(1994)5Lucia BozzolaA critical sensation and a box-office hit, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994) embedded its movie-made world of loquacious hit men and fateful coincidences into the popular consciousness, becoming one of the most influential films of the 1990s. Updating the hard-boiled crime film with postmodern aplomb, and twisting movie time as adroitly as Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino weaves a morality play through a pop culture fun house drawn from sources as disparate as 1950s and 1970s kitsch, Jean-Luc Godard, Howard Hawks, boxing flicks, Hong Kong action movies, and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). The surreal yet realistic atmosphere, long takes, and wittily pop-literate non-stop dialogue emotionally engage the viewer in the minutiae of the characters' experience even as the film also comments on their status as pulp creations, rendering the moments of shockingly baroque violence simultaneously humorous and ghastly. Winner of numerous critics' prizes and the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Pulp Fiction was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for John Travolta's career-resurrecting turn as Vincent, and Best Supporting Actor for Samuel L. Jackson's furiously philosophical Jules; Tarantino and Roger Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. None of its many imitators has yet come close to matching Pulp Fiction's impact.