Friday, August 26, 2005

UPON FURTHER "KILL BILL" REFLECTION: As well as watching Vol 1 and 2 at near-saturation levels over the past few days (plus both movies are in rotation on one of the Encores this month--those are great movie channels, by the way, even if everything is pan and scan and all the Hong Kong movies are dubbed) I have decided that no, it is not a bad thing that we're sympathetic to O-Ren Ishii. And it's actually good anime, what with the emotion-drenched Italian Western score in the background (by Luis Bacalov, who I've never heard of but apparently he did a whole lot of Western scores. And if you love Tarantino for nothing else, you love him for hipping you to great stuff you never heard of) accompanying O-Ren's mother's blood dripping onto her face. I still--STILL!--don't understand O-Ren getting only half her revenge. She clearly sees who kills her father--she looks up and growls at him! (And I don't buy the "Bill killed O-Ren's father" thing, which is supposed to be something David Carradine confirmed but I can't find proof of him saying that anywhere on the Internets.) It's not her movie, obviously, so maybe she got the other half of her revenge before she got to Boss Matsumoto. Only Tarantino knows for sure. And that's the great thing about "Kill Bill"--you know Tarantino has an idea about what happens to everybody. He's said many times how much he believes that if you're going to build a reality, you better know what's going on in it, even if you don't let the audience know everything. After exploring the groundlings-eye view of his little world in his first three movies, we're now seeing the gods and (mostly) goddesses who inhabit his universe.

My own little stab at the Tarantinoverse: Nikki--Copperhead's daughter--will grow up and take her revenge. I don't know if she'll be successful or not; she's up against at least one monster (The Bride, who admitted her monsterness under the influence of Bill's truth serum, admitted how she enjoyed every single killing she performed in the first volume) and possible a second (the grown BB, who, the child of two monsters, stands an excellent chance of being a monster herself. She probably is one; that little girl they cast as BB, she was cute, but you also got the chance that she knew something that maybe she shouldn't.) Tarantino said Sofie gets all of Bill's money and funds Nikki's vengeance. Maybe we'll get Gogo's sister too. (Tarantino never filmed a big big fight he had written between The Bride and Yuki Yubari, sister of Gogo. Gogo ended up getting Yuki's good lines.) We don't know if Nikki's a monster or not, but when people are justified in taking revenge in Tarantino's world, they succeed (was O-Ren born a monster, or made one? I don't know.) So maybe we can predict The Bride's demise at the hands of Nikki right now, without knowing how BB plays into it. Nikki kills Bride, BB comes after Nikki for more heapin' helpings of revenge? And BB will be successful, since she is the natural born killer where Nikki is not? I dunno. But I can practically guarantee it will be better than the Star Wars prequels.

And--gawd--I love the Kill Bills. I love the DePalma sequence with Elle going out to poison The Bride in the first one. I love the Gogo-Bride fight--it's clearly derived from Master of the Flying Guillotine, with a bit of Raimi stuck in (the comic sound effects, the quick closeups) but it becomes original in the retelling, like Kill Bill itself. I love the Leone-Morricone sequence in the casket, juxtaposed with The Bride's flashback to the Shaolin monastery. I love the Shawscope logo and the "Our Feature Presentation" thing that anyone who has ever gone to a local midnight screening of some Italian horror junk will recognize. I love the Old Klingon Proverb. These are fun fun movies.

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