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Monday, July 19, 2004


John Herreid


I saw both Kill Bill 1 and 2. But I came away from both thinking that they were a male fantasy created by Tarantino for himself. And a kind of creepy one at that.

Most of my friends who saw the movies liked them a lot. But I don't know...

The movies, on the surface, seem like a hip, postmodern feminist tale. Strong women beating the tar out of everyone who crosses them. But what Tarantino gives is a group of beautiful actresses graphically wounding each other. Women get their arms cut off, heads chopped in half, shot with rock salt in the chest, eyes torn out, stabbed, etc., mostly by other women. It seemed almost like the director was giving lip-service to feminism while simultaneously sniggering at the defilement of women.

At the end Uma Thurman's character does forsake killing in order to become a mother to her child--but was the point of the plot, or a gloss thrown on to make all of the violence go down smoother?

Perhaps Tarantino is becoming more mature, but I didn't see it in Kill Bill.

Carl Olson

John: But don't you think that the "Kill Bill" movies have a much more obvious moral core than does "Pulp Fiction"? I don't completely buy the conventional wisdom that the two "Kill Bill" movies are pro-feminist. One reason is that The Bride longs for the things that staunch feminists despise: a husband, domestic bliss, motherhood. And that dream is only mocked by the bad guys. The Bride is told by Bill that she is incapable of having those things, that she is a "natural born killer." This fatalistic view is never directly rebuffed: The Bride confesses later that she never really thought she could have those things, yet the movie ends with the promise that she really can be a mother and somehow escape from the bloody life she has been trapped in for so long. I don't think the ending was a gloss; rather, I think it was a major focus from the start, even if Tarantino does get caught up in lots of gore and violence.

John Herreid

>>I don't completely buy the conventional wisdom that the two "Kill Bill" movies are pro-feminist.<<

Neither do I. I think that they are almost misogynist. The movie does have more of a moral dimension than Pulp Fiction, but it is also a tough slog to get to that moral point.

Maybe the theme of motherhood was a focus from the start. But if it was, it didn't surface for quite a long time. The overarching theme that I noticed was revenge.

The moral point of motherhood, obscured as it is by hip banter and bloody violence, might get across to the audience. I kind of doubt it though.

Contrast the world of Kill Bill with the world of Spider-man. It's possible to make a modern movie that appeals to everyone and still has a good, prominent moral message.

Pat Norris

Just a thought.

The Roman games had female gladiators. Sometimes they fought each other, other times they fought men. The Romans found that there was something erotic about women fighting other women.

Could that be the intention or "Kill Bill"? If so, then the death of a child could mearly be the justification for female violence.

Jeff Grace

I thought KB 1& 2 did have a real voice...and I was also repulsed yet awed by the thing. Then again, I think Tarentino earned a permenant spot in the pantheon of film gods with "Jackie Brown", one of the best films I've ever seen.

Mark Brumley

While you guys were watching Kill Bills, I saw I, Robot. It was a good flick, even if it had significant problems with its natural philosophy and philosophical anthropology. Certainly, it was better than the Asimov "novel."

Steven Ambuul

You're kidding Mark. You saw "I Robot"? How did you get dragged into it?


Just curious. Why would you even spend your time watching that trash.


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