In the first section of my blog I will be deconstructing the film of my choice & will be explaining how elements of the film are molded to appeal to a specific target audience. This will be defined by elements such as character, props, locations etc. formally know as modes of address. The film I have chosen is: Pulp Fiction.
Firstly I would like to start with content. Many say an audience can pick up the style of genre the film is by the content it includes. This point is proven in pulp fiction with the prologue held at the diner. In this scene, Pumpkin (played by Tim Roth) & Honey Bunny (played by Amanda Plummer) decide to take the customers at the diner as hostages & hold them at gunpoint as they both agree they could make money off the customers as well as the business. This is before the scene quickly ends to lead to the opening credits. In this scene, the conversations the 2 are having starts off very calm & slowly drags on before they both agree in participating in the heist. This kind of structure in the narrative gives it a ‘thriller’ type feel as there is tension being built throughout the conversation. You also see a weapon being drawn & strong language being used in the dialogue. This indicates to the audience that there is going to be strong graphic violence & more cases of strong language contained in the film. These elements of the film make it very thriller based, pushing it toward thriller in the genre categories. This is again proved in the gold watch tale by the way butch has to fight against Marcellus Wallace in the pawnshop. When they are captured, the scene where they are tied up in a basement once again starts very calm & slowly escalates. Also, by having Vincent Vega & Jules Winnfield involved in the tale, this includes a touch of adventure, adding crime to the genre list. This is shown in the scene when they are introduced by the way Jules executes Brett in such a brutal manner before quickly leaving before the police arrive. In this scene, Jules comes across very dominant to the audience as he kills Brett & his friend, leaving the flat a murder scene. This bit of crime involved in the story builds tension for the audience as they are unsure what is going to happen next. From a crime viewer’s perspective, this is a very appealing bit of content. This is because of the way the narrative is left with open but at the same time ties in with the multi strand narrative of the whole film. The effect of these leaves the viewer engaged in the plot, almost sucked in. As Jules kills Brett, Jules speaks a biblical statement included in the script. This piece of speech comes across very formal with the way it is said in the scene. This leads on nicely to language. Throughout the majority of the film, the language is more informal than formal. I say more informal as there is a lot of strong language used in the dialogue. There is excessive use of swear words & bits of slang in the odd place. The slang that is used is mainly American, as the film as a whole is fully American based. The tone of the dialogue used in the film is very aggressive as the characters are always confronting the audience. The use of words like ‘c’mon’ & ’shake’ instead of milkshake are used more from an American vocabulary than an English one. With the way Tarantino has wrote the script, the tone & accent of the dialogue has a very cool vibe to it. This is important when trying to appeal to any audience because everybody wants to be cool/the next best thing. By making the characters involved in the film as badass & elegant as possible, this makes them almost an idol from an audience viewer’s point of view. What helps portray this is the how Tarentino uses the element of surprised to alert the viewer. For example in the Brett scene, the way in which Jules kills the guy on the sofa could almost be argued as uncalled for. This is a clever technique that Tarentino uses to grab the viewers attention but at the same time makes Jules look like the tough guy at this point in the film. Its like killing two birds with one stone from a director point of view. Another technique Tarentino uses to appeal to a thriller/crime audience is the film noir influences in the scene when Butch flees in the taxi with Esmarelda Villalobos. This scene again is very clever in the way it is structured. The way how the driver tells Butch that he has killed his opponent in the boxing match is a point for the crime audience to reference alongside the film noir style layout for the scene which is a point for the thriller audience as they will have seen this in various other thrillers watched previous as the scene inherits the basic influences of a standard film noir scene.
In certain scenes throughout pulp fiction, Tarentino uses specific shot types & angle to address precise viewers. An example of this would be the scene where Jules & Vincent are walking to Brett’s house. In this scene Jules & Vincent are having a conversation & are framed up in a 2 shot. They are also followed by a right pan shot all the way to Brett’s door. The reason why Tarentino used this shot is to make the viewer fell part of the conversation. By seeing the 2 characters all the way through their conversation makes the audience fell as if they are a 3rd person listening in on what the pair has to say. The mise en scene of the scene also makes the conversation flow giving it a casual feel also adding to the 3rd person effect.