Film Screening 6th November, 2009

Poster for Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 

8:00 PM, 6th November, 2009

  • R
  • 110 mins
  • Unknown
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox

"So you all will know the seriousness of my warning, I shall say this in English."

The Bride is back at ANU Film Group, along with Copperhead, O-Ren Ishii, Elle Driver and, of course, Bill (though he doesn't really make an appearance until the second film tonight).

For those not familiar with the story, The Bride (formerly Black Mamba) was a member of an assassin group, until she was left for dead from an ambush at her wedding. Four years later, she comes out of her coma and starts to track down her former colleagues, intent on revenge and wanting to know what happened to the baby she was carrying when she was attacked. Her journey takes her as far as Okinawa and Tokyo, with bloody confrontations there and along the way.

Pulp Fiction is certainly Tarantino's most acclaimed film but, for me, this is his best work to date. Using the genres of Asian action and anime, he creates a visually and aurally spectacular tale with swordplay, choreography and buckets of blood! There really isn't much depth to the story here, but that doesn't matter, it just caters to those of us juvenile enough to enjoy a good actioner whilst appreciating the cinematic genre tributes and arresting style.

"But I am gonna ask you questions. And every time you don't give me answers, I'm gonna cut something off. And I promise you, they will be things you will miss. Give me your other arm!"

Travis Cragg

Poster for Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 

10:05 PM, 6th November, 2009

  • MA
  • 137 mins
  • Unknown
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Madsen

Calling Kill Bill Vol. 2 a follow-up to Tarantino's Vol. 1 is misleading. Rather, it should be seen more as the second ((ndash)) concluding ((ndash)) half to the Kill Bill experience. Vol. 2 continues the story of The Bride (Thurman) and her quest for vengeance against Bill (Carradine) and those who turned against her. Unlike the first part, the second volume appears to be more dialogue-heavy than action-heavy (but, when you look at the Crazy 88 slaughter scene, anything looks calm in comparison), but the film nonetheless further develops the story of The Bride, her past, and follows her quest for revenge.

Personally, I loved the Kill Bill films, and while each volume seems to hold different tones, I think they're both fantastic. Sure, the movies borrow and pay homage to a plethora of genres, and could be accused of being a blatant exploitation movie, but when you've got Tarantino behind the camera, who cares? And rather than just being mindless exploitation and violence, the movies hold more substance than you'd initially expect: it takes a basic idea ((ndash)) hero returns from nowhere to wreak vengeance on her past ((ndash)) but mixes it beautifully with an array of culture (from Japanese sword making to ancient martial arts to contemporary American urban life), and manages to do so superbly through constantly changing genres and styles. For an overly violent and outrageous movie, the Kill Bill flicks leave you satisfied with the experience.

Stephen Gillies