Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 review

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) - Quentin Tarantino

Fig. 1
Kill Bill is essentially a revenge film in where 'The Bride' wishes to leave a group of assassins in order to carry out a normal life. However it doesn't go down well with the leader Bill who sends the remainder of the team to kill her at her wedding. 'The Bride' despite being shot in the head falls into a coma but unfortunately loses her baby she was pregnant with and 4 years later wakes up and sets out for revenge against her 4 partners and her leader. 

Fig. 2
A thing to note from Kill Bill is the blood. There is a lot of it. Kill Bill thrives on the over the top and this is definitely apparent in the gore that is produced from the over the top but still adrenaline fuelled scenes. When swordplay comes in to the mix of the film limbs and heads are sent flying accompanied by an almost laughable amount of blood which surreally spurts from the remaining torso. Even though the film enters the borderline ridiculous through its gore it brings so much style into its scenes. In an orgy of violence at the end of the film The Bride takes on the Crazy 88 where no limb is safe as she cartwheels, fights on banisters, and slides around the nightclub cutting through each member in a black and white filter. McCarthy agrees but extends with " As in a martial arts wet dream, the yellow jump-suited Bride hacks, thrusts, whirls, spins, cartwheels, jumps, bends and slides around the premises as she lays waste to this grunting and groaning crew. For this dazzlingly prolonged sequence, which employs extensive wire stunts but no CGI, the colour bleeds into black-and-white, presumably, as was the case with "Taxi Driver" and its de-saturated climactic bloodbath, to avoid MPAA ratings problems. But whatever grisliness is skirted visually is more than made up for by the accentuated sound effects, which are amazing throughout."(2003)

Fig. 3
Tarantino's films are an insight into the directors own taste in cinema. He has a taste for violence but incredible attention to dialogue and usually favours a non-linear timeline. Tarantino being a fan of spaghetti westerns and martial arts movies, Kill Bill ultimately evokes conventions from both genres splicing them together. The music as always with Tarantino produces the western genre in the film accompanied with stylish martial arts, all wire and no cgi, it all just seems to work together as revenge flick paying homage to all that Tarantino loves. And in a way of progressing the story he throws in an anime to show the childhood of O-Ren Ishii which being rather stunning reinforces Tarantino's postmodern attitude towards his films. Sim writes "The devices of pastiche, parody, and doubling coding so apparent in Pulp Fiction are once more drawn upon in Kill Bill...Here the world of American gangsters and street life is forsaken in favour of homage to Hong Kong and Japanese martial arts films...with the reference to Sonny Chibi, who made his name in films concerned with samurai warriors...a further set of intertextual references point to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, acknowledged in the revenge theme and also in the soundtrack...To embed the film further in Far Eastern popular culture, Kill Bill includes an anime scene, that is used not simply for decorative effect but to advance the narrative. The overall effect is one of unsettling the audience."(2005)


Text - 

McCarthy, Todd. (2003) - Kill Bill: Vol. 1 -

Sim, Stuart. (2005) - The Routledge companion to postmodernism - page 315 -

Images -

Fig. 1 -

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