Video Picks Archive
This week my picks are God Said "Ha!" (1998 - ) and Pulp Fiction (1994 - ).
The first film is an adaptation of Julia Sweeney's monologue, which was based on a memoir she wrote. Sweeney tells the story of her brother moving in with her when he contracts lymphoma, a form of cancer which was detected too late. Her parents also moved in, and Sweeney talks about the alternately funny and poignant implications of this arrangement. Like any filmed monologue (such as Spalding Gray's Monster in a Box), it suffers from being static and non-visual. But, the monologue itself is very compelling, and quite different from what you might expect from the "Saturday Night Live" alumna. If you are still suffering flashbacks from It's Pat, this would be the perfect film to make them stop.
Quentin Tarantino helped Sweeney get this film made, and he also cast her in a small role in the second film. An ensemble cast including John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman star in this masterful interweaving of stories about crime, drugs, and sex. This film is probably the most influential one of the 1990's, starting a tsunami of similar, however weaker, works. Tarantino and Roger Avary won an Academy Award for their screenplay, which was inspired by the cheap crime thrillers printed on coarse "pulp" paper.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
God Said 'Ha!' (1998)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan