Pulp Fiction (1994)
Historical

Beyond The Frame: Pulp Fiction

Cinematographer Andrzej Sekula's richly hued, pin-sharp, widescreen images added a Pop Art quality to the alternately gritty and darkly comedic onscreen action in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 crime anthology.
David E. Williams

When Pulp Fiction hit movie screens in 1994, it marked one of those rare moments in film history when a motion picture becomes a worldwide sensation.

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino had already caught some heat with his debut feature, Reservoir Dogs (1992), in which a group of fast-talking hoodlums engage in a black-comic bacchanal of gunplay and wordplay. But Pulp Fiction, with its vivid characters, nonlinear narrative structure, ultra-cool musical soundtrack and memorable, machine-gun dialogue, elevated Tarantino to a level of celebrity and notoriety that all filmmakers dream of, but few ever achieve.

Greatly aiding in Tarantino's efforts on both pictures was Polish cinematographer Andrzej Sekula, whose richly hued, pin-sharp, widescreen images added a Pop Art quality to the alternately gritty and darkly comedic onscreen action, which contributes greatly to its cinematic impact.

In the top image, Sekula (far left) and his camera crew dances along with actors Uma Thurman and John Travolta in a crowd-pleasing dance number that helped Pulp Fiction become a major success.


The cinematographer would later shoot such pictures as American Psycho, Hackers, Vacancy, Armored and, most recently, USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.

Sekula (center, in blue shirt) and Tarantino (wearing cap) and crew shooting Pulp Fiction on location in Los Angeles.

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