bonnie Situation', easily could have been old dime standards from the 40s. In the case of the later films (with the exception of 'Jackie Brown'), their only purpose was to add another 5 seconds each to the running time (not to mention give an excuse for the Kill Bill films being inexcusably non-linear). I guess he didn't think the films were long enough.

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