The Null Device
I finally got around to seeing Kill Bill part 1
tonight. My thoughts:
- It was spectacularly violent, as one would expect from Tarantino, The violence had an over-the-top quality about it, much like a Road Runner cartoon, only with blood everywhere. The blood flowed like water from a burst main, and I was expecting pretty much anybody who entered the screen to transition from person to blood-sack. The violence was quite stylishly done, often in the form of exquisitely choreographed martial-arts sequences, whose machinelike neatness would only be tempered by the spurting geysers of red, red krovvy that inevitably ensued.
- It was also extremely stylised. The sets and costumes, the props (the Pussy Wagon, for example), the colours (the use of bright yellow, for example), the editing (there was a transition from colour to black and white in the middle which could only have been as a hip reference to a genre of martial-arts films), and of course Tarantino's trademarked banter.
- Parts of it, of course, beggared plausibility; from Thurman's character having made a full recovery in the first place to the rather sporting one-at-a-time martial-arts sequences, where thugs would take turns to attack and be dispatched by our heroine, and would carry out elaborate little dances to themselves as they waited for their turn.
- The incidental music was great; very atmospheric. I wonder how much of that was done by RZA and how much was borrowed from old film scores (as Tarantino admitted to doing).
- The overall impression I got was of extreme coolness; not cool in the subjective this-is-good sense but coolness as an attitude, an objective stylistic feature: dry, wry, too-hip-to-care, and yet with layers of references and even more layers of callow, almost nihilistic ironic detachment.
All in all, I rather enjoyed it. Not the best film I'd ever seen, but a lot better than the overly long and laboured affair that was Jackie Brown.
(Talking point: Kill Bill is to hipsters what The Crow was to goths. Discuss.)
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