Martin Scorsese, Comedian
We entered the 1990s with a majority of critics calling Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull the best movie of the ’80s, and in 1990 Scorsese created the tracking shot into the Copacabana in GoodFellas, arguably the most famous single shot in American movies of that decade. So it’s no surprise, if a mixed blessing, that Scorsese was the most influential of the great ’70s talents on the young directors of the ’90s. The Hughes Brothers’ Menace II Society (1993), for instance, follows the dynamic of Mean Streets, the breakdown of male friendship in the world of serious-but-small-time crime. Just as typically it updates Scorsese’s hallucinatory pop-music and camera movement expressionism to the aesthetic canons of hip-hop and video, all the while relying heavily on the directors’ intuition to hold the episodic story together. 1
Meanwhile, on cable movie channels Scorsese has become a prized oddball--the obsessive movie-lover as national figure. He is nobly trying to get TV watchers to care about the integrity of the artists’ original imagery and intentions, but the spectacle he presents is of a man turning the movie-going experiences of his youth into lore with speed-jag delivery. He looks like a dapper gnome (as a member of the documentary filmmaking team he wore French-cuffed shirts to Woodstock) and talks like he’s trying to sell you something fast, which he is: his version of American movie history. (Though he’s not "selling" it for personal financial gain.)
Quentin Tarantino, who is in turn undoubtedly the most influential new director of the ’90s, shows the influence of Scorsese as a verbal rather than a visual or dramatic artist. Tarantino worked in a video store, which permits him to assume the contemporary male adolescent version of Scorsese’s role as self-oriented movie historian, and in public he also spills out tributes to his favorites. But Tarantino’s principal heritage on-screen from Scorsese (aside from giving pop oldies new éclat on his soundtracks) has been the Italian-American male’s half-wit vaudeville-team patter that cuts across the older director’s Little Italy movies.
In Mean Streets, Raging Bull , and GoodFellas, Scorsese and his screenwriters sensed how much more we could learn about the characters in a roundabout way just from hearing how skilled they are at bullshitting, and how oblivious they are to the implications of what they’re saying. The trick is to take the famously aimless chatter of the men in Paddy Chayefsky’s Marty and replace the condescending sentimental indulgence with an electrifying and actually funny irony. In GoodFellas Joe Pesci’s Tommy is unmasked mainly by his own words, which in a key scene reveal his inability to appreciate that his murder of the teenaged Spider was disproportionate to the boy’s offense. And we get it without the (uncharacteristic) show of concern on the part of Ray Liotta’s Henry. The audience doesn’t need a nice guy to tell us that when we laugh at Tommy’s crack, "So I’m a good shot, whadda ya want?" we’re laughing because of the moral void behind the perfectly off punchline.
A Lowdown Tradition
There is a tradition here in American movies, in westerns and gangster pictures, for instance, in which the absence of government or law does double duty as a framing problem and as a license for the audience’s otherwise-illicit, vicarious enjoyment of violence. It’s quite intense in the opening of William Wyler’s The Westerner (script by Jo Swerling and Niven Busch, story by Stuart N. Lake) in which Walter Brennan’s Judge Roy Bean is the funny-evil law unto himself whose changes of mood are justified only by ipse dixit righteousness. And it’s even more pervasive in the atmosphere of Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country and The Wild Bunch with their roiling gangs of moral retards on the sidelines. The technique is to present in a seductively entertaining way how amorality feels to amoral men without altogether eliminating a moral frame of reference. Our movies didn’t invent it: in Ivanhoe, to choose a random example, Walter Scott makes the brief exchange between the two abductors comparing difficulties with their spirited abductees intentionally witty. The violation of chivalry has its own dashing style. 2
At its most perceptive this kind of joking is not moralistic. Rather, it acknowledges, and thereby avoids, the hypocrisy at the bottom of melodrama, the denial that we share any of the urges of the bad guys when this denial is belied on a regular basis by the fact that we like our villains to be played with verve. We’re into sensational evil so much that the Cagney gangster hero could regularly cross the line between nasty bad guy and likeable, working-class protagonist. He had to be punished, but his death scenes, too, were part of the spectacular violent entertainment.
By incorporating comedy, the pop naturalism of American movies was more daring in this way than our contemporaneous literary naturalism was (with the possible exception of some parts of the Studs Lonigan trilogy). The slapsy, dirty basketball game that James Cagney coaches in Angels with Dirty Faces, while the fuddy-duddy priest looks on in dismay, is probably the most startling example before Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets. The Cagney Warner Brother pictures, however, offer an implicit social justification by showing scenes from the gangster’s tough ghetto childhood. Scorsese, who flirted with the priesthood, has been more rigorous about his unsavory funnymen, and also guiltier about the pleasure they give us. Similarly, you respect Tarantino for not letting us get too chummy with his funny-amoral characters. He consciously preserves their "offhanded brutality, their commitment to their coldbloodedness" because it shows their "commitment to their own identity, as opposed to action movies or big Hollywood movies where every decision is very committee-ized and the whole fear is that at some point the character might not be likeable." 3
Tarantino was true to this ethos in his first two features, Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction, with their episodes of knockabout gangster mayhem, in which he created a personal, popular black comedy style. This is something of an accomplishment because black comedy is generally for more sophisticated audiences, seeing as it elicits a comic response to tragic and melodramatic action, and popular audiences prefer their conventions straight. Black comedy offers a viewer (or reader) a jocular distance from the material in itself as a component of a complicated taste, which usually must be acquired, although, peculiarly, black comedy has been a pervasive mode in our wonderful tradition of cartoon shorts, from the Warner Brothers classics to The Simpsons and South Park. 4
Quentin Tarantino, Comedian
Pulp Fiction registers somewhere between Scorsese and cartoons. Tarantino could thus be called a popularizer, but one you’re grateful for because he’s a true wiz at fatuous-macho black comedy. First and foremost, he has an unbelievably acute ear for funny-vacuous dialogue among tough guys. You picked up on it at the very beginning of Reservoir Dogs, in the robbers’ jaw session about Madonna, and again at the beginning of Pulp Fiction (co-written with Roger Avary) when the hit-men Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson), en route to punish some renegade drug dealers, gab about what McDonald’s hamburgers are called in Europe. Tarantino’s dialogue, which varies between hormonal drive and loopy detours, is as distinctive in its rhythm and phrasing as the dialogue in Woody Allen, early Spike Lee, and Kevin Smith. It resembles David Mamet’s ballsy vaudeville but without the overbearing insistence, the heavy-sweating monotonousness of a sedentary man measuring his manhood against the hardest nuts he can imagine. As brassy as Pulp Fiction’s attitude is, it’s a tinsel artifact, in a good sense--delightfully without weight.
The Travolta-Jackson pairing is at the heart of Pulp Fiction. They make a beautiful team: Vincent, who takes things as they are, is at times slow almost to the point of slurring, whereas Jules is excitable, florid. Jules is the straight man but gets fantastically showy punchlines, while Vincent gets his laughs from his stoner’s lack of compression. When you add that Vincent is prone to accidents and exasperates Jules, they start to seem like Laurel and Hardy, who never got dialogue as funny as Tarantino’s. And Tarantino directs their exchanges in a loose enough style that the characters (and actors) can even laugh at themselves during a discussion of whether pigs are filthy animals. The dialogue casts around them a bubble in which killer clowns can exist.
Structure Isn’t Everything
To make the world feel different by means of dialogue is an amazing talent, yet in Tarantino, as in Allen, Lee, and Smith, it also comes with an inability to structure a script. Pulp Fiction is trickily structured, anyway: the contemporary events, a frame device and four episodes, can be divided into six parts shown in 3-1-5-6-2-4 order chronologically. This structure has attracted attention beyond its merits as a modernist technique. You don’t gain that much from it, except a certain degree of puzzle-solving interest, which might otherwise lag over the 164-minute running time. Because the movie is episodic it doesn’t have the glaring dramatic disjunctions of Do the Right Thing or Chasing Amy. But then it doesn’t add up to anything in terms of its content, unlike Chasing Amy, which in its first half shrewdly observed the young men’s unresolvable feelings about female sexuality.
Pulp Fiction’s episodes themselves are tweaked versions of standard low-budget crime movie fare (the deadpan generic title indicates as much). The frame shows Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer), an excitable but weak Bonnie and Clyde, fumbling a hold-up in a diner where Vincent and Jules are eating after a long, troubled morning. We then back up to the earliest episode, in which Vincent and Jules make their assigned hit, and then skip forward to Vincent escorting Mia (Uma Thurman), the wife of their boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), to dinner at Marsellus’s request. Back at Mia’s house, while Vincent is in the bathroom trying to override the sexual heat he’s feeling from her, Mia finds some powerful heroin in his coat pocket and snorts it as if it were less potent cocaine, leading to a situation worse than the escapade Vincent has been fearing. The last episode in narrative sequence shows Butch (Bruce Willis), an aging prizefighter, doublecrossing Marsellus rather than taking a dive. In this, the most twisted episode, Butch can’t get out of town clean because he has to go back for his father’s watch. He runs into Marsellus, whom he first tries to kill and then ends up rescuing (the opposite of The Third Man). The last episode in the movie shows Vincent and Jules having to clean up their car after the accidental death of an accomplice; they go to the nearest safe house, owned by Jules’s acquaintance Jimmie (Tarantino), where they have less than an hour to complete the job before Jimmie’s wife gets home. Each episode has a surprise in it and there’s an overall capper in that Jules undergoes a religious conversion as a consequence of the hit that opens episode one, but I don’t think that these variations by themselves would have put the movie over with audiences.
Rather, Tarantino is appealing because he markets a portable version of stories usually more heavily weighted by their mechanism. God love him, he’s not a self-serious purveyor of pulp. His distinctive m.o. is to reduce the most rampant material to sit-com formulas. Both Vincent and Mia’s night out and the beat-the-clock mopping up can be reduced to, "Better clean the mess up before Dad/Mom gets home" (the same tension as in The Cat in the Hat). You laugh because Tarantino can make anything laughable. Despite the violent action, the characters in the movie aren’t contemporary people; there aren’t two seconds of social naturalism in the entire picture. Likewise, the multicultural cast of characters doesn’t form a believable underworld network. They’re just a lethal version of Our Gang, naughty kids who get into scrapes. You see this most clearly in the way Butch selects a weapon in a pawnshop, going from a hammer to a baseball bat to a chainsaw to a samurai sword, like a kid who’s digested a lot of violent entertainment picking what he wants for Christmas. And he’s the grown-up compared to his lollipop of a girlfriend Fabienne (Maria de Madeiros) whose entire aura pouts.
Tarantino’s comic style is an original derivative of Scorsese’s, but without the moral qualms underlying it because everything is so removed from reality, so reconstituted from the Blockbuster shelves, that nothing matters in a this-world sense and nothing’s truly at stake emotionally. Tarantino can show characters in undignified positions, dispatch his biggest star offhandedly in the middle of the movie, cast himself as a weasel who repeatedly uses the word "nigger" while hollering at the African-American character viewers are most drawn to (especially those viewers who cling to the idea of a movie having some moral sense), and still leave you in a party mood. The movie is like a thrill ride, the kind that people test themselves and their friends against. Each episode is built around a comically repugnant moment (a retributive execution; an adrenaline needle to the heart; homosexual rape; a bullet taken full in the face) and yet the movie is extremely friendly. It takes a "downtown," hard-edged pose, and processes it so that a large audience can feel in on the joke.
Pulp Fiction’s attitude was shrewdly presold to Americans from the Cannes Film Festival on, and it would have seemed impossibly square to make the usual objections to the violence since quotation marks hover around the action. Much of the press proved themselves squares in another way, by praising the movie for picturing the state of our souls. Educated audiences and critics, especially, don’t want to think that actions that are hard to watch could be enjoyable to them in a superficial way. So they read Tarantino’s good-time treatment of sketches on pulp fiction motifs as a statement about how dissociated people have become. The idea that Pulp Fiction is an X-ray of American culture is a reading for people who believe in things like Post-Modernism and Generation X and other ways we have of selling ourselves our own intellectual and editorial ponderousness. Pulp Fiction is relentlessly superficial. The situations have no existential edge, and even the ironic self-consciousness about moviemaking is unfocused (clearest in the diner sequence in which the waiters are made up to look like ’50s rock-n-roll and movie stars).
All the same, the movie’s impact was genuine. If ever a small movie found its audience at the ripest moment to do the moviemaker most good, it’s Pulp Fiction. Tarantino may not have ignored the question of importance altogether, though. I don’t know how else to take Jules’s religious conversion. But the gravity on Planet Tarantino is simply too weak--everything floats. Only Jackson’s fervor as a performer gives the religious theme heft. The movie’s impact derives rather from Tarantino’s comic flair in reducing violent crime melodrama to the gesture of self-consciousness and having his actors work specialty variations on it. His pictures really play, which is almost miraculous considering how distended they are (especially Jackie Brown (1997)).
Tarantino got it exactly right when he said his pictures are "completely performance-driven," "almost cut to the rhythm of performance." 5 His movies play because of the dialogue in combination with the way his camera looks at the actors delivering it. He’s not a technical innovator, as Scorsese was, but more like the old studio directors who functioned as secular icon painters. He has an old-Hollywood way of glamorizing actors combined with a new-Hollywood way of achieving the alchemy without dissolving the interesting impurities. Vincent, for example, is a thick-waisted junkie with a dopey gleam in his eye, a simp who’s twice on the toilet when the action starts going down. (In the ’40s he would have been played by Elisha Cook, Jr. and kept in the margins.) Vincent is a slapstick chump--an everyday clown like us, as a hit-man--who makes a fatal misstep in the time it takes to cook a couple of pop tarts. And yet Travolta is able to bring an almost snuggly woolliness to the part, at the same time that we can believe him as a killer.
Tarantino is also the man who got a large audience to turn on to Uma Thurman. This beauty with the eyes of a lewd seeress set in the primitive sculptural planes of her face is one of the most superb photographic subjects of the decade. By the time of Henry & June in 1990 she had learned to create a character to go with the peculiarities of her face and lanky-but-womanly body. She found curves of mind and mood and accent to go with the perversity that gleams off her, as she sizes her co-stars up. She’s now like an idol that intends us to feel all the dirty thoughts we project onto it, and she was able to use this even as the coy fille fatale in Final Analysis and as the helpless blind cellist in Jennifer Eight (she was helpless but not innocent). What she brings to Mia is the ambiguity of the temptress: does she want as much trouble as she inspires in a man? The end of the episode makes the implications of the Travolta-Thurman pairing immaterial but only after it puts them on the dance floor in a twist contest that sets out to define "cool" in motion and does a creditable job. They’re terrific stars, but in a way that shows what a cocky gambler Tarantino is: if they weren’t terrific in their sequence there’d be no sequence.
Samuel L. Jackson has the most declamatory hold on the audience. He’s the only star in the picture who can transfix the audience in a monologue. He’s strong in his patter scenes with Travolta, but he has a fierce command when he’s bullying the boy he’s about to kill, toying with him by taking a bite of his sandwich and saying, "This is a tasty burger!" Jackson can put the audience in on the joke of sadism, which is tough (and he’s got more panache than Pesci), even if he can’t later convince us that the sadist has been converted. But he makes a comic monster’s scenes into idiosyncratic routines, which in a Tarantino movie is probably a more important achievement than making them feel momentous in any other way.
Of the four stars Bruce Willis got the least attention probably for the same reason he usually does: he puts his weary star persona at the service of the movie without demanding attention. When the movie is an ordinary action movie he seems less tainted by the product, nearly as much on his own as the character is. (Has a major star ever spent so much screen time talking to himself?) At the same time, with his weariness and sarcasm, he gets across, as an action star must, what the necessary sacrifices cost the hero. When the movie is out of the ordinary, as Pulp Fiction, Color of Night, and The Sixth Sense are, Willis’s low-key star acting becomes an essential ingredient, a staple. You can’t separate his air from the atmosphere.
Not Pulp, Actually
If there’s a limit to what Tarantino can get out of his actors it has to do with the fact that the title of the movie is borrowed, not earned. In a real pulp melodrama there’s always more going on underneath and around the characters’ actions. In a film noir we would have seen Vincent and Mia eyeing each other before Marsellus, having also seen them, assigned Vincent to show her a good time. We would have seen Vincent and Marsellus together, too, and noticed a combination of paternal-filial feelings and mistrust and contempt. Everyone would be wondering if Vincent were man enough to take away what Marsellus had brought together, and underneath Vincent’s weary cool we would have seen his temptation, long before the bathroom mirror scene. Mia’s mischief would also have been more spiked; there’d have been a bit of lust and challenge in the excitement she stirred up.
Anyone with a real talent for melodrama could set all this up as a matter of course. It took D.W. Griffith about fifteen seconds of screen time in the modern story of Intolerance to get just these cross-currents flowing between the Boy, the Friendless One, and the Musketeer of the Slums. These aren’t suggestions to transform Pulp Fiction into classic drama. Just the opposite. These are the kind of primal, pulpy relations and motivations that B-movies took for granted. And though we always complain about the stock relations in B-movies (which aren’t thrillingly enough conceived or shot to overcome them, as Intolerance is), when they aren’t even there, we miss them.
You may not be able to take Pulp Fiction seriously, and yet it’s not nihilistic. The facetious comic book intensity has three moral turning points: Jules’s conversion, Vincent’s choice of loyalty to Marsellus over hots for Mia (though the decision turns out to be irrelevant), and Butch’s decision to go back downstairs in the pawnshop where Marsellus is being assaulted. The material is prepared for: for instance, we see that Jules’s disgust over the rumor that Marsellus threw one of his men off a balcony because he gave Mia a foot massage leads to his interpreting his survival of a gun attack as the hand of God steering him to a better life. But religion is not Tarantino’s gold standard as it is Scorsese’s (even when spuriously applied, as in Cape Fear). There’s no element of Pulp Fiction that feels more arbitrary.
What’s it All About?
What does supply meaning to the experience of his movies? The magnetism of these comic low-lifes and an in-group sense of knowingness about the conventional artificiality of character and motivation and consequences. Tarantino’s talent isn’t for the film noir melodrama that Pulp Fiction swats around like a kitten, it’s for comic dialogue, certainly, but also the excitement of movie love and an adolescent boy’s urge to pose (via his characters) in attitudes borrowed from pop culture. He’s the master air guitarist of young American movie directors. And his artistic and commercial genius are one: Pulp Fiction’s self-conscious superficiality was the ultimate in "sexy" in 1994 (though there isn’t much of the earthier, and more consequential, kind of sexiness). The sexiest part of Pulp Fiction is the dance contest--when Tarantino wants to be erotic his model is adolescent cool. The movie lover’s referentiality has its limits, of course. It’s one thing for Tarantino to be borrowing from a classic like Deliverance in the basement rape scene, but he’s also borrowing from Joel Schumacher’s 1993 Falling Down. The sequence is creepy enough, but whatever got to Tarantino about that movie has not entered the national pop culture bloodstream. The problem with the sequence is that there’s nothing else about the moviemaking or storyline or characters to pay attention to. Pulp Fiction movie elicits immediate reactions or none at all.
For this reason it’s strange that Tarantino’s movies will probably be the most influential on the next generation of moviemakers since he’s so openly derivative himself. That’s the peculiar thing about him--as Jimmie he casts himself as a hardass (it’s unthinkable that he would have played the "Flock of Seagulls" wimp who gets blown away by Jules), but his highly referential filmmaking, influenced by Scorsese, a director given to self-consciousness about sources in the first place, is decadent to the point of effeteness.
Where could Tarantino go from here? Beyond question he works as an artist 6 and wants to tell stories that matter to him and to be taken seriously. But if it’s possible to put an epiphany at the end of a sit-com he hasn’t figured out how. And the fact that he’s so self-indulgent in structuring narrative makes for a bad prognosis. That’s why Jackie Brown wasn’t good material for him, because the source material had a tight melodramatic structure, and he can’t do "tight." In fact, he broke down and dissipated what seemed like camera-ready comedy in Elmore Leonard’s swift, sunnily jaundiced source novel Rum Punch (insanely leaving out the funniest scene, the one in which the illiterate drug dealers try to read the instructions on the missile launcher). Tarantino’s skill has been for presentation more than storytelling. In Jackie Brown you want more of the actors, but not more of the same kind of warm but shapeless sequences. You’d rather see the actors disciplined by the wicked snap of Leonard’s original work.
There must be a way for a scrupulous American director both to have a hovering self-consciousness about his material and to treat moral issues seriously, but Tarantino has not yet done it. (De Palma has done both, but not in the same movie.) Which is to say, and putting it mildly, Tarantino is not an American Godard. He probably doesn’t have enough literary culture to be, and you can see it in Jackie Brown even more than in Pulp Fiction. In translating Leonard’s novel to the screen he didn’t open up crime movies, in the manner of Breathless or Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player. He fumbled even the basic conventions and failed to catch the national pop consciousness by using Pam Grier, the Amazon of ’70s high impact camp, which is the one thing everyone expected of him.
Quentin Tarantino, Romancer
Pulp Fiction does have a literary heritage: it has the episodic structure of a romance, especially if you take Jules as the central figure, but also if you look at Butch fighting the dark knights underground for his personal grail, the paternal heirloom which has come down to him across four generations and which seems integral to his identity. A grown-up Tarantino would perhaps be the man to bring Norman Mailer to the screen. Tarantino versions of An American Dream or Why Are We in Vietnam?, both romances about beset modern manhood searching for identity in familial, sexual, and political ordeals, are tempting to imagine. In Pulp Fiction even the squeamishness about anal penetration, which is both giggly and terror-stricken and so extreme as to border on obsession, puts him on Mailer’s wavelength. Tarantino has the movie-packaging dash that Mailer has lacked as a director, but he needs to stop grabbing attention for precocity and to give his macho clowning real menace. It’s the only way to turn it into a real subject, something more penetrating than his daring boy’s style has provided so far.
- the dynamic of Mean Streets: A sidebar: Nick Gomez’s Laws of Gravity (1992) is by far the best movie influenced by Mean Streets. With the same basic story as Menace II Society it focuses less on expressionistic camera technique and more on the improvisational acting style Scorsese derived from John Cassavetes. Laws of Gravity goes farther in that direction than Scorsese ever has (even in New York, New York or Raging Bull) and better, in fact, than Cassavetes ever did (to my taste). Laws of Gravity is also the only movie influenced by Mean Streets to recognize the central importance of Amy Robinson’s Teresa. In a thoroughly intelligent way, Scorsese had her suggest the possibility within the guys’ world of rational moral objection to their behavior (in opposition to Charley’s spooked piety). Teresa is not a moralistic figure, sharing, as she does, the men’s racism, and divided as she is toward her own sexual behavior. In Laws of Gravity Gomez got from Edie Falco her first major performance as the woman who is both amused and frustrated by the childishness of the men around her. (return to text)
- Ivanhoe: " ’By the bones of Thomas a Becket,’ answered de Bracy, ’the Lady Rowena must have heard that I cannot endure the sight of women’s tears.’ (return to text)
’Away!’ said the Templar; ’thou a leader of a Free Company, and regard a woman’s tears! A few drops sprinkled on the torch of love, make the flame blaze the brighter.’
’Gramercy for the few drops of thy sprinkling,’ replied De Bracy; ’but this damsel hath wept enough to extinguish a beacon-light. Never was such wringing of hands and such overflowing of eyes, since the days of St Niobe.... A water-fiend hath possessed the fair Saxon’ " (Scott 203; vol. II, ch. 11 (ch. 25)).
We’re also meant to laugh at the antics of Friar Tuck, whose anti-Semitism cuts against the central moral intention of the novel. But that’s different because we are not meant to laugh at his anti-Semitism itself.
- offhanded brutality: Tarantino, Smith interview 42. (return to text)
- Black comedy: Brian DePalma’s 1976 teen horror movie Carrie was popular without the audience being aware of the director’s irony about the material, including his heroine’s innocence. When I showed it to college students in 1996 they laughed at it and didn’t believe me when I said it was possible to laugh with it. Kevin Williamson’s script for Scream achieved this effect for young audiences by making it the unmissable point.
Black comedy is so popular with younger people in part because its mechanism is a form of irony that makes them feel as if they’re not being taken in by the corniness of conventional narrative. It’s only a movie, no one really died, so why not laugh. (And this is especially refreshing when you think of the Victorian literal-mindedness of their politically correct university English professors). The problem is that this attitude is too easily assimilated to the general adolescent state of knowing more at 20 than they’ll ever know again. Black comedy is in part a form of sophistication, but in so far as it becomes a generational crowd response it can also de-sensitize. (return to text)
- completely performance-driven: Tarantino, Smith interview 34. (return to text)
- works as an artist: Read his New York Times interview to see how he protected Pulp Fiction when dealing with TriStar head Mike Medavoy. (return to text)