Kill Bill, Kill Cinema

I enjoyed KILL BILL.  Well, at least parts of it. Was it a great movie? No. Was it visually interesting and fun? Sure. That said, I think Ron Rosenbaum’s observations in The New York Observer are absolutely correct:

I don’t blame you if any or all of these made it impossible for you
to stay awake for the eyeball-squishing, that moment of cinematic
mastery, the true climax of the two-part, four-hour Tarantino
"masterpiece."

Still, it’s too bad if you missed it, because it was the perfect
epitome of and metaphor for what I would like to call "The Cinema of
Pretentious Stupidity." The eyeball-squishing represented the crushing
of vision by lead-footed pretension, the blinding of creativity by
referentiality. The idea that ceaseless tedious references to obscure
martial-arts movies known mainly by video-store geeks adds up to art.

I’ve heard so many defenses of Kill Bill that depend on the
apparently marvelous and unheard-of-before wonder of its
referentiality. Dude, just because you make a reference—or many
references—doesn’t make it meaningful or worth four hours of our time.

(Thanks to Ed Gorman for the heads-up on this!)

6 thoughts on “Kill Bill, Kill Cinema”

  1. QT might be the most overrated entity in Hollywood.
    “References” is how he continually gets away with ripping off other filmmkaers – most of which are from Hong Kong.

  2. Well, I don’t know very many of those references, and I thought that Volume 2 was great. Volume 1 – eh, it was pretty good up until the end. The ceaseless limb-chopping got a little old. But the scene shot in silhouette was pretty cool.

  3. Tarantino is very good at what he does, but it gets tiresome after a while. He made one great film (Pulp Fiction), which was mainly a triumph of writing and acting, and has been dining out on it ever since.
    Although I enjoyed the Kill Bills — they’re entertaining, visceral films — they are hardly great art. And, as Guyot points out, his work is highly derivative. There’s a point at which “homage” becomes “theft.”

  4. Although he is about to be destroyed and humiliated by me, DJM makes a great point that so few people know about:
    Roger Avary was every bit the genius behind Pulp Fiction that QT gets credit for.
    QT is a bozo. No other word for it. I have hilarious stories from when I worked as Chow Yun-Fat’s assistant and QT would constantly show up on set and jizz all over him. Yun-Fat’s nickname for QT was the Cantonese translation of “thief with small brain.”

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