Welcome back for part two of our epic double bill. After Who Do You Think You’re Fooling was made, it was scheduled to appear at a movie festival. But for some reason it was pulled. Some sources claim Ta****ino was behind this, others say he wasn’t… What’s more important is that an MTV News bulletin about this is the opening sequence of Mike White‘s You’re Still Not Fooling Anyone. This compares Quentin’s follow-up Pulp Fiction to various other sources.
Let me defend Ta****ino here: some of these are indeed just references. In my book, it’s plagiarism when it happens for a longer period (e.g. half a minute of being identical or robbing the skeleton of a movie as your source for a plot).
Take Kill Bill. Whereas it’s more than evident (and highly annoying) how much the man lifted from Lady Snowblood there are also many references in the movie, e.g. Uma’s suit (a reference to Bruce Lee).
You’re Still Not Fooling Anyone opens with the famous quote from the Bible (as read by Samuel L. Jackson). Except that it doesn’t come from the Bible, but from the Sonny Chiba movie The Bodyguard. The Bodyguard adapted the Bible’s text for its opening sequence and Jackson reads the entire thing. This is – for me – the closest Quentin gets to plagiarising in this movie. It’s not a part of the text, it’s the full excerpt.
The reference to Kiss Me Deadly (the glowing suitcase) was something I noticed when I watched Pulp in the cinema. This is a clear example of a reference, an in-joke for fans of the original movie. Alex Cox did a similar thing in Repo Man.
Another shock for me was that the adrenalin sequence wasn’t so original either. The only difference with Scorsese‘s American Boy is that it’s talked about in the 1978 movie whereas “Taratino” (yes, the man’s name is misspelled throughout You’re Still Not Fooling Anyone) shows it.