If you’ve already watched the newly released blu-ray disc for Quentin Tarantino’s modern classic Pulp Fiction, you may have noticed that the picture is slightly different than what you may have come to expect from your average high-def release.
Whereas almost all blu-ray releases are transferred from film using a laser scanning process that produces a solid stead image, Pulp Fiction appears to have used the older telecine process to achieve its transfer. With the telecine process, a film print is run through something that works similar to a regular projector in that light is shined through the celluloid and the image is projected onto either a screen or a CCD (charge-coupled device) which records the image digitally. As with regular theater film projectors, the process is susceptible to the film wiggling slightly in the gate between the light source and the projection lens. This is known as gate weave.
Some reviews of the disc have noted that there is noticeable gate weave in the film’s transfer and predictably, there are probably some folks who are upset by it. But since this release is being touted as “Director Approved,” it stands to reason that this is exactly how Tarantino wanted you to view the movie and coming from Tarantino this doesn’t necessarily surprise all that much. As Grindhouse has shown, the director not only has an affinity for exploitation genre films but also for how those films are presented. And Pulp Fiction, like all of Tarantino’s work, is just dripping with the influence of exploitation films. Preserving some gate weave in the transfer adds just an extra meta-textual layer to the film.
But don’t let this dissuade you from checking out the film on blu-ray. The picture itself is stunning with crisp colors and the sound mix is crystal clear. In addition to the extras that were ported over from the last DVD Special Edition, the disc also sports two new featurettes – one in which several critics discuss the film and another where several of the cast reminisce about making the movie.
You can order the disc from Amazon here.