Pulp Fiction- is there a chronological order?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keith_R, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I Just saw "Pulp Fiction" for the first time ever (believe it or not) and I was wondering is there a chronological order to the movie like "Memento"? because you see different stories but the characters from some of the other stories seem to be involved, so is there a certain chronological order? thanks.
    -Keith-
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I think you only have re-order 2-3 "arcs" in Pulp Fiction to watch it in order. I thought about doing that when it came out on VHS many years ago.
     
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Um, Keith. Watch it again I think.
    The film gives many clear chronological indicators throughout. I'm not sure you should be walking away from the film with that in doubt. The intertwining of characters was not just a neat trick, but simply the telling of on long narrative by emotional character focus rather than timeline.
    But other than that, this is one tightly-interacting storyline rather than 3 or 4 highly random stories. So they most certainly must be tied chronologically together (as in, there is no point of time that occurs for someone 2 different ways in the film).
    The story order -
    Jackson and Travolta go to get case.
    On the way back, John shoots the kid, and they go to QT's house to clean up.
    They stop at the diner, break up the robbery, and Jackson decides to quit the business.
    About the time they are getting back, Bruce is meeting with Ving about an upcoming fight.
    Travolta goes out with Mia.
    A day or 2 later Bruce throws the fight (we know because Travolta and Mia are at the fight rather than their date, but they already know each other now).
    The next day Ving and Travolta wait to ambush Bruce, Travolta dies, Bruce escapes after he and Ving run into Zed and his pal.
    But since the focus is Jackson's spiritual awakening and becuase the impact is supposed to be uplifting to the audiance, you cannot end on Travolta's death and long since your other main character has left the story.
    The out-of-order thing is not a gimmick, but rather a choice to organize the story in terms of emotional thematic progression. In this case, the themes are better told in this order, and the story is able to be both true to itself (John gets killed in a dangerous business) yet have a warm, fuzzy ending (the 2 mains put guns in their shorts and walk out of the diner together for a good audiance laugh).
     

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