Sunday, 25 September 2011

Movie review - Kill Bill

Kill Bill mixes different cultural components and editing techniques to make the film unique. Quentin Tarantino has made his fourth feel very much like a book in the way it flickers between past and present, different character view points and title slides. “At the same time, though, the film shows his more literary-skewing tendencies coming out in even stronger force than usual, from generous use of expository voiceover narration and text cards to literal chapter divisions. And, in that off-kilter Tarantino sensibility, all of these tricks are deployed in service of a story that is--and I mean this in the best way--pure pulp trash.” (Mr Brown, 2003) The film feels very much like a novel or stage performance due to how Tarantino has art directed it as explained in the quote 'voiceover narration' and 'chapter divisions' makes the audience entwined with the character of the dead bride and a real sense of a journey that grips the viewer to follow through her past accounts of her life to understand the character better.


Figure 1, (2008), Still of the Dead Bride

The sequences are edited to resemble the styles of spaghetti western, Japanese anime and Samurai flicks to make the film drift between moments of insane gore and action to a much softer scene that depicts a character's past and a connection they have with the bride. "Welcome to the fourth film by Quentin Tarantino, a revenge drama that primarily riffs on Yakuza and Samurai flicks, but also finds time to work in spaghetti Westerns, Japanese anime' and Italian giallo. It is, in the motormouth helmer's own words, an ode to exploitation cinema, a grindhouse epic. It's also quite brillant." (Total Film, 2003) Tarantino's acomplishment in this film is not just the use of the different styles and genres but also how they harmanise with eachother. The quote explains how the film is 'an ode to exploitation cinema' which suggests that even though Tarantino has borrowed typical traits and styles of film genre and culture, he has also thought about how they would work together in the film to keep the story fresh and interesting but adding in the right amounts in the appropiate scenes.

Figure 2, (2008), still of Anime section

To make this film feel right within Tarantino's vision of a strong female lead on the road of revenge he has also collaged work from other films to make of the 'Revenge of the dead bride' feel more believable to the viewer. "Stealing the moves of (and often directly quoting) the likes of the Shaw Brothers, Seijun Suzuki, and Kinji Fukasaku, Tarantino whips up awe-inspiring duels and epic battles in the martial arts vein. Abandoning the ambivalence of Charlie's Angels' catfights, Tarantino isn't happy until his Bride has decimated a roomful of men and women suggesting a parody of Gone With the Wind's wide shot of a blood-soaked, body-ridden street." (Canavase, 2008) As well as genre, Tarantino has also used existing shots, scenes and dialogue to merge his own creation from. This presumes to be a typical martial arts action film but takes the best of what has come before and tries to improve the classic revenge tale.

Figure 3, (2003), still of fight scene

Illustration List

Figure 1, (2008), Still of the Dead Bride, @, Accessed on: 31st August 2008

Figure 2, (2008), still of Anime section, @, Accessed on: 31st August 2008

Figure 3, (2003), still of fight scene, @, Accessed on: 27th October 2003


Canavase, Peter, (2008), Groucho Reviews – Kill Bill, @, Accessed on: 22nd September 2008

Mr Brown, (2003), Movie/Video Review Kill Bill: VOL 1, @, Accessed on: 2003

Total Film, (2003), Film Reviews - Kill Bill Vol 1, @, Accessed on: 10th October 2003

4 ½/5

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