There are two directors I know who can make films that are little more than gigantic homages to the films they grew up with, and have me enjoy it through them even if I've never seen what they're homaging.
The first is George Lucas, the second is Quentin Tarantino.
Kill Bill turns 10 this month.
I had only known Tarantino from "Pulp Fiction" before I came to my high school on movie day and was asked to give another one of his films a chance. From the kitschy "feature presentation" screen and the opening quotation of an "Old Klingon Proverb," I knew I would love this movie. And I did.
Technically, it's only Vol 1 that's 10 this month; we'd have to wait the following year for Vol 2. Still, I'd like to talk about them both now (and I'll throw 2 an extra nod when it's time), because it's really one big story.
The Bride herself gives the most apt description of this story: it's a roaring rampage of revenge. And while I'm usually not fond of extreme violence in movies, it was so stylized here that I didn't mind.
It's an impressive cast, one of the most impressive Various Artists soundtracks ever, and one of the more epic screen stories I've seen (told in Tarantino's out-of-sequence milieu).
This really feels to me like Quentin's Star Wars. This was his love letter to the films he grew up with. And they're very similar to some of Star Wars' inspirations, though Quentin goes for chop-sockey Kung-Fu over Jidai-Geki samurai films, and the Spaghetti Western is much more prominant here than in SW. Still, even the way the volumes are set up kind of mirror, with the earlier parts being more Eastern and the later parts being more Western, yet it still connects in a cohesive way.
Speaking of Kung-Fu, the eponymous Bill was arguably David Carridine's finest role, and in my mind should be added to the list of egregious Oscar snubs.
Of course, Uma Thurman was the true star of the story, and she carried it wonderfully. And, oddly enough, I thought she was more beautiful in these movies than I've ever seen her before or since. I guess I just like strong women.
Rumors have been circulating that Quentin is ready to start Vol 3. I say it's about bloody time. I can;t wait to see the further adventures of The Bride.
That woman deserves her revenge....and we deserve to die.