Today was a “bank holiday”, meaning that banks and “serious” businesses were closed, but the less stuffy ones were open. I didn’t have the house to myself, so I went out to pick up a few bits and pieces and tried to visit a travel agent. (A strange experience – they wanted me to sign some kind of register before I could wait an unspecified time to be seen by a “consultant”. This was one of those agencies whose website claims to have the lowest fares, but doesn’t give any of them … somewhere else, then?) Then: Kill Bill Volume 2.
Critics have been mostly positive about Volume 2, thought there have exceptions. Philip French in The Observer took the high road, calling it “a hollow work… lifeless, lacking any self-generated artistic vitality”. Was he watching the same film? So what if he knew the references to other films; by reading them off the internet, or by being old enough to have seen them all in person? I didn’t know them all, haven’t looked them up, and didn’t care, since there’s more than enough startling originality in there.
One of my housemates just commented “I couldn’t think of Daryl Hannah without imagining Splash before this – but I don’t do that any more.” The end met by her character… will take a long time to fade from memory, I have to say. As I noted after seeing Volume 1, Kill Bill’s violence is sporadic, and is all the more shocking as a result. With the exception of the ending, it’s hardly sanitized, and there are consequences, even if some of that detail is implicit rather than explicit. (What will go through the mind of a little girl whose daddy tried to kill her (by trying to kill her pregnant mommy) – but failed – after which her mommy then comes back and kills her daddy?) I understand why Tarantino refers to it as “hyper-reality”, calling it the kind of movie that the characters in Pulp Fiction would go and see.