Freeze Frame #91: Kill Bill Vol. 1

This might sound strange, but the most memorable moment for me, from Kill Bill Vol. 1, is the opening credits. It’s basically how it’s set up, you see. It starts with Bill (whom you don’t see) wiping blood off The Bride’s face and telling her that this is more painful for him that it is for her, and then shooting her in the head. The scene is shot in black and white, and the face with blood on it gives this dark, sticky feeling to the whole scene. It’s a pretty good way to start a movie, but major characters getting shot in the opening scene isn’t exactly new.

What elevates it is what follows: The sound of the gunshot shatters whatever conversation The Bride and Bill were having. And in the silence, as the opening credits roll, the music slowly starts up and you hear Nancy Sinatra sing Bang Bang (He shot me down). She has the sort of voice that seems to cut through the music and the lyrics, right to the heart of what she wants to say. The effect, when your mind still retains that image of the blood spattered bride, is chilling.

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7 thoughts on “Freeze Frame #91: Kill Bill Vol. 1

  1. Ajoy Ashirwad says:

    hello sir,
    i read your blogs.they are very interesting. i am a student from the asian college of journalism. we are doing a project in which we require to make an analysis of the chennai bloggers. so i was just wondering if you could help us and answer some of our questions.i ll be obliged..thanking you
    Ajoy Ashirwad

  2. Cue Quentin says:

    I didn’t expect to kick off this week with Kill Bill. Sure, I’d wanted to re-watch Vol. 2 after that Superman-quote refresher of yours, but as it happened, the DVD I slipped into the player earlier in the week was Vol. 1 — the one I’d missed.

    If you thought Kevin Smith milks profanity for poetry, doesn’t Tarantino milk massacre and mayhem for that exact same thing? And oh yeah, those spells of silences during the
    scenes, especially this one…Bang Bang, your heart’s in your mouth, you summon your senses into full attention with this almost-admonishment (anagram alert!), “Listen! Silent inlets”…as if dignifying the story the rivulets of blood — desperately, inevitably inserting themselves into the space surrounding The Bride — have to tell, in all their urgency, as if to announce her instant immortality! (On a related note, the first of this three-in-one New Yorker movie review I read recently couches an interesting, if tangential, connection — that of the silence surrounding shooting someone in the head. And “Parallel Worlds” all right, for that Polish movie is supposedly a concealed-for-decades truth, as opposed to Tarantino’s go-for-broke fiction. One other commonality I found: This scene (from Coraline, the 3-D movie I watched couple months ago) with a witch, where the little girl slides open a door and walks into a wintry snow forest, instead of the room there was — it plays out exactly as it does in Vol. 1, when The Bride (but oh, she’s all Black Mamba in that scene!) walks thru the sliding doors to confront Lucy Liu in that surreal snow garden for a showdown that’s sheer poetry…)

    Speaking of that Sinatra song and Tarantino, I watched (oh by the way, cheese and coincidence are such strange bedfellows; when they cohabit, what results is) Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, the very next day, and by God, was it the funniest cheesefest I’ve seen since Pineapple Express. (The inglorious bastard-child of an illicit intellectual intercourse between Tarantino and Seth Rogen? Yup, that about sums it up, but a guy name Shane Black gets to call it HIS baby! 😀 ) The chapter-style storytelling was so Kill Bill, not to mention leads with names like Harry and Harmony obsessing about adverbs — totally Tarantino! I’ve never seen Downey Jr. in so funny a role (“dark” yes, quite literally, in Tropic Thunder — that was funny too)…he’s a such a crackpot (pun unintended)!

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