Scenes I Go Back To: Pulp Fiction

The first time I realized that profound, even spiritual truth could be conveyed via post-modern, pastiched-up, obscenity-laden pop culture.

The first time I saw Pulp Fiction, I was terrified. I knew there was a sodomy scene somewhere in the film, and me being the innocent college freshman that I was, I really didn’t want to see it. Strangely enough, though, once I got past that scene, the movie just opened up for me. I still think the film’s last 25 minutes or so are its strongest, and the final diner scene, in which Jules and Vincent discuss the nature of miracles, and Jules confronts a couple of would-be robbers, is its finest moment.

As strange as it might seem, the very final scene, in which Jules reimagines a bit of Scripture, was probably the first time I realized that profound, even spiritual truth could be conveyed via post-modern, pastiched-up, obscenity-laden pop culture. And it doesn’t hurt that Samuel L. Jackson’s handling of the f-bomb borders on Shakespearean here. I realize that including Pulp Fiction on a list like this might be interpreted as the height of hipster hubris, but that doesn’t mean this scene is any less great or important in my estimation.