Features and Columns · Movies

Gentle Reminder That a Whole Other Guy Co-Wrote ‘Pulp Fiction’

Samuel L. Jackson be like: What does Roger Avary look like?
Pulp Fiction Writing Credit
By  · Published on August 2nd, 2023

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores why so few folks know that Roger Avary co-wrote Pulp Fiction.

Even if you do consider yourself to be knowledgeable about Quentin Tarantino’s career, it’s still possible that you haven’t heard the name Roger Avary.

Born in Manitoba, Canada, Avary and Tarantino were interlinked, and depending on who you ask, left their fingerprints all over each other’s early work. Avary enjoys his own career independent of his longtime pal Quentin (including, but not limited to, writing the script for the 2006 adaptation of Silent Hill).

But a quick glimpse at Avary’s credits reveal an intimate (and let’s be honest, realistic) glimpse into two writing partners who collaborated frequently during the early parts of their careers. Avary wrote parts of both Reservoir Dogs and True Romance. But it’s his Oscar-winning contribution to Pulp Fiction that stands out.

The following video essay unpacks why we don’t hear that much about Avary considering he co-wrote one of the most influential movies of all time. The essay attempts to untangle which parts of the film were written by Avary and why the film features the confusing title card “written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.”

The essay also notes — lest you infer a long-term falling out or a similar drama — that Tarantino and Avary have been running a podcast together since 2021, in which they discuss films from the infamous Video Archives archive, which Tarantino purchased when the rental store went out of business. Oscar glory is temporary, friendship is forever.

Watch “that moment you realize Tarantino only co-wrote pulp fiction”

Who made this?

This video essay on why you don’t really hear about Pulp Fiction writer Roger Avary anymore is by CinemaStix, a weekly video essay channel run by U.S.-based creator Danny Boyd. You can subscribe to CinemaStix on YouTube here. And you can support Boyd on Patreon here.

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.