Can We Please Stop Pretending That ‘Pulp Fiction’ Is A Masterpiece? [Podcast]

CW: rape

The movie: Pulp Fiction

What we’ll be talking about:

  • our relationships with Pulp Fiction
  • how IMDb shapes how we watch movies
  • whether or not Quentin Tarantino deserves his legacy
  • the movie’s more troublesome language
  • Tarantino cashing in on his “cool” credit to do whatever he wants, no matter how problematic
  • the movie’s badass female characters, especially Fabienne and Mia Wallace
  • female sexual pleasure in film
  • the value of names
  • rape as a lazy plot device (and why Pulp Fiction‘s rape scene isn’t)
  • Pulp Fiction fan theories
  • the depiction of BDSM


Ways to Listen:

You can listen on iTunes, via our podcast feed, via SoundCloud for streaming or direct download (as well as embedded below for your convenience):


Links, Notes, and Mentions:

Other Episodes Mentioned in This One

Dylan Clark-Moore
is a podcast creator and blogger at NetFlakes. You can find him on Letterboxd and Twitter.

Caroline Diezyn is a podcast co-host and blogger at NetFlakes, and a PhD student, writer, and artist in London, Ontario. You can find them on Letterboxd and Twitter.

Check out the NetFlakes Patreon campaign to support the project and get rewards.

Pulp Fiction is also available on Amazon.

One thought on “Can We Please Stop Pretending That ‘Pulp Fiction’ Is A Masterpiece? [Podcast]

  1. Rob MacDougall says:

    Hi guys! It’s been a long time – so good to hear your voices again.

    I listened to this one with a little trepidation: I haven’t watched Pulp Fiction in at least 10 years. I’m almost afraid to, because OF COURSE it is problematic in every way you guys mention – if anything you were probably too easy on it – but I can’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy the hell of it when it first came out.

    I saw PF with a posse of friends from the campus humour/engineering paper and in retrospect that’s kind of exactly who it was made for: a roving pack of privileged white college dudes (plus a few long-suffering girls and Asian dudes) steeped in shock humor, competitive cleverness, and obsessive movie references. I mean, 90% of popular culture is made for privileged white college dudes, but this felt so *specifically* targeted at us that it was weird to see it grow into this huge phenomenon. I remember being scandalized at the thought of my parents watching Pulp Fiction, and the thought of you guys seeing Pulp Fiction as kids/teenagers, after a generation of older brothers had elevated it to The Canon of Great Dude Films, somehow depresses me.

    At the time, it did feel like Tarantino had cracked some kind of secret formula: previously even the cleverest screenplay might be like 20% great, funny lines, 80% exposition – but just like Star Wars was a movie stitched together from just the “greatest hits” bits of old movie serials, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction seemed to suggest that every line of dialogue could be an endlessly quotable zinger. In retrospect, as you guys rightly note, every line wasn’t such a winner…

    Tarantino’s role in the movie is indeed awful – even at the time I could see that. The part he gave himself in Reservoir Dogs felt more restrained and at least somewhat self aware – the nerdy rapid-talking guy who blathers crudely about Madonna, then gets shot in the head the instant the action starts. Seems about right.

    It seems funny to me that you guys have seen mostly the late Tarantino movies (Inglorious Basterds on down) but not the early ones (Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, I’d include True Romance too). Not saying those early movies were perfect but at least in those days Tarantino had to work within some artistic constraints. Late Tarantino is like Late Elvis, Late George Lucas, Michael Jackson in Neverland – it’s what some people become when there is nobody who can say no to all their whims.

    We talked once on HMOTD about overly clever adolescent boys with zero moral sense or wisdom. Nowadays that kind of boy (INT 16, WIS 3) seems to be everywhere. Looking back, Tarantino feels like something of a harbinger. I really am sorry for this janky fallen world we’ve bequeathed you. But it’s great to be hearing the podcast again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s