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Kill Bill: Volume Two

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Reply #360 on: April 08, 2004, 08:17:28 PM
Sorry..... I was lazy to check out more than one page  :(


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Reply #361 on: April 08, 2004, 11:32:28 PM
Wanna watch two film clips (at your own risk, of course)?

"Sweet" here.

"New Student" here.

In Windows or Real Player format.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #362 on: April 09, 2004, 04:22:57 PM
From the current Entertainment Weekly:

Total Tarantino
Calling all Quentin Tarantino fans -- here's the complete transcript of our interview with the ''Kill Bill'' director


In late March, Quentin Tarantino invited Entertainment Weekly's executive editor Mary Kaye Schilling to his L.A. home, where she interviewed him for the magazine's April 16 cover story. For those of you who don't want to miss a detail (like the fact that the ''Kill Bill'' director has never seen ''The Sopranos''), here's a special bonus: the complete transcript of their three-hour talk. Unlike some of the Bride's victims, this interview is uncut.

Let's start with ''Kill Bill 2.'' Turns out it's a love story. Who knew? But I'm not just talking about Bill and the Bride. And somehow I don't think we've seen the last of her.
I love the Bride. I LOVE her, all right? I want her to be happy. I don't want to come up with screwed-up scenarios that she has to fight the whole rest of her life. I killed myself to put her in a good place at the end of this long journey. So when I was even thinking about the idea of a trilogy, I wanted to give her 10 years of peace, 10 years of motherhood. She deserves peace after all this.

Without giving too much else away, after the Bride kills Bill, she seems to retire. Do you have a fantasy of what the Bride's future is? Will she kill again?
Oh, I know what happens to her. Initially I was thinking this would be my ''Dollars'' trilogy. I was going to do a new one every 10 years -- the first one starting when Uma was 30, the second when she's 40, and the last when she's 50. Now we're not going to do that because I need at least 15 years before I do this again. Uma and I can do something else together, but picking this thing up again, we need distance, and a decade ain't enough.

That passionate connection with your main characters -- it really comes across in your films.
Well, the thing is, the characters are also me. I consider myself a Method writer. I am the Bride, and I started taking on little feminine tendencies during the writing process, and just like an actor you go with it. It was great to look at the world for [over a] year with that perspective.

One of the jokes in the first film is that Uma's character is known only as the Bride; anytime she says her name, it's bleeped. Bill refers to her as ''kiddo,'' and what you learn in ''2'' is that that's actually her last name -- Beatrix Kiddo. Where did that name come from?
You think they've been hiding her name, but Bill's been saying it all along. Uma came up with the name Beatrix -- she worked for somebody with that name. And I came up with Kiddo. That's what I call women -- when I really like a girl, I call her ''kiddo.''

Bill's Superman monologue was inspired -- a real geek-a-thon, not to mention Jungian. How did you come up with it?
The genesis was in the first subtextual piece I ever read in my life. Now I love textual film criticism -- I love that the critic really gets to be the artist; it really doesn't matter what the writer or director was thinking. But this piece was in this one big book about comic books -- I don't remember the name -- and I was 12 or 13, and basically the point was that when Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. A radioactive spider didn't bite him, nothing happened to him. He is who he is. Would he be so super on the Planet Krypton? No. But he's not there. So over the years I would tell the story more and more, and flesh it out and start adding to the thesis and working it. The Madonna speech in ''Reservoir Dogs,'' or the Sicilian speech in ''True Romance'' -- all that happened in the same way, with verbiage, going off on a thought, trying to be entertaining, thought-provoking, going for the laughs. That's where the Superman speech came out of, but it was never intended for this movie until we were in Beijing preproduction. We all went out to dinner and that subject came up -- this cool little story and everyone liked it.

So going with your premise that for Superman, unlike with other superheroes, the human part of him is the mask, the part being played, do you have a Clark Kent?
Oh gosh. Good -- that is what really got me thinking about that question too. You know, I don't think I do. Truth be told, I don't think the people who like me want my act cleaned up. I think my outsider energy is one of the things people generally respond to. I might clean up, and sometimes I want to look handsome, dress in nice stuff...

Perhaps that's the mask -- grown up.
A little bit of -- yeah, okay, exactly.

How could ''Kill Bill'' have ever been one movie? Were any scenes moved around once the decision was made?
I ultimately decided to split it up because for the audience to get what I spent a year and a half writing, you have to see everything that's in ''1'' and ''2.'' It actually does work as one movie, because we didn't have to move it all around, create something that wasn't there, spin a bunch of bulls--- that wasn't really organic to the story. Where the tone changes at the beginning of the second movie? It happens exactly right there [in the script].

Would you have considered four hours with an intermission?
There's something very pretentious about a four-hour exploitation movie. It's like I'm not playing fair. And I do think movies are more audience-friendly in theaters, for a broad audience, and I want as many people to see the movies as possible. So at most it would have been 3 hours and 10 minutes, or something like that.

There were critics who bemoaned your return to violence with ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 1,'' especially after the more sedate and mature themes of ''Jackie Brown.'' ''Vol. 2'' is more character-driven, quieter, and the carnage is pretty minimal. But ultimately, do you care what critics think?
If you're approaching somebody's work from an auteur point of view, and you like them, then, you know, it's almost the job of the critic to be a little precious. You don't want to see directors you like going off in the wrong direction or make too much of a left turn. That's good for criticism. I understand that. But one thing that was semi-annoying to me in reading a couple of the reviews for ''Vol. 1'' was, ''Oh, this is a very wild technique and style is cranked up and the technique has gone up, but it's a clear retreat from 'Jackie Brown,' and the growing maturity was in there.'' ''Clear retreat'' says I'm running away from what I did in ''Jackie Brown.'' I've done it. I don't have to prove that I can do a [mature character study], all right? And after ''Vol. 1'' I don't have to prove that I can do a good action scene.

My filmography is really important to me, and I want every one of my movies to count. Stephen King took a dig at me [in EW] for starting off ''Kill Bill'' with ''Quentin Tarantino's Fourth Film'' -- you know, la-di-da! I can imagine someone taking a cynical view like that. But to me, I mean it, and not in some airy-fairy way. This is my fourth movie and I haven't done anything in a long time. It's telling you who I am so far today. And the fifth and sixth with hopefully tell you something else too. They are all different places. I hope you invite [King] back to review ''Vol. 2.'' Even if he doesn't like it, I'm interested in what he thinks.

Do you think your fan base will be disappointed by ''Vol. 2'''s drop in carnage? A measly 12 people (including the wedding party of ''Vol. 1'') meet their end, as opposed to nearly five times as many in ''Vol. 1'' -- not to mention the many more who get limbs whacked off.
I can't imagine that would be the case. My fans are into my dialogue as much as anything else.

''Pulp Fiction'' included biblical references and ''Kill Bill'' includes references to God. What are your religious beliefs? Do you believe in God?
I'm not going to tell you how I believe in God, but I do believe in God.

Speaking of violence and religion, have you see ''The Passion of the Christ''?
No, but I really want to.

How about ''The Sopranos''? Are you a fan?
I've actually never seen it, and that's not a judgment on the show -- I just haven't had a chance to see it.

What were your feelings about Peter Biskind's book ''Down and Dirty Pictures''? You play a big part in it, and though you come across as a trailblazer and an often generous guy, there's some sniping about betrayal and egomania from friends. Did you feel misrepresented in any way?
I don't think I came across that bad. I actually thought Biskind had a touch of affection for me in the writing. As long as people have affection for me, I'm not expecting any one article or book to capture me, to get me completely. But he misrepresented Harvey Weinstein in it to, like, a gigantic degree. At the same time, Harvey is also the most interesting character in the book. I told Harvey, you're a hero and villain, but your villain is of Bondian proportions.

When you go to see movies, are you watching as a fan or as a filmmaker -- you know, fixing sloppy editing or rewriting scenes in your head?
I'm normally a film fan. That's my goal. If I see mistakes in tone or rhythm, I might start thinking, Okay, I would do this. But I can still enjoy the film. If I were teaching a class or having a serious conversation with somebody about it, I could point out deficiencies here and there -- deficiencies I wouldn't allow in my own work -- but I forgive it if I like it. A movie doesn't have to do everything. A movie just has to do a couple of things. If it does those well and gives you a cool experience, a cool night at the movies, an emotion, that's good enough, man. But movies that get it all right are few and far between. It got to a point in the '80s when you didn't even hold a bad ending against a movie, because every movie had a cop-out ending. If you were going to hold bad endings against movies you'd never have liked anything.

If you were teaching a class on your own films, what deficiencies would you point out?
If you ask me, the answer is none. I'm sure somebody else might find weaknesses, but I can't. If there's a weakness, I don't do it -- you'd never see the scene.

What are some recent movies you've enjoyed?
I can't believe it, but I really liked the remake of ''Dawn of the Dead.'' It was terrific. I was actually almost offended when [they announced they were] remaking ''Dawn of the Dead'' -- I mean, the idea of remaking a George Romero film without George Romero! I just wish they hadn't called it ''Dawn of the Dead'' because then I could really embrace it, because I have to compare the two and there are things about the remake that do not compare favorably at all. But I was really taken by what a good director [Zack Snyder] is.

I missed the amateurishness of the actors in Romero's ''Dead'' movies. For some reason, you cared about them more.
That was one of the wonderful things about Romero, especially at that time. He cast these Pittsburgh actors. They have interesting faces, and they are giving their all, and since you don't have any past association with them, you just completely buy into their characters in this environment, this world gone wrong. They become your friends. It wasn't like a character in a movie just got killed, it was like, Oh, this is horrible. Even the zombies became characters.

One of the things your movies always get noticed for is the acting. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that you have gotten either the best performance or one of the best performances out of every actor you've worked with. Any sense of why that is? Does it have to do with writing your characters with actors in mind?
It's a mixed bag. The most I ever wrote for one person is ''Kill Bill,'' for Uma. But I do write characters for certain actors, like, say, Honey Bunny and Pumpkin in ''Pulp Fiction.'' They were written for Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth. And sometimes I write characters for actors who don't play them, and then I have to reinvent the character. And sometimes I don't write for actors at all, and just audition people and find the character, in which case you're going to find somebody who is that -- an actor who has those qualities naturally. If you're writing for someone in particular, obviously they have a strength you want to feature and play with in a fun movie way. You know, like Uma's blondness is a big deal in ''Kill Bill,'' and I'm really playing with that, even by the people I'm matching her up with. But it's cool to write for somebody and you don't get that somebody. It's happened in every one of my movies.

You mean like Warren Beatty, the original Bill, versus David Carradine? [Beatty felt Carradine was better suited to the role.]
Exactly. The danger that can happen when you've imagined one actor [doing a part] is that you can get bored with it before you've seen it. As a director you try to avoid giving the performance for the actor in your brain, before they have actually had a chance at it.

How would Bill have been different if Beatty had played him?
With Warren, Bill was much more of a James Bond character -- James Bond as a villain. There was more of an old sexy lion, which David has too. But, you know, it was much more playing with the subtextual analogy of Bill as a killer pimp and these are his bitches. We are talking about killing, but we could have been talking about f---ing. David had more of a mystical quality and that became much more important at the end [of the movie]. My whole thing is I'm going to do it so well, you can never imagine Warren Beatty.

So you really use the personalities of your actors to create your characters.
Very much so. Actually, to answer it correctly, I have written the character, and actors who work for me don't need to go out and find somebody that's like this person to teach them how to be this person. Daryl Hannah has said that it was really cool that I gave her her character's whole back story. But I'm also trying to find out who the actor is so I can add that to the character.... People always ask me who are actors you'd like to work with. Well, you know, there's a lot of actors I'd love to work with, but I don't think that way. I want to come up with the right combination of character and movie and actor. And I think that's one of the reasons why my casting is so good, and why the actors are so good.

Well, why should we be any different? Who would you like to work with?
Tom Hanks. He's got kind of a snide side in real life that I really like. It's a biting sense of humor that hasn't 100 percent been capitalized on. And he doesn't need to super-capitalize on it. He's a wonderful comedic actor -- I've loved his comic performances in the '80s. I've wanted to work with Johnny Depp forever, and Johnny Depp has wanted to work with me forever, but it has to be special. The same thing with Daniel Day-Lewis. But usually the opposite happens. They get the actor, and then, okay, f--- it if it's right or not, make it right, all right?

After seeing ''Reservoir Dogs,'' I never would have pegged you for a feminist. But ''Jackie Brown'' and ''Kill Bill'' are female empowerment fests -- and Jackie and the Bride are certainly two of the most multidimensional women ever to be seen in genre films.
I definitely do have a feminist [sensibility]. I almost feel weird about categorizing it as ''feminist.'' Not because I am demonizing the word, but I think it's more of a femininity, an appreciation for women rather than a label. But I mean, it's not hard to figure it out if you think about it. I was raised by a single mom who came from white-trash beginnings. She created a very nice career for herself as an executive -- a legend in her own time in the HMO field. From the very beginning I never considered that there were boundaries, things a woman can and can't do. I had my mom as an example of someone who came from nothing and she was going out to eat in nice restaurants, paying her own way. She had nice s---, she drove a Cadillac Seville, and she was living the life.

Is she in a lot of your female characters? Is she Jackie Brown?
She's a little of Jackie Brown, but ''Jackie Brown'' actually has a person, my second mother, a woman named Jackie Watts. She was my mother's best friend when they were two hot chicks in the '70s. Jackie was black. Mom is half white and half Cherokee, and they had it going on.

Your characters clearly reflect a childhood with strong women and lots of racial diversity.
Completely. My house was like the United Nations. And my mom, you know, white guys, black guys, Mexican guys -- it was all good. But I also think I'm just empathetic -- I have empathy for people, their situation, their problems, their specialness. I can see their specialness.

One recurring theme in your films is loneliness -- not in the American sense, as in a bad thing. It's a loneliness of choice. A spaghetti Western kind of loner. Does that reflect your own preference?
That's a good question. I have a lot of friends, and I like hanging out with individuals and cliques of friends. Like I was hanging was out with Sofia Coppola and her friends recently, while all this ''Lost in Translation'' stuff has been going on. It was a nice distraction, so I wasn't so self-obsessed about [''Kill Bill'']. It's always fun to be in love with someone else's movie; I'd rather talk about other people's movies than mine.

But as much as I like that, I am a loner. If you're an only child and grow up by yourself, you get comfortable with your own company. I can have a great time reading or watching movies or listening to music by myself. I like going places and seeing things through another person's eyes, but I also like seeing them from my own eyes too.

You're now in your 40s, and you've suddenly got kids in your movies.
Yeah, and they're just as violent as everyone else [laughs]. I can honestly say that I don't think all that baby stuff would have been in ''Kill Bill'' if I hadn't written the part for Uma. We are best friends, and when I was writing the script it was a good excuse to hang out with her. And if you hang out with Uma, you're going to hang out with her daughter Maya. It was the most I'd ever been in close proximity with a [then-4-year-old] girl, and we had a wonderful connection. I love her, and now I have a connection with Uma's son, Levon. I've known him his entire life. He likes me because of the way I talk with my hands [laughing].

Do you think about having kids?
Oh yeah, totally. Actually, the truthful answer to that is that Maya made me want to have kids. [She] also showed me that I would be a really good father.

Was turning 40 hard for you?
No, it wasn't hard. I couldn't be doing better than I'm doing. I could not be doing more than I want to do. The privileges I have are vast. I've got all the money I could ever need. I mean, I'm not talking grandiose, but just to live like Elvis Presley on crack, all right? Also, I hate working, so I'll never have to work for a living again.

You hate working except for making movies....
Exactly. But I never want to have to WORK at movies. I never have to make a movie to pay for my pool or to reposition myself in Hollywood. I can make a movie when I mean it. I have a really fortunate position in this industry. I am actually allowed via both the success I've had in the past and my relationship with Miramax, and particularly with Harvey and Bob Weinstein -- I am able to truly, in this town, live the life of an artist.

You've been quoted as saying that you've created an infallible career, that you don't fear anything. There's got to be something that scares you artistically or career-wise.
I'm not afraid of this, but I am taking precautions: I don't want to be an old director. A lot of the ['70s] movie brats have gotten old and it shows in their work, and I don't want that. And I'm not picking on them because you go back 100 years and directors don't get better as they get older. I really do think directing is a young man's game. I want all of my films to be good. Look, there might very well come a time where, you know, as you get older your interests change, you have older interests. Not everything has to be so visceral or kinetic. If I say Martin Scorsese's movies are getting kind of geriatric and everything, he can say, F--- you, man! I'm doing what I want to do, I'm following my muse, and he's 100 percent right. I'm in my church praying to my god and he's in his church praying to his. There was a time we were in the same church, and I miss that. I don't want to go to that church. If I was going to that church, I would write novels.

So how do you imagine Quentin Tarantino, boy wonder, at 60?
I won't be making movies, that's for sure. I'll write novels. Novelistic writing is great for someone at that age. But I also want to get some movie theaters. I've got a big film collection and I want to continue building on it. I'm kind of a frustrated theater owner anyway. I want to have a good life and let the filmography stand on its own. I don't want to be some old guy pitching f---ing scripts.

Would you consider producing?
No, I don't like doing that now. Making a movie is hard work, man. If I'm not making my own movie, I don't want to make a movie. I'd rather watch it. I want to have a life and not get all caught up in the business crap.

What do you do when you're not making movies?
What you'd expect -- read, listen to music, hang out with friends, watch my video and DVD collection. Get obsessions about this or that. I'm a film historian so I'm always trying to feed my brain. All of a sudden you watch a movie with Aldo Ray, and then you have go see all of Ray's movies.

What kinds of books do you read?
All kinds of stuff. For a fun read, I'm more attracted to genre-oriented stuff, like crime stories or mysteries. I'm not really into science fiction. Stuff that's a little more story oriented. But if somebody turns me on to a writer that I like, then it's not about story or genre. Then it's just about the writer's point of view. One of my favorite books of all time is Larry McMurtry's ''All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers.'' It's a very influential book to me. I always use McMurtry as an example of what I'm trying to do in one way or another. I've always like the way he moves characters from book to book. When I sell my movies, I always retain the rights to characters so I can follow them. I can follow Butch or anybody and it's not ''Pulp Fiction II.'' If I want to put Pumpkin and Honey Bunny in a movie, it's like, no worries.

What's next? Will it be the much-discussed ''Inglorious Bastards'' -- what you've described as your ''Dirty Dozen''?
I'm going to take a little break -- not as long as the last time -- but I'll probably do something small, something modest, in between, and then do the war movie. I have to finish that script, but I also have this weird thing of, Do I want to dive in? Do I want to climb Mount Everest again?

Do you ever worry that your moment has passed? As popular as ''Kill Bill'' was, it didn't have nearly the water-cooler buzz of ''Reservoir Dogs'' or ''Pulp Fiction.''
It's not really anything I think about. Maybe thirty thousand people saw ''Reservoir Dogs'' at the theater, so if they were talking about the movie they were talking about a movie they hadn't seen. ''Pulp Fiction'' was a phenomenon. You can't count on making a phenomenon every time out of the gate or you're going to be one sorry bastard. And when you make a movie as violent as ''Kill Bill,'' you can't be surprised when people don't want to see it. Harvey Weinstein always says, ''We could make 100 million dollars if people weren't DROWNING IN BLOOD!'' [Laughs] But considering the gore, he's thrilled with the business we did. I didn't realize you had to grade on a curve with violence.

It's been reported that you might work with your friend Robert Rodriguez on his next film, ''Sin City.''
It could very well happen sometime this summer. It's based on one of Frank Miller's graphic novels, and I totally want to do it. I'd be a special guest director. [Rodriguez] wrote the score for ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 2'' and he charged me a dollar to do it, so I'll charge him one dollar for directing.

And can we can expect to see ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 3'' in about 15 years?
I don't know if I'll call it ''Vol. 3.'' And Uma won't be the star of it, though she'll be in it. The star will be Vernita Green's [Vivica A. Fox's] daughter, Nikki [Ambrosia Kelley]. And I know everything that will take her up to this time. Sofie Fatale [Julie Dreyfus] will get all of Bill's money, and she will raise Nikki, and she will go to take on the Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as the Bride deserved hers. I might even, a year from now, shoot a couple of scenes for it and put it in the vault for 15 years from now so I can get the actresses while they're this age. It's really exciting to know that somewhere out there is a little girl who's going to grow up to be my leading lady.

One critic suggested that a person with children could never have written the scene where the Bride kills Vernita in front of her child in ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 1.''
I completely and utterly disagree. When you're dealing in the genres of Hong Kong kung fu films and spaghetti Westerns, or even American Westerns, that is an absolute staple of those movies--the 4-year-old child is on the prairie and they've seen their parents slaughtered and they spend the rest of their lives avenging the deaths. At that moment the child is dead and the warrior is born -- that's the symbolism.

Seems like there's also the possibility for back stories, too -- like the evolution of Bill.
I might do that as an animated movie -- more about his origins and Bill's three godfathers -- Esteban, Hatori Hanzo, and Pei Mei. This little journey that starts when he's 12. I've already got a deal with Miramax, I can do this anytime. I spent so much time writing the script, that I know all the mythology of it. I even like the idea of writing a Frank Miller-style graphic novel.

In the meantime, you're on the jury at Cannes in May. Was that a fantasy of yours?
It completely and utterly is. Forget about being the president of the jury -- it's also this kind of symmetry: Ten years ago I won the Palme d'Or, and now coming back as the president -- one of the youngest presidents if not the youngest -- it's a total fantasy. When it comes to recognition in filmmaking, for true cinema, I put Cannes above everything else. When I die it can say ''Palme d'Or winner Quentin Tarantino.''
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #363 on: April 09, 2004, 05:15:36 PM
hehe, great interview.  I don't know how i feel about him doing kill bill 3 though.  I appreciate the thought of him getting the story of the daughter that avenges her mother's death, but it seems the implication is a lot more meaningful than seeing its execution..

Cory Everett

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Reply #364 on: April 09, 2004, 09:29:33 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
Was turning 40 hard for you?
No, it wasn't hard. I couldn't be doing better than I'm doing. I could not be doing more than I want to do. The privileges I have are vast. I've got all the money I could ever need. I mean, I'm not talking grandiose, but just to live like Elvis Presley on crack, all right? Also, I hate working, so I'll never have to work for a living again.
would write novels.

So how do you imagine Quentin Tarantino, boy wonder, at 60?
I won't be making movies, that's for sure. I'll write novels. Novelistic writing is great for someone at that age. But I also want to get some movie theaters. I've got a big film collection and I want to continue building on it. I'm kind of a frustrated theater owner anyway. I want to have a good life and let the filmography stand on its own. I don't want to be some old guy pitching f---ing scripts.

so, he's in his 40's now?  and hes definitely NOT going to be making movies when he's 60?  so that leaves less than 20 years of movies.  he's had 4 (5) movies in the past 15 years, so at this rate we might get 5 or 6 more EVER?  uh oh, looks like we've got another kubrick on our hands.
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Reply #365 on: April 09, 2004, 09:57:32 PM
Quote from: Fernando
GB, when are you seeing this one? Make sure to post your thoughts spoiler free.

I'm very upset -- the first press screening in my neck of the woods was last Wednesday and the second is on this coming Tuesday, but I've had video shoots scheduled both of those days that I couldn't rearrange. But  it'll be fun to experience it on opening night with a (hopefully respectful) crowd.

One more week...


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Reply #366 on: April 10, 2004, 12:28:20 AM
I got passes for tuesday. I'm so fucking stoked.
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Reply #367 on: April 10, 2004, 04:42:24 AM
a couple of new trailers and a tv spot over at killbill.jp. contain new footage.

El Duderino

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Reply #368 on: April 10, 2004, 04:35:14 PM
i have tickets for a screening on tuesday too.......i cant fucking wait.

Tuesday's Agenda
After School: Buy Kill Bill volume 1
4-6: watch Kill Bill Volume 1
7: Kill Bill Volume 2
10: Come home and masturbate
Did I just get cock-blocked by Bob Saget?


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Reply #369 on: April 10, 2004, 05:08:37 PM
Quote from: El Duderino
i have tickets for a screening on tuesday too.......i cant fucking wait.

Tuesday's Agenda
After School: Buy Kill Bill volume 1
4-6: watch Kill Bill Volume 1
7: Kill Bill Volume 2
10: Come home and masturbate

imagine finding 100 bucks on your way to the store.
context, context, context.


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Reply #370 on: April 11, 2004, 11:57:07 AM
More heart than blood
Assassins aside, "Kill Bill's" second act is a love story, its creator insists. And in Quentin Tarantino's world, love is a beating thing. Source: Los Angeles Times

"Killing can work as a metaphor for human relationships, if that makes any sense." — Quentin Tarantino


Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, the 41-year old maestro of "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction" and the coming "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," is perched in the family room of his Mulholland mansion, popping strange Japanese cheese munchies in his mouth and trying to explain that "Kill Bill," which seemed like a chick revenge movie in "Vol. 1," actually turns out to be a love story in "Vol. 2." A twisted, cracked love story, to be sure, but "a legitimate love story, all right," Tarantino says.

"You're dealing with men and women and relationships in this weird alternate universe."

Indeed, the Bride and Bill, played by Uma Thurman and David Carradine, are the very embodiment of the adage "Can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em," and the stakes are high because both parties are trained killers.

Tarantino thinks that this is part of the film — as opposed to the fleets of ninja killers, the teenage girl psychopath and redneck assassins — that the audience will actually identify with. He himself got choked up while shooting the last gasping moments of the finale — paradoxically, for a self-conscious action film, a 40-minute talk scene — where Bill, as the title demands, gets his just desserts. "I think it's sad because these two kinda belong together. And because of this and that and the other, they're not. It's not too different from 'Othello,' if you think of it that way." Many people might miss this allusion, but they're not Tarantino.

Being with Tarantino is like entering a one-man hothouse of movies and memories of movies, of imaginary characters who are more real and vivid than living ones. It's twilight in his castle-like dwelling, with its cavernous ceilings and brightly colored Italian and French movie posters plastered to the walls. The director appears to be wearing a "Simpsons" T-shirt bearing his own likeness spouting off about violence. His jeans are falling off his bear-sized figure, and over the whole ensemble is a striped button-down shirt. He has one of the most memorable mugs in all of director-dom; it's an amalgam of anima and animus, with a wide forehead, almond-shaped eyes, hair that seems to perpetually want to grow into a monk's bowl, a ruddy complexion that makes him look 10 years younger, an aquiline nose and curiously feminine lips.

His demeanor is sweet and weirdly indefatigable as he nears the end of his 11-year saga with the Bride and Bill, the central characters driving the narrative in both volumes of "Kill Bill." They were first hatched on the set of 1994's "Pulp Fiction" with Thurman, sent into cold storage until he ran into the actress at a Miramax Oscar party in 2000. Thurman asked whatever happened to their creation. He went home that night, dug out the 30 pages he'd written, and worked on it for the next four years, writing a 222-page script — divided up and titled in 10 chapters like a novel; shooting for a marathon 155 days across Japan, China, Mexico and L.A.; editing one film; selling it across the globe; and then, like a page from "Groundhog Day," editing a whole separate film, which debuts Friday.

The sum of that effort — all million or so feet of film — now stands like his own private army in the family room.

For a man perpetually dubbed as ironic, Tarantino loves his characters with unreserved passion. Not only has he dreamed up elaborate personal histories and the complete etiology and warrior code of the "Kill Bill" universe, but they inhabit the house he lives in, from the full-size replica of Gogo — the teenage girl killer from "Kill Bill: Vol. 1," who greets visitors in the foyer, to the skads of action figures, in boxes and out, from "Reservoir Dogs" and other Tarantino films. One gigantic floor-to-ceiling bookshelf dominates his living room, and it's crammed with movie artifacts — DVDs of his films, copies of his scripts for "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown" in different languages. For his recent birthday, friends even installed the pink-and-white chrome bar from "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" in his basement, complete with operating photo booth and giant bowls of Bazooka bubble gum. The Bride's banana yellow pickup truck sits in the driveway.

Despite the overflow of Quentin-abilia, it comes off as less of a shrine and more the abundance of a mad collector, who happens to specialize in artifacts from his own life. Nothing seems precious; everything seems accessible, including an original script, sprawled in piles across the living room — all written in his distinctive blocky handwriting (a la fourth grade) across lined paper in different-colored ink.

The division of "Kill Bill" into two films was officially suggested by Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, and as a business decision looks provident -- the shooting cost $55 million, and the first installment alone has earned $170 million at the box office.

As an artist, Tarantino seems reconciled. "Vol. 1" after all offered up a heady dose of violence, so much mayhem in fact that there was an outcry.

"I think, actually, most people who see 'Vol. 1,' they don't want 90 minutes more of movie…. Forget two hours more of movie after that. They're tired," Tarantino says.

Just to be sure, he tested his theory, asking people if they wanted to see the whole film in one sitting or two. "And every time they'd say, 'I'd probably go with tomorrow,' " the director says. "And that gave me validation — for the average moviegoer."

Fans are a big part of the Tarantino gestalt. He refers to them frequently, like friends whose concerns he watches out for. For him, a film is not finished until the audience sees it, not just a recruited audience, but "a bunch of people that can do anything in the world they want to do that night and what they'd decided to do with their night is go see your movie," says Tarantino, who feeds off their energy. "It's all going in the right direction towards the screen, and it's just incomparable. Until I get that — I'm not done."

At its heart, "Kill Bill" is a distillation of his own fandom — a homage to the martial arts flicks and westerns that he watched as a kid in the grind houses, the rundown movie palaces of Southern California. As Tarantino explains, "Vol. 1" was an ode to the traditions of Japan, with a dash of Shaw Brothers Hong Kong flavor. With gobs of gore, it told the tale of how the Bride wreaked revenge on her former colleagues, the dastardly members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who mowed her down, on her wedding day, while she was pregnant no less, and left her in a coma.

"Vol. 2" is "a spaghetti western major with an Eastern minor," he says. The body count goes down to 13, and there are no more geysers of spurting blood. The challenges — such as getting buried alive — require more ingenuity from the Bride than slicing bravado.

No favorites among his scenes

The plan for the evening is for Tarantino to discuss several scenes from the film — a live one-time DVD narrative if you will — but as perhaps is Tarantino's way, he doesn't get far. He doesn't have favorite scenes. That's like choosing among his children, although he cops to looking forward, even anticipating certain moments.

One is the final mano a mano in a dilapidated trailer between Thurman and her archnemesis and doppelganger, the one-eyed Elle Driver, played with demented fervor by Daryl Hannah, plucked out of career obscurity by Tarantino, who wrote the part for her after catching her one night in a cable flick. Another is this, a sequence titled "The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei," the kind of illumination of character, a plot digression, which surely would have been dramatically shortened if "Kill Bill" had been left as one movie.

"This is one of my favorite shots in the whole movie. This shot of him walking forward," the director says. Tarantino's now lying back on his couch, feet slung on the table, watching one of the simplest of sequences in the film. Gordon Liu simply glides purposefully toward the camera. As Pai Mei, he's garbed in a white martial-arts tunic with a long white Fu Manchu beard.

At this moment, Tarantino seems more the ardent fan than the director, thrilled to have landed a childhood hero, a star of such seminal Hong Kong flicks as "36th Chamber of Shaolin" and "The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter."

This is a classic moment from kung fu lore, where the hero learns how to be a warrior under the vicious instruction of a venerable and very old killer, Pai Mei. For Westerners, it's reminiscent of the Yoda scenes from "The Empire Strikes Back," although Tarantino says, when he saw that film as a kid, "I thought, 'Oh! This is like the Brian Keith sequences in 'Nevada Smith,' the Steve McQueen revenge Western.' The kid's parents are killed, and four people did it, and he tracks 'em down, and Brian Keith is like the cool gunfighter that he meets along the way and teaches him."

It's easy to get sidetracked talking to Tarantino. His brain is like a car full of circus clowns, where the clowns keep coming and coming. Given that there were three full-length biographies written about him before his 33rd birthday, most of his fans know he dropped out of school in ninth grade and worked as an usher in the Pussycat porno theater before logging the seminal five years as a clerk in Video Archives, the Manhattan Beach video shop, inhaling what few films might have previously escaped his omnivorous hunger.

The Pai Mei sequence is not just an ode to one of his favorite genres but to memory. For this chapter, the film stock has been purposely degraded to look grainy and bedraggled, exactly how those martial arts films really looked in the ghetto theaters where Tarantino saw them.

"I was watching dupes!" he recalls with glee before giving a mini-lecture on how the Shaw brothers, the venerable Chinese producers, released their films in the United States. "So I said, 'Well, that's what we gotta do.' The idea was to never go to negative. We strike a print and then we dupe it and keep duping it."

Then he turns to the music, '70s soul, blaxploitation music, a piece from Isaac Hayes that originally scored a film called "Three Tough Guys."

"This rip has fit into a couple of different kung fu movies," Tarantino says. In those days, film scores were often just stolen. "I paid for it," he says. He points out "the cool zooms we did." Every time Thurman's ponytail swings, it's accompanied by the sound of slicing; Pai Mei constantly throws his long beard over his shoulder with a defiant harrumph.

Tarantino gets so jazzed, he runs to get a copy of the gargantuan script and does a reading of a passage that was cut out — in which Thurman fails to catch a rat in a pit but eats the heart to please her master.

"How does victory taste?" Tarantino asks as Pai Mei.

Screwing up his face, he replies as the Bride: "Bitter." It's hammy, but it's easy to see how Tarantino could amuse himself for months writing this stuff.

On screen, Thurman practices and practices trying to shove her hand through a thick piece of wood. At one point, there's a shot of her hand, all pulsing, ripped muscle, the hand equivalent of Munch's "The Scream."

"I love this shot of Uma's hand doing that," Tarantino sighs. "There are not many woman who have a big hand like that and can pull that off. Part of the cool thing in writing for Uma is you can write exactly to her physicality." And Tarantino has. The film thoroughly makes use of Thurman's lanky, girlish whipsaw figure, as she wields swords, twirls, kicks, pummels, jabs, gouges and thrashes. It's hard to think of another actress in all of cinema who flings her body in as many ways as Thurman.

Tarantino wrote many of the characters specifically for the actors who eventually played them, for Hannah, and Lucy Liu, who played Yakuza Queen O-Ren Ishii in "Vol. 1," and most particularly for Thurman, whose wry, sweet cadences he stole for the Bride so the role would fit her like a glove. "I wrote it, but I read her everything I wrote, every scene, every rewrite, every fourth rewrite."

"We were truly partners on this," says Tarantino, although to be truthful, the person who really played the Bride, particularly during the writing of "Kill Bill," was Tarantino.

"I'm a method writer," he explains, noting that in previous efforts, such as "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown," he was whatever character Samuel L. Jackson ended up playing. "And that's what you do. You become the people and they become you. It's an equal trade. It can all relate to my life, or none of it has to relate to my life." For someone who can talk a lot, Tarantino doesn't elaborate, but maybe given the kind of totally synthetic movie creation "Kill Bill" is, it's besides the point to lay its creator on the couch.

Someone's going to pay

Tarantino set out to make a movie-movie, and that's what he relates to. He likes the black and white justice of the cinema universe. The perpetual entertainer, he begins to do a rant from inside the Bride's head, about all the assassins who tried to take her down.

"Bud has fallen on hard times…. Doesn't matter. He's gonna pay," he says, his voice breathy but determined. "Oh, Vernita's changed her life around. Too bad. She's gonna pay." He sneers.

"This samurai-samurai stuff, I take seriously," he says, reverting to his director self. "I like it so much that I did a movie about it. There's some things a man'll do, some things a man won't do. Your honor, your word, all that is very valuable."

This said, as an artist, he's also a thief. A little while later, he's watching another one of his favorite scenes, in which Thurman seeks out a former mentor of Bill's, the pimp Estaban Vihaio, played by one of his favorite actors, Michael Parks.

They shot in a real Mexican brothel, a tattered shack with makeshift tables, and real whores lying in hammocks.

Tarantino loves to have a set that's fully designed — in this instance by Yohei Taneda and David Wasco. "You shouldn't even see half the stuff there until you start breaking it down into smaller shots," the director says, pointing to the jukebox, which as the camera pulls into Parks' face, becomes simply twinkling carnival-like lights. "Always something to keep the eye stimulated."

Estaban smokes a cigarette and reeks of oil-slicked courtliness. He welcomes the Bride, now dressed in black. They flirt. "I'm susceptible to female flattery," he tells her.

It brings a big chuckle from Tarantino. "I started saying that in real life. If a pretty woman flatters me now, it just trips off the tongue." Estaban then tells the Bride a story of taking Bill, then a child, to see a Lana Turner film and watching the prepubescent killer suck his thumb "an obscene amount," entranced by her feminine power.

"Let me tell you something about my writing style," Tarantino says. "Sixty-five percent of being a good writer, especially if you're dealing with dialogue, is having a good memory. Because you're basically thinking about writing all the time.

"I was told that story by an actor who I admired for a long, long time. Never met him. I was at a dinner party. He was there. It was Kurt Russell. We hit it off and I told him how Goldie Hawn was one of the first crushes I ever had. I went and saw 'Cactus Flower' and when I went home, I was in love. He goes 'Yeah' and then he told me his story of seeing Marilyn Monroe in this movie. His dad told him he began sucking his thumb when Marilyn Monroe came on screen. OK, I know what he's all about. I've never seen Kurt Russell since. It was a charming story. I put it away. Three years later, I'm writing the Estaban Vihaio scene. That story rises to the top."

The pearls of other people's lives all stay in the vault, untouched and pristine, unless he's writing. "My characters have access almost more to it than I do," he says with a sigh. "I wish I could talk like my characters in real life. But in real life I am stuck with the same vocabulary that we all have."

And it's not just dialogue stored there, but images and thousands upon thousands of movies.

"I've always known much more than anybody," he says, then stops, suddenly aware how this might sound. "Not anybody. I've always been way beyond my years in my knowledge of culture."

He begins to digress into a story about the Three Stooges and the origins of the phrase "trip the light fantastic." His irrepressibility quickly returns. Indeed, it can't be stopped.

"I had a sense of the '30s and who was big in the '30s even when I was a little kid," he says. "I was a man for all time … if it was 20th century stuff. I was always proud of that."
Tarantino speaks

'Kill Bill: Prequel'?

Of Michael Parks, who plays a pimp named Estaban Vihaio (and Sheriff Earl McGraw), Tarantino says: "I know the origin of all these characters. I fully plan to do it — a Japanese anime movie about the origins of Bill. It would start when Bill is 12 and deal with his three father figures: Estaban Vihaio, Hattori Hanzo and Pai Mei. How Bill became Bill."

That shaman feeling

Of creating the scenes between Uma Thurman and Gordon Liu as Pai Mei: Tarantino stores overheard bits of dialogue and images in his brain. "I don't have 24/7 access to it. Only when there's a pen and paper in my hand and I'm trying to create a shamanistic experience with the characters."

Bits of him in Bill

Of David Carradine's portrayal of the title character, Tarantino says: "A lot of people who know me — they saw me in the Bill character, especially in script form. Personality traits. You have to ask them. I'm not going to completely reveal all my secrets. But you might notice my cadence here or there."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Cory Everett

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Reply #371 on: April 11, 2004, 11:28:22 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
From the current Entertainment Weekly:

also in that issue...

A look at the directors all-time would-be favorite actress to work with, monster to center a movie around, director to promote, and imported cut of meat to savor on his day of execution.

ACTRESS: "As much as I want to live a long time-like, I want to live to 100- I would give up five years of my life to work with Tura Satana [circa her starring role in 1965's Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!].  She is Japanese, Cheyenne, and something else- awesome.

OBSCURE DIRECTOR: "I'm a big fan of Brian Trenchard-Smith.  He did a Vietnam movie called The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989), starring Wings Hauser.  He also did a really terrific movie, Dead End Drive-In (1986), based on a Peter Carey short story."

DESERT ISLAND DATE: "Pauline Kael [the late New Yorker film critic]- if we'd have enough movies to watch and talk about."

LAST SUPPER GUESTS: "Of creative people I know who like me and get me: Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Rodriguez, Sofia Coppola, [producer] Stacey Sher- those in particular."

LAST SUPPER FOOD: "Kobe beef."

MONSTER: "I have an idea for a Godzilla movie that I've always wanted to do.  The whole idea of Godzilla's role in Tokyo, where he's always battling these other monsters, saving humanity time and again- wouldn't Godzilla become God? It would be called Living Under the Rule of Godzilla.  This is what society is like when a big fucking green lizard rules your world."

On the Pulp Fiction DVD , one of the special features is a deleted scene in which Mia conducts a Barbara Walters style interview of Vincent before their date.  The line of questioning centers on his preference for certain pop culture staples: The Partridge Family or the Brady Bunch?  Betty or Veronica?

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Strip Club or Massage Parlor?
Gun or Sword?
Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld?
Bugs or Daffy?
The Great Escape or The Getaway?
Pizza or Doughnuts?
Suspicion or Notorious?
Electric Chair or Hanging?

Tarantino's off the top of his head  best of list: bullets, baseball bats, a bitchin score and the bodaciously batty.

1. The last shot of Michael Cimino's Year of the Dragon. "You'll forget to breathe during it!"
2. Joe Don Baker in the bar with the baseball bat in the original Walking Tall.
3. "All the early stuff by William Witney [On the Old Spanish Trail; Adventures of Red Ryder], who for all intents and purposes, created the modernized choreographed Western fight scene we see today.  He came up with the cinematic language by watching Busby Berkeley musicals."
4. Sonny Corleone getting it in The Godfather.
5. Dean Stockwell and Dennis Hopper singing "In Dreams" in David Lynch's Blue Velvet.  "You're like, is this even happening?  Am I watching this?"
5.5 "There's a Japanese movie, All About Lily Chou-Chou, by a really terrific director, Shunji Iwai.  He has my career in Japan- he did a mvoie called Swallowtail Butterfly that was to Japan what Pulp Fiction was to America.  The Lily Chou-Chou soundtrack is really cool to make out to."
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Cory Everett

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Reply #372 on: April 12, 2004, 11:02:51 AM
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has some major plans for his latest opus, Kill Bill. While promoting the second volume of the series, opening theatrically on April 16th, Tarantino revealed that he plans to recut both films together for a special theatrical release later in the year. "We did a special version [of Volume 1] for Japan that's only been shown in Japan and Hong Kong, and I kept the rights to that," Tarantino said. "I'll put the Japanese version together [with Volume 2] like I would if it was one complete movie, and then I'll release that throughout America and Europe in arthouse engagements."

Tarantino also promises more extensive DVD plans for the revenge films. "I'm going to do a special collector's edition of both of them once I'm finished with both of them," he said. Also in the talking phase, Tarantino is considering the possibility of releasing stand-alone supplemental discs. "One of the things that I saw that I liked... was what the American Pie guys did with their 'Beneath the Crust' documentaries. I want to do the same thing [for Kill Bill]."
ah, a stand alone extras disc.  perhaps the WORST idea i've heard yet!   i really dont like what the american pie guys did by milking the public by releasing like 9 different versions of the film.  quentin, dont screw us over.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


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Reply #373 on: April 12, 2004, 11:10:55 AM
Ah, he's laughing his way to the bank.  I won't be buying ANY of these until the hype of Kill Bill is LONG over.  Of course, it took five years for Jackie Brown to even SEE a DVD release, so who knows how long it'll be before the Kill Bill options are final.  He's really alienating the geekdom here, so to speak.  He'd be much more successful and respectful if he put out a barebones Vol. 1, barebones Vol. 2, and then a super-duper collectors edition with all the extras anyone could dream of.  In a way, that may be what he's doing, but he sure is milking it for all it's worth, and the documentaries aren't that great an idea, IMO.

Gold Trumpet

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Reply #374 on: April 12, 2004, 11:33:48 AM
Quote from: themodernage02
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has some major plans for his latest opus, Kill Bill. While promoting the second volume of the series, opening theatrically on April 16th, Tarantino revealed that he plans to recut both films together for a special theatrical release later in the year. "We did a special version [of Volume 1] for Japan that's only been shown in Japan and Hong Kong, and I kept the rights to that," Tarantino said. "I'll put the Japanese version together [with Volume 2] like I would if it was one complete movie, and then I'll release that throughout America and Europe in arthouse engagements."

Two thoughts.....

Tarantino owns the rights to this special edition? Someone jump on his ass to send it to Criterion!

Second, now I'll fully agree with JB that Kill Bill can be one film with this cut. As it stands now, I still see two films.