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Kill Bill...
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.11.2003 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read Roger Ebert's review. Seems about right. His last two paragraphs touch on what I like best about the movie, and I'd like to read a review that delves deeper into that area.

Eric
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filmsRpriceless
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great discussion about Kill Bill. I'll add in more comments that I just wrote: This time, I watched it with someone who was bored by the "Man From Okinawa" chapter, which features my favorite scene in all of the movie. There just is something about when The Bridge walks into the room where Hattori Hanzo's swords are stored that comes across as a quietly beautiful moment to me. The way that the music is perfectly set to the scene and the way that the lights shine through the room, etc. Other quietly beautiful aspects are all in Tarantino's master ability to make violence like this more than violence -- as some have said, it even transcends it. As a positive effect, it is hilarious. Quiet beauty also is found in the stunning anime sequence when the blood starts to drip through the bed onto young O-Ren's face. Just awesome. Leaving the House of Blue Leaves (better than anything in FOTR and Two Towers, by the way), The Bride and O-Ren fight to death -- this time around, I was oddly touched by the emotion and honor in this scene. In an interview, Tarantino talked about the emotion in the movie: "The Bride shows emotion when she realizes her child is gone. And also, and this'll sound like a cop-out, but more of that stuff comes in Vol. II. As far as the first half is concerned, I didn't want to make her sympathetic. I wanted to make her scary, all right? But I think you end up liking her anyway. You admire her. Nothing is going to stop her." As I thought after first seeing it last night, the first installment simply is a matter of taking it all in, getting prepared. This does not mean I am a fan of the split idea, but nevertheless, there is no time for much emotion in the first half for a reason. Regarding Tarantino's remark about not wanting The Bride to be sympathetic and scary: although I never had the feeling that The Bride would kill Vernita's daughter, when she brought up vengeance to the young girl, revenge will definitely come out from this. I think this because of the cycle in this film, how O-Ren and The Bridge are (in a way) related by their quests for vengeance. Essentially, neither of them are necessarily bad people, but their souls are lost: O-Ren's soul being more lost after gaining so much power from the results of revenge; the way that The Bride sees it (without knowing Bill's final dialogue), her soul is already lost. Maybe even GoGo is exacting revenge against men for being sexually abused as a younger girl (on the account of her scene and the dialogue), but that's probably reaching too far. But anyway, I love everything about this ridiculous piece of glorious filmmaking. About the revenge concept that Eric talked about, I completely agree that it works in the way that this film is an entry point. As a side note, my favorite thing about Pulp Fiction is the dramatic irony regarding Travolta's character because there is more irony when Marcellus lets Butch go, not knowing that he was responsible for his friend's death.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

filmsRpriceless wrote:
As a side note, my favorite thing about Pulp Fiction is the dramatic irony regarding Travolta's character because there is more irony when Marcellus lets Butch go, not knowing that he was responsible for his friend's death.


Yup. And I'm glad you mentioned how revenge is a recurring motif in all the narrative threads of Kill Bill--while I was watching it, I felt that I was watching stylistic variations on a theme, all told with a hint of sadness. Vengeace is a powerful thing, but it also destroys from within.

Despite my affection for all three previous features, I've always been a bit of a Tarantino skeptic--and I'm unwilling to call KB an important work, at least at this point--but the more I think about this one the more I like it. I might just see it again, which is something I virtually never do. (The last three I saw in the theater twice: Truman Show, Fargo, Matilda. Usually, I'd rather spend the time and money on fresh material.)

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked the "Man from Okinawa" chapter a lot too. Not just the scene with all the katanas, but also preceding scene where Hanzo and his assistant bicker over who's getting the sake. Very funny and very Tarantino. Reminded me of the bickering between Jody and Lance in Pulp Fiction.

By the way, I have a hunch about the "shocking revelation" -- SPOILERS:

Could the little girl Vernita claimed to be her daughter really be The Bride's? I realize that The Bride started to tell Bill she was carrying his child before he shot her, but what if she's wrong? After all, we haven't seen the groom yet; who's to say he isn't black?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
By the way, I have a hunch about the "shocking revelation" -- SPOILERS:

Could the little girl Vernita claimed to be her daughter really be The Bride's? I realize that The Bride started to tell Bill she was carrying his child before he shot her, but what if she's wrong? After all, we haven't seen the groom yet; who's to say he isn't black?


Could be, I suppose, but I hope not--that would cross the hokey line for me, I guess. I found the little girl's function to be directly related to the revenge theme--what she witnesses is very similar to what Liu witnessed as a child, perpetuating the cycle of revenge, at least potentially.

Was anyone else struck by the Daryl Hannah scene, and how Bill calls off the assassination? The reasons he gives are related to the "honor-among-thieves" concept, which informed large chunks of Pulp Fiction as well.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that does come rather close to the hokey line. But then again, we're talking about a guy who turned a shrieking siren sound into a valid narrative element. Is there nothing Tarantino can't make work? Wink

beltmann wrote:
Was anyone else struck by the Daryl Hannah scene, and how Bill calls off the assassination?


Elaborate on "struck."
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Elaborate on "struck."


Struck by the thematic connection to Pulp.

Speaking of making stuff work (such as that wonderful screeching; was that not from an old Quincy Jones track??), one of my favorite bits was during the Daryl Hannah scene: the innocent whistling on the soundtrack seamlessly transitions into foreboding, becoming not just her character gimmick but the soundtrack entire. Cool.

Like you, I also adored the "Man From Okinawa" chapter and the bickering between the two men. "By the way, I'm not bald. I shaved my head."

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


Struck by the thematic connection to Pulp.



Actually I hadn't noticed it until you brought it up. I think I took it slightly differently than you, but I'll keep it mind the next time I see it. This is the first movie in a while I actually want to catch in the theater again.

As far as the screeching noise goes, I'm fairly sure it's taken from a 70s TV show, like SWAT or something. My wife is convinced it's from a show called The 7-Ups but I've never heard of it.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of The 7-Ups, but who knows? Tarantino mines all kinds of bizarre pop-culture stuff; I'm pretty sure that was the "Green Hornet" theme at one point.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really loved the shift in visual style from chapter to chapter, and even within chapters. For example, at the House of Blue Leaves, as soon as Thurman and Liu step into the garden outside, the style suddenly shifts into a stateliness I immediately associated with Ozu and Mizoguchi--but the falling nighttime snow also reminded me of the evocative climactic duel in Blind Swordsman 17: Zatoichi Challenged, set among soft, shimmering snowflakes. That's one of my all-time favorite Zatoichi scenes.

Eric
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filmsRpriceless
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PostPosted: 10.12.2003 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Could be, I suppose, but I hope not--that would cross the hokey line for me, I guess. I found the little girl's function to be directly related to the revenge theme--what she witnesses is very similar to what Liu witnessed as a child, perpetuating the cycle of revenge, at least potentially.


Same here. It just doesn't seem like something Tarantino would even do, or even think about, since there would be no real reason for The Bride to say what she said to her. And thanks for mentioning the shift in visual style from scene to scene, chapter to chapter -- that's immediately what I thought the second that The Bride set foot onto the snow on the garden. I also thought of Mizoguchi. This whole scene, as I've said before, had an emotional affect on me a whole lot more on a second viewing, and I just loved how Kurosawa it felt, especially when O-Ren said that she was very sorry for having estimated her, then later spoke her dying words.
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matt header
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PostPosted: 10.13.2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this last night, and it's the first movie I've absolutely been blown away by in a theater since "Punch-Drunk Love." It's more "pulpy" than "Pulp Fiction," reveling in its absurd stylistics and exuberance; it is as exciting and stunningly creative as movies come, I would say. As Eric said, I don't know if "important" is the right word to describe it, but sometimes a movie can be really truly great without being important. It's like a point-by-point reference of all of Tarantino's favorite genre movies/shows/movements, etc., while it still retains Tarantino's absolute stylistic flair.

In other words: WOW!
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Al
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PostPosted: 10.13.2003 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Been lurking for a few weeks & really enjoy the discussions on this board...

Question for you:

I just saw KB for the 2nd time and it was even better than the first! I know that it's an amalgamation of many different styles and it's gotten me pysched to check out some of the "source" material. The only start that I have is "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", which I saw just before KB came out as I read an interview with QT where he said that it was his favorite film. Any suggestions on where to start for

Anime? (Akira was my only thought... heard a lot about it but I've never seen it)

"grindhouse"? (I'm totally unfamiliar with this genre)

Samurai? (the only title that comes to mind is Seven Samurai, which I also haven't seen yet)

Spaghetti-westerns I can handle I think (starting with Leone), but I need some suggestions in the other categories...

Thanks for your help!

Al
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.13.2003 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With anime I'd recommend anything by Miyazaki and/or Studio Ghibli (especially Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Only Yesterday, Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki's Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro). Still, I don't think those are quite in the style that Tarantino admires. I'm not a fan of most of the rougher, more juvenile stuff, but I'd recommend Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Metropolis, Cowboy Bebop the Movie, Spriggan, Vampire Hunter D, 8 Man After, Lily C.A.T., Serial Experiments: Lain and Demon City Shinjuku.

With samurai movies, you have to start with Kurosawa, especially Seven Samurai, Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, and Sanjuro. I'd also say that Kurosawa's later, more ostentatious Ran and Kagemusha are heavy influences on Kill Bill, especially in terms of color pageantry. You also should check out Shintaru Katsu as a blind swordsman in the Zatoichi series from the '60s, especially the color installments. I'd also add Inagaki Hiroshi's "Samurai" trilogy (Musashi Miyamoto, Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Duel at Ganryu Island) and Mizoguchi's The Forty-Seven Ronin, Parts I and II. I'd even add Oshima's recent Taboo (Gohatto), in terms of color composition.

Also for its color, see Seijun Suzuki's Pistol Opera. That film is a re-working of his own earlier Branded to Kill, which clearly influenced Tarantino immensely. (The story involves assassins trying to knock each other off.) The postmodernism of Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter seems another clear influence.

That's a good start, I guess.

Eric
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Al
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PostPosted: 10.13.2003 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great, thanks beltmann!

I'll let you know how I make out with the "list". Actually, right this minute I joined Netflix so that I can start getting some of these (the Blockbusters around here are pretty lame... 200 copies each of whatever came out on tuesday, very slim on obscure stuff...)

Thanks again!

Al
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