When it hit screens in 1994, Quentin Tarantino's sophomore effort was shocking in how hiliarious it rendered horribly violent acts. Sodomy and ballgags, giant needles plunged into chests, brains splattered all over car upholstery—audiences weren't used to laughing at things that were supposed to make them cringe, but the snappy dialogue and impeccably curated soundtrack that would become the director's trademark were impossible not to be disarmed by. And as his vision has gotten even more gargantuan, revisiting this gem of a movie is a reward in itself, for the interlocking stories and jumbled narrative arc are still truly the work of a genius. It's worth noting that this remains the best thing John Travolta has ever done, even though it meant that his reappearance gave us dreck like Battlefield Earth and Michael.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Friday, September 9
The Portage Theater
4050 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago