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How Pulp Fiction Revolutionized Cinema

May 10, 2024

Thirty years ago, the premiere of Pulp Fiction in Cannes turned cinema inside out.

Film | Pulp Fiction von Quentin Tarantino
Image: United Archives/picture alliance

Director Tarantino combined trash with classic narrative tradition. And on top of that: violence, great actors, superb dialog and phenomenal coolness!

Thirty years ago, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes and forever changed the cinema landscape. Leading up to the film’s 30th anniversary, we take a look at its lasting impact and the influence it has exerted – it’s inspired everyone, from Christopher Nolan through to Guy Ritchie, Breaking Bad and the Marvel films. We also explain how Tarantino managed to combine sophisticated and popular film through an ingenious mix of genre and arthouse cinema. Pulp Fiction went down as a film that set new standards.

Filmszene Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson und John Travolta
Scene from "Pulp Fiction"Image: Miramax/Everett Collection/picture alliance

Key scenes from the film have been copied countless times and have been incorporated into our collective pop culture memory. A homage to the cheaply produced genre cinema that was long ignored by the cultural elite, which deemed it to be “pulp” or trash. Tarantino charged it with intellectual coolness and humor. This first made him into a cult then a star director. Pulp Fiction marked the birth of the post-modern blockbuster. It initiated a new wave of independent film.

Decades after Pulp Fiction, we all live in Quentin Tarantino’s world. The smooth and trashy genre-arthouse blockbuster may have inspired dozens of terrible imitations but also generations of filmmakers and audiences. The influence of Pulp Fiction is visible in pop culture up to this day.


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