Kill Bill Volume 1 is the first part in a series of two movies that was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. He never seems to tire of pointing out all the movies he's referenced, paid tribute to and been inspired by. In this film analysis, I will describe all the movies that have influenced him and show up in Kill Bill. I will also describe some of the cinematography and how it made the movie stand out. Quentin Tarantino’s movies have a very different, unique feel than the perceived “normal” movie. “Kill Bill Vol. 1” is very intriguing. He borrows ideas and styles from his many influences which, in the end, results in something not necessarily unique, but fresh. Everything Tarantino has done has been done before; however, he mixes different genres and styles with his own to create a masterfully directed piece of art. In Kill Bill, he uses Martial Arts, Samurai, Spaghetti Western, and Secret Agent (along with many other sub-genres) to create one film (Wikipedia - Kill Bill). The story of the movie follows the character Beatrix Kiddo known as “Black Mamba”, played by Uma Thurman, as she seeks revenge on a group of assassins, called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, which attempted to murder her at her wedding and her former boss, Bill. She crosses them off a list one by one as she kills them. The list reads as follows: 1)
O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) - Codename: Cottonmouth
Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) - Codename: Copperhead
Budd (Michael Bowen)
Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah)
Bill (David Carradine)
The movie is mostly adapted from the movie Lady Snowblood, a 1973 Japanese film in which a woman kills off the gang who murdered her family. Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41, from Japan, and Thriller: En Grym Film, from Sweden also has the same central theme of wronged women seeking revenge. Scorpion is an escaped convict gunning for the cruel warden who locked her up. Thriller (so hardcore it was banned in Sweden) follows an innocent girl who is turned into a mutilated, heroin-addicted sex slave, and turns the tables on her captors (Rose). The name of the group in Kill Bill, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, is inspired by the movie The Doll Squad. They also wear similar outfits to the girls in The Doll Squad (The Quentin Tarantino Archives). The opening credit sequence features the Shaw Brothers logo which has the letters “SB” encased within a crest symbol. This iconic symbol is from Hong Kong’s cinematic history - movies produced during the late-1950s to the mid-1980s. I thought nothing of this logo until I read that the Shaw Brothers inspired Tarantino’s style (Chan). The entire movie does make me feel like it was right out of the 70’s but with some modern twists. The opening scene shows Beatrix lying comatose in a hospital bed silhouetted against a background of the window of her room. The lighting of her was obviously very high contrast, low-key lighting. This scene is homage to Citizen Kane (The Quentin Tarantino Archives). The movie then continues somewhere in the middle of the first part where Beatrix is facing off against Vernita Green at Vernita’s house. Five minutes into the film Beatrix and Vernita head off into an extremely intense fight that demolishes the living room. The sound effects are very interesting. They overlay sound onto every movement. I hear many swoosh sounds coming from the knives during their fight. Also, similar swoosh sounds come from them jumping. In my opinion this type of sound amplifies the action. This type of sound effects was very popular in Chinese cinema in the 1970’s. The 1978 movie The Five Venoms, a Shaw Brothers film, was an inspiration for these sound effects (The Quentin Tarantino Archives). After the fight Beatrix pulls out a list of people that she intends to kill to show the audience who she has killed so far, and who is left. This is typical Quentin Tarantino. This shows his preference of a non-linear storyline. The story then jumps back...
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