So for part of my textual analysis I have chosen to analyse the ‘breakfast scene’ from Quieten Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’. This is a very lengthy scene so I will only be analysing the last 5-6 minutes of the scene, which is the most climactic part of the scene.
Within the scene we have Jules Winnfield played by Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Vega played by John Travolta. They play the gangsters, associates of the mob boss Marcellus Wallis. They have been sent to the hideout of three young men who were the flaky business partners within a crime with Mr Wallis. Jackson and Vega have been sent to retrieve a briefcase from the apartment.
Before I dive in I would like to point out that Tarantino only uses natural lighting and digetic sound within this scene, the reasoning behind this is to preserve the quality of the acting, Opposed to over-extravagant film techniques. He does this to show that Jules and Vega are putting on a show, they’re not morally invested into the crime, and they’re just acting out these feelings of betrayal on Mr Wallis’s behalf. Reaching out to religion and popular culture to harness the character of the verbose Jules Winnfield.
Early on in this scene we can see that Jules has completely taken all the power in the room and is leading the conversation in any way he sees fit. Helping himself to food and drink in sarcastic tones, with the camera directly pointing up at him to extenuate that he is on top of everything metaphorically. The 666 lock combination is important for religious reasons, but the briefcase itself is also very important. The content of the briefcase has this constant glow that heightens the spectacle and mystery of what it is. Tarantino, when asked about this will always reply ‘It’s whatever you want it to be’. We look into this as ‘Whatever man desires’ or ‘whatever drives mans actions for violence and crime’. This could also mean different things for each character, with each character being unique and very different to anyone else around them.
“I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?” these words define Jules through his actions and calm and casual manor in which he took a man’s life without even glancing at him. Just to give Bret the message that he is capable of doing such deeds without any signs of moral strain or physical effort. Long lens close ups are used to show the intensity and seriousness of their conversation. The angles change high and higher for Brets character and lower for Jules to show who is running the conversation. Lower camera angles are used again when Jules become more dominant and starts flipping out. Jules’s theatrical dialog really defines his character here with shooting the man for stuttering and drawn out jokes like “Does he look like a b*tch!?”.
Ezekiel 25:17, I believe this is where Tarantino has perfected dark side of Dark Comedy. His use of satire within this scene is unparalleled and perfected to an art my Jackson. Tarantino shows how crime and sin are no longer morally relevant to these men. This can be viewed as the representation of Jules and how this modern man have lost sincerity and has become almost cynical when making sense of his life. To which in the end of the film is also discussed again. What Tarantino is trying to say is that religion is only used in modern society as a way of man trying to find meaning in their lives.