Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Great Cinematic Speeches: Pulp Fiction

In honor of this Friday's release of the Tarantino/Rodriguez double-feature tribute to exploitation movies Grindhouse, I thought I would highlight a speech from Tarantino's own Pulp Fiction: the one commonly known as the "watch story."

Now, some people might be surprised that I selected this speech and not the more popular "Ezekiel 25:17" monologue that Sam Jackson makes. Well, that is indeed a great speech, brilliantly done by Jackson, but in terms of trying to showcase Tarantino's skills as a writer, it's not really the best choice as it is mostly just quoting scripture. In spite of my general apathy toward Tarantino as a filmmaker, there is no denying that the man has talent, particularly as a writer of dialogue (which is where I think most of his films truly shine) and the "watch story" is an excellent example of his own unique style of "Tarantino-talk." It is simultaneously smart, weird, disgusting, hilarious and touching. It doesn't hurt either I suppose that it comes from the mouth of the great Chris Walken, who is absolutely flawless in his delivery. He seems to understand and capture all the various, almost contradictory, elements of the tale.

It also does a good job foreshadowing events that will occur later on in this particular story (I had actually forgotten Walken's line about hoping that the boy never has to experience something like what he and the dad went through and the comeraderie that resulted from it). So, much like the the very first speech I chose for this ongoing feature here at Windmills, "the watch story" is one of those movie solilquies that works well within the context of the film but also manages to function as a great "stand-alone" piece. Good stuff.

4 comments:

CINEBEATS said...

Hello Damian, this a late response, but I just thought you might want to know that the "watch" bit in Pulp Fiction was actually written by Roger Avary, not Tarantino. Also, you might want to know that the Ezekiel 25:17 monologue was swiped right out of Karate Kiba (1976).

Damian said...

Sure enough.

Although I still think that there's no denying that Tarantino is a good writer of dialogue, he proves once again that his REAL talent is in plagarizing other filmmakers.

Thank you for correcting my error, Cinebeats. You've actually given me even more "ammunition" with which to badmouth Tarantino in the future.

Oh, and I still like the speech..... All right. All right. I like the movie too. ;)

Dis said...

Both, you should see Eddie Izzard´s interpretation of Walken´s `the watch`.
It highlights Chris´s talents and Quentin´s guts perfectly.

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