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'Pulp Fiction,' Tarantino Win L.A. Film Critics Awards : Movies: John Travolta is named best actor for role in the action-thriller. Jessica Lange wins for 'Blue Sky.'

December 11, 1994|SUSAN KING and KEVIN THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," the controversial and violent action-thriller set in the Los Angeles underworld, was voted best picture of 1994 on Saturday by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

"Pulp Fiction" won four of the critics' awards. Tarantino also received honors for best direction and screenplay, which is based on stories by Tarantino and Roger Avery. John Travolta won as best actor for his role as a dimwitted, heroin-addicted henchman.

Earlier this year, "Pulp Fiction" won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and the L.A. Film Critics' sweep makes the film a strong contender for the 67th annual Academy Awards to be presented March 27.

The critics' previous two selections for best film, Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" and Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List," went on to win the Oscar for best picture.

Other major winners Saturday included Jessica Lange, who received the award for best actress for her role as an emotionally troubled woman in Tony Richardson's "Blue Sky," and Dianne Wiest, named best supporting actress for her role as a Norma Desmond-ish actress in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway." The award for best supporting actor went to Martin Landau for his portrayal of "Dracula" actor Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's "Ed Wood."

Disney's box office hit "The Lion King" was crowned best in animation, and best foreign film honors went to Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Red." The award for best documentary went to "Hoop Dreams."

John Dahl, who has directed the acclaimed film noir thrillers "Red Rock West" and "The Last Seduction," was the recipient of the new generation award.

The Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Award went to British director John Maybury ) for "Remembrance of Things Fast," his experimental film about sex, disease and the media.

The career achievement award went to multi-Oscar-winning writer/director Billy Wilder ("Sunset Boulevard," "The Apartment"), and Pauline Kael received a special award for her film criticism.

This year, runners-up were eliminated from the proceedings.

The L.A. critics' awards will be followed Thursday by the voting of the New York-based critics.

The awards will be presented at a Jan. 17 luncheon at the Bel Age Hotel.

The winners:

* Picture: "Pulp Fiction"

* Direction: Quentin Tarantino, "Pulp Fiction"

* Actress: Jessica Lange, "Blue Sky"

* Actor: John Travolta, "Pulp Fiction"

* Supporting actress: Dianne Wiest, "Bullets Over Broadway"

* Supporting actor: Martin Landau, "Ed Wood"

* Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino based on stories by Tarantino and Roger Avery, "Pulp Fiction"

* Cinematography: Stefan Czapsky, "Ed Wood."

* Music: Howard Shore, "Ed Wood"

* Production design: Dennis Gassner, "The Hudsucker Proxy."

* Documentary: "Hoop Dreams" directed by Steve James in collaboration with Frederick Marx, Peter Gilbert, Gordon Quinn/Kartemquin Films

* Foreign film: Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Red"

* Animation: "The Lion King"

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