Raising Cain

Quentin Tarantino gets medieval on our asses in 'Kill Bill Vol. 1'

Samurai sister: Uma Thurman in 'Kill Bill Vol. 1'
Miramax Films
Samurai sister: Uma Thurman in 'Kill Bill Vol. 1'

I've been deliberately unspecific about the details of Kill Bill Vol. 1 because the movie is its experience--what film geeks refer to as "the ride." I fear that audiences will be put off by the strange, tenuous, gossamer tone that Tarantino strikes: a mixture of extreme emotion and almost comic stylization. (The director flirts with and casually avoids self-parody in the climactic set piece, in which an airplane hangar's worth of Japanese Reservoir Dogs slide and fall in a hockey rink of blood.) But the word that kept resounding in my ears throughout the length of the film is a simple one, a word that I increasingly associate with Tarantino's work: love. What one feels in Vol. 1 is Tarantino's love of the characters, love of spinning a good yarn, love of the physical details of making a movie, love of the actors' faces, love of generating unselfconscious culture collisions, and, most of all, his love of tantalizing, turning on, fucking with, shorting out, and overloading the audience. It'll be a long wait until Vol. 2 (due February 20), but not since the opening day of Do the Right Thing have I so had the urge to start watching a movie again before it was even over.

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