A Blast to the Heart

With his vast, enthralling Pulp Fiction, director Quentin Tarantino gives Hollywood a welcome jolt

Onscreen, John Travolta had just raised an Adrenalin-filled hypodermic needle above the comatose body of Uma Thurman and, with desperate force, plunged it straight into her heart. In the audience at New York City's Lincoln Center, where Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction was being shown, a young man watched this scene and passed out. "Is there a doctor in the house?" someone actually asked. The film was stopped for nine anxious minutes before the announcement came: "The victim is just fine."

A Tarantino movie has this effect on people. There's an ear-slicing scene in Reservoir Dogs, the 1992 heist movie he wrote...

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