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At My Most Masochistic: Tarantino’s Bill

This is part of the blogothon put together by the Pompous Film Snob, asking bloggers to select their favourite Tarantino character. It’s a pretty stellar list of bloggers tackling some iconic characters, so it’s well worth a look. Check them out, here. I’m a bit late in publishing this one.

Kill Bill is a remarkable film. It’s an impressive work – so impressive that it is split across two parts. What’s really impressive about it, though, is just how big a departure is represented from Tarantino’s body of work in the nineties. Tarantino made his reputation taking basic scenarios with which we’re all familiar, but putting a new twist on them – for example, Reservoir Dogs takes place in the aftermath of a botched robbery or True Romance followed a young couple a cross-country elopement, running from the criminals rather than the law or Pulp Fiction followed a variety of intersecting stories which spring out of a deal and betrayal between bad men (it’s all set in motion with Jules and Vincent recovering something stolen from Marsellus). Here, however, Tarantino is doing something different. Rather than providing a unique angle on an archetypal story, he’s instead playing out the story to its logical conclusion. Kill Bill, Vol. I is a most typical revenge ploy, albeit perfectly executed. However, Kill Bill, Vol. II takes that idea and picks it apart. The characters who serve as plot functions in the first half become real human beings in the second. Seen as Bill arguably has the most screentime across both films (apparent from the Bride) it’s fascinating to see what he begins as, and how he ends up.

Bill is just fluting around...

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Non-Review Review: Kill Bill, Vol. 1

Kill Bill is an epic, but personal, work for Quentin Tarantino. It’s his Gangs of New York – a movie he’s clearly wanted to make in his own way for a very long time. It’s a tour through the cinematic locales which inform his filmmaking – though he uses Tokyo and Texas, and other names of real life locations, the film isn’t set in anywhere that really exists, or ever could exist, outside his own imagination. Kill Bill is a darkly violent and ultimately juvenile film, but one that was clearly well-loved and properly nurtured. It never ceases to impress, even while it makes you flinch.

Not quite mellow yellow...

Not quite mellow yellow...

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