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April 26, 2004


David Van Domelen

A few friends of mine who saw Hero a while back on Hong Kong bootleg claim it's essentially a paean to the Communist central government, and suggest that the reason it's gone several years between original release and US release is worries over the political overtones not going over well in the US. I leave hypotheses regarding the US government being more totalitarian and therefore more Hero-friendly to others. :)


I saw Vol. 2 this weekend, and I have to say...Vol. 1 was full of violence, rape, dismemberment, misogyny, face-eating and anime kid-touching. And to me, none of it was more disturbing than the finale of Bea and Elle's fight in the trailer in Vol. 2. (Which I'm sure the other patrons of my theater are aware, since I believe I yelled "Oh, unnecessary! at that.)
I knew QT was a foot fetishist; you don't have to be Freud to figure that out. From the closeups of his actresses' toes to Jules Winfield, Foot Fuckin' Master to QT himself with Salma Hayek's toes in his mouth while she pours tequila down her leg in From Dusk Till Dawn, the guy digs that like Hitchcock dug blondes. And Vol. 1 was full of this kind of stuff, including the horrifying closeups of the Bride's hammertoe and the barefoot's. Which is fine; to quote the D, we don't mind suckin' on toes.
When I see Uma Thurman's bare foot coming down on a human eye and crushing it between her toes, the phrase "squish video" comes to mind. Anyone else?


Chad makes a great point about the excessive violence of Kill Bill:

"My roomate joked that "but if you don't watch the violence you won't become desensitized to it". But I have been desensitized - I can watch Isralis fire a missle into a crowd or see the aftermath of the bus bombing and feel little but sadness, not horror at the violence involved. Perhaps CNN and Fox news just don't have the directorial skills to bring about the true suffering like Tarentino does."

I think this is exactly right. In a perverse, roundabout way it captures why the violence ultimately doesn't dismay me (although I'm sure if I saw vol. 1 again I'd be just as startled). We could say it's "cartoonish," but at the same time its effects are so viscerally real that you can never forget what you're seeing. Which may ultimately be more responsible than the clean deaths of most action movies.

As for the closeups, Pete, I'd never noticed the foot thing before, but closeups in general do seem to be his favorite. Pulp Fiction is littered with them, often of products (burger, soda, heroin) but filmed so uncomfortably close that the shots no longer seem commercial in origin.

Kan Mattoo

For the most part, people feel more connected to the characters in movies and the violence that surrounds them than what happens to some palestians half way across the world...thats the beauty of movies..

God bless hollywood!


Yeah, but most of the Crazy 88s don't have any character. The hyperviolence itself is much harder to ignore when it isn't sanitized.

Kan Mattoo

Oh they had character...They had character in SPADES

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