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
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”
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.
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.
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.”
It should also be pointed out that Roger Avary deserves much of the credit for the Pulp Fiction screenplay, although QT screwed him out of it.
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.”
The only good thing QT did was guest star on Alias. 🙂