Mia Wallace's Dirty Bits

Pulp Fiction has many great scenes. However, there is one most probably overlooked and unsung scene where Mia walks barefoot across her living room floor that spawned a part of "Dirty." In combination with the other fragments from Mia’s storyline, this scene helped to build Sanne’s character by connecting directness and vulnerability.

Right after Vincent gets high and drives to his boss’s house to take his wife, Mia, out to dinner while he’s out of town— but it’s not a date as he has already clarified to Jules, his partner— Vincent makes himself a drink and lazily—hazily, no doubt— traipses around her living room. Mia walks into the living room, but we only see her feet, and right before the scene transitions to Vincent and Mia pulling into the parking lot of Jack Rabbit Slim’s, we see her stop, shift her weight to her left foot, curl the toes of her right foot and place it, knuckles down, on the floor while saying, "Let’s go." As she positions her feet we see her dirty soles.

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What drew me to this scene was gracefulness with which she slid over the smooth floor and how she arranges her feet, with one foot vertical, resting on curled toes and the other flat, ready to move forward. This juxtaposition of feet also has something mischievous to it, especially considering up to this point we’ve only seen her lips, hands, nose, hair—other body parts—and the tension engendered in Jules’s and Vincent’s conversation about what supposedly happened to a guy who got too familiar with her feet. And it can’t be overlooked that we see the dirty soles of her feet, something which marks her as different, a bit rough around the edges, unconcerned with being pristine—alternatively sexy.

 It’s almost as if Tarantino is telling us a story with her feet, and this aspect is particularly thought-provoking when we note that Mia discards her shoes when she and Vincent do the twist at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. She feels more comfortable with her (bare) feet on the ground, even though that makes her more vulnerable—and her feet dirty, but she doesn’t mind— as she dances without the pretense of protection or cover, just as she prefers her conversation where people can just comfortable enjoy silence in place of " yack[ing] about bullshit in order to be comfortable."

This directness-vulnerability link counts for drugs as well, where she without specifically knowing the contents of Vincent’s baggie, sniffs them, leading to an overdose and an endearing scene where he drops her off at her house after being resuscitated at his drug dealer’s house, and she tells him the joke she embarrassedly denied him while they ate at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.

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Mia is sensuously-curious, mischievous and direct, and this is something I wanted Sanne to be, generally, and specifically in the scene in the second piece where she arrives at his house after kickboxing, revealing that she isn’t wearing socks, and stopping a few paces in from of him before issuing her own "let’s go" by telling him she wants to eat.

Later in the piece, she physically devours him, again, but not before she has broken him down by using two body parts that can be overwhelmingly seductive—hair and eyes. Sanne’s hair and eyes are for me what Mia’s feet are in Pulp Fiction.

Yet, she, like Mia, is also vulnerable, and for that you’ll have to wait and read the other pieces in the project.