QT Talks "Kill Bill" dvd

Matthew_Millheiser

Supporting Actor
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I will not go see Kill Bill or buy a dvd of part 1 or 2. When they come out together I will pick up a used copy so as not to support this type of marketing. If it wasn't QT's fault he has my sympathy but not my cash.
Your loss. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is an amazing film and perfectly satisfying in its running time. As a Taratino fan, you're cutting off your nose to spite your face here.
 

richardWI

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Jan 23, 2003
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Well I broke down and finally saw it today. I went in expecting to hate it and get pissed off at the ending, but I loved it! Anyone that is on the fence should jump off the fence and go see it.

One of the best things about the movie is that it has no pretensions of being anything other than what it is. There's no grasping for symbolism or deep philosophical justifications for what is going on... It's an incredibly violent revenge flick, beautifully executed.

Some complained that it didn't have enuff witty QT dialogue, but I'm glad it wasn't there. QT's typical postmodern deconstruction riffs have no place in this story. He showed similiar restriant in Jackie Brown. (Did I really use "restraint" and "QT" in the same sentence?)

I'd never seen a movie with lucy liu in it before, and I thought she did fine. The ending didn't bother me because of the way the film is structured.
 

Mike Blais

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Loved the movie, I think that 3 hours would have been overload. The ending was enough of a cliffhanger to make me see Vol 2 in feb but also leaving me satisfied with watching a "whole" movie.
What I would like to see on the dvd is a pop-up video type of option where all the refrences from other movies are pointed out.
FYI: 1st Tarintino movie I've seen, just been to lazy to see his other ones, maybe now I'll get off my ass and watch them.
 

LarryDavenport

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Now that I've seen the movie twice in two days I will add my name to the sucker list and buy Vol. 1 and 2 and the extended director's cut (hopefully QT will remove the fake black and white too).

The fight with GoGo and the Crazy 88 was so cool I can't believe there will be anything as cool in Vol. 2, but I can't wait to find out.
 

Chris Clark

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What I'd like to know is if Miramax will be releasing the Shaw Brothers movies they recently acquired from Celestial as a part of Kill Bill's dvd debut.
This would be a rare case of synergy where everyone benefits (well, unless they cut and redub everything).
 

JayDerek

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At first I was upset that they're bothering to release Vol 1 and Vol 2 seperately, and then follow up w/ the obvious Special Edition package...but after seeing Vol 1 , i'll be first in line to snap up the first DVD.

Has there been a timetable given for these releases?? What would actually be super-sweet would be to release Kill Bill Vol 1 on DVD a week or so before the Theatrical release of Vol 2. I think they'd sell tons of copies and would be a great way to get everyone pumped up for seeing Vol 2

just my 2 cents

~Jason
 

ChrisJefferys

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What would actually be super-sweet would be to release Kill Bill Vol 1 on DVD a week or so before the Theatrical release of Vol 2. I think they'd sell tons of copies and would be a great way to get everyone pumped up for seeing Vol 2
I agree with this, but that would only be 4 month window which is a bit shorter than usual. Miramax will probably do this or give Vol 1 a limited theatrical re-release a couple weeks before Vol 2 comes out.

At any rate, I absolutely loved Vol.1 and will buy any DVD edition that comes out. Hopefully the colour will be restored to the B&W scene (which didn't work for me) or I'll be picking up the Japanese R2 disc.
 

Russell G

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Add me to the list of people expecting to be disappointed with this seemingly hugely compromised movie (cut in half, the switch to black and white) who loved it and can't stop thinking about it! The nature of the film allows this to work fantastically as a 2 parter, and if I didn't know that the switch to B&W wasn't intentional, I wouldn't of given it a second thought, as it works stylistically. I think it's a credit to Robert Richardson (cinematographer) that he can shoot a lush colour sequence and have it work in B&W (love the white hot spots!)

I hope they release these separately as they appeared in the theaters as I'd really miss the split and the B&W sequence. with a super duper, cut together non compromised edition down the road with all the extras.

Reading this, I still can't believe that I was ready to skip this and wait for the super duper expanded edition. Any chop socky film fans, or just film fans really owe it to themselves to check this out. IT has all the corn ball trappings of 70's kung fu flicks, at it's worse, yet they work FOR the film, and make the film really fly! If your avoiding just because it's split into 2 parts, than swallow your pride. Once you see it on DVD, you just might kick yourself for passing this up.
 

Nathan V

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Yeah, the B&W was planned from the start. It conveniently allows for much more gore, and was even specified in the script- something to effect of "the color POPS OFF the screen." And speaking as a photographer, the scene was lit with the intention of being shown in b&w. Lighting for color and lighting for b&w are 2 very different things. You need harsher light for b&w, or else it looks too gray. Case in point: the part where Uma says to Bill, "how did you find me?," and the opening shot were originally shot in color, then converted to b&w. The contrasts were weaker in those two shots. As somebody else mentioned, the climactic fight looks extremely good in b&w. It's the same vice versa. The Man Who Wasn't There looks horrible in color. The lighting looks like bad theatre lighting. Since Quentin knew he'd be showing the same scene in 2 dif. formats in 2 dif. countries, the lighting setups must have been crazy. Robert Richardson is such a badass. Only he could pull that kind of thing off. As for the aesthetics of the scene, I thought it was awesome. I have no qualms with visual stylistics in a film already crammed with them. And anyway, how could we not have b&w? This is a Robert Richardson movie!
 

Matt Pelham

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If the B&W scene was planned, why are certain black and white shots in color in the trailer? This means that:

A) They did those complicated shots twice with different cameras and different lighting

B) They shot in color and changed to B&W

C) They shot in B&W and computer colorized just for the trailer.

option B seems like the most plausible to me. This is one DVD that I would actually break down and buy a region free player for.



I'm no expert, but the beginning looked really good to me and the climatic fight looked really bad, as if it were originally filmed in color and then turned into black and white.
 

Dan Rudolph

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It's probably B. Shooting in good-quality color and converting to B&W gives better results than shooting in B&W, largely because of the general lack of R&D on black and white stocks for the past 40 years or so.
 

MarcusUdeh

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I loved Kill Bill. It's Tarantino at his cinematic best. Truly a classic that will be beloved like Star Wars.


Page 2
Richardson's own explanation bears this opinion out: "What I'm going after in [any genre] is what that genre represents: the attitude toward the filmmaking, rather than the filmmaking itself. Take Spaghetti Westerns, for example. How would you describe the fundamental differences between a John Ford film like Stagecoach and a Sergio Leone film like Once Upon a Time in the West? It's in the angles, the characters, the sensibility that the filmmaker has toward his subject. I consider Leone a master, and his attitude is part of the Spaghetti Western essence that Quentin was after for certain parts of Kill Bill. When he wanted that particular kind of close-up, with a very specific angle and a very specific size, he'd say, 'Give me a Leone,' and I knew exactly what he meant."

Richardson did design a specifically "textural" look for a sequence in which a wizened monk (Gordon Liu) helps The Bride (Uma Thurman) sharpen her fighting skills. "Quentin wanted to replicate the visual generation loss in these old kung fu films - the scratches, the higher-than-normal contrast," he explains. Instead of attempting to create the effect digitally, Richardson employed a photochemical process. He began by capturing the action on contrasty Kodachrome color-reversal stock. He processed that normally, struck an internegative from the print and then struck an interpositive from that, and so on. "We just kept making dupes and prints back and forth until Quentin was happy with the look," he says.

He used six other Kodak stocks for the rest of the film: EXR 5248 and 5293; Vision 320T 5277, 500T 5279 and 800T 5289; and 5222 for black-and-white sequences.

Consideration

March 27: Quentin's birthday. We are still circling each other as we learn how to communicate. Patience.

April 1: At Technique to discuss digital intermediate - very promising. No extraction issues from Super 35. What are the benefits? What are the risks?

May 10: First test (only test) completed. Spent the evening at Complete Post - pushed quickly and precisely through visual tests but slammed to a halt on Uma's makeup. I have much to learn about her face. Confidence shattered ... I need time.

Richardson says there was never any debate about how to obtain Kill Bill's widescreen aspect ratio. The production filmed in the Super 35mm format using Richardson's preferred Panavision Platinum cameras, fitted with Primo lenses and configured for 3-perf shooting. Nevertheless, both Richardson and Tarantino had lingering reservations about maintaining visual fidelity in the oft-maligned format, citing traumatic experiences on Casino and Reservoir Dogs, respectively.

Unable to screen first-generation prints, Richardson considered the next best thing: a digital intermediate (DI), executed at Technique. "This is the best approach available right now, and it'll only get better," he observes. "There's no reason it shouldn't become the mainstream way of doing things."

But convincing Tarantino wasn't so simple. As leery as the director was about Super 35, he was even more wary of anything labeled "digital." "Quentin doesn't like that word," Richardson says. "I'm still intimidated by [digital timing] in some ways myself. It's like putting me in the cockpit of a 747: what the hell am I going to do besides put it on autopilot? But as you learn, you do become less intimidated, and you can do things that are simply not possible photochemically. In this particular case, I saw the DI as the best way of maintaining control over the imagery, which is why Quentin finally decided to go with it."

However, shooting with a DI in mind was another story, and Richardson soon encountered the limits of his director's magnanimity. Simply put: Tarantino doesn't test. "Actually, his words were 'Testing is for pussies,'" the cinematographer reports. "He believes you should be willing to make errors and enter into those errors on the day. And I believe there's a good deal of truth to that. If you're willing to take a risk, there's more to come from it.

"On the other hand," he continues, "we were doing a lot of things none of us had ever done. I'd never rendered something back out to film before, so I wanted to know how far the texture of this world should go: the details, the subtlety of color, what the quality level would be compared to something [printed] straight onto film. But mostly, my great fear is faces. For any actor I'm going to work with, I really want to know his or her face before I put it on film."

After "begging, basically," Richardson was granted two-thirds of a day for tests. "Even though I had a wide array of images over the five-minute test I did, I still don't know exactly what I can do when I get to the final [output]," he says. "I essentially went off of the level of knowledge I'd gained from shooting commercials, hoping that the majority of it will apply. Where it doesn't, I know that my knowledge of film craft will back me up."

Production

May 28: Notice found on the floor to my apartment: "All departments please note: as a brand-new department to the Chinese production crew, grip dept. is involved in the work of camera, lighting, set production and set construction. All departments are supposed to cooperate and help so as to become accustomed to each other as soon as possible and do better in this new work."

June 18: The difficulty of filming the martial-arts sequences is beyond what most of us imagined. Quentin wants to shoot shot by shot (editorial order), regardless of the number of lighting shifts necessary. Difficult, needless to say, but if the procedure leaves Quentin more comfortable, we should do it. Critics surround. Let them psychoanalyze themselves.

Kincaid has worked everywhere from Thai swamplands to Vegas casinos, but he admits he had no idea what to expect from the Mao-built Beijing Film Studio. "We sort of thought that it would all be put together with bamboo and who knows what," he jokes. Though that was hardly the case, the filmmakers still had to do plenty of what Richardson calls "assimilating" during their three-month stay in China. "The idea is to accept another's way of approach," he says. "All of [the Chinese] attitudes are distinctly different from yours and mine, from what's important in their lives to how they make their own films. You have to become accustomed to how they move their gear, how they set up a stage, what they believe functions and doesn't function, who's responsible for what job. Shooting there brought [the film] a textural sensibility that would have been extremely difficult to attain in Los Angeles."

The production's budget had a longer reach there as well, especially in terms of manpower. "I've never been on such a crowded set in my life," says key grip Herb Ault. "I had at least twice as many grips in my crew than usual. Everybody's supposed to be equal in a communist society, so they all kind of swarm and get stuff done by sheer number. It got to the point where I just couldn't get in the way. I would have to tell my translator what I wanted done, and step back."

Cinematographers, however, take direct communication with their crew for granted, and Richardson found the process especially cumbersome. "I come with a high passion to make something, and I expect everybody else to have that same passion. But you have to enjoy a certain level of communication to get that across, and because few spoke English and I didn't speak Mandarin, there was a constant level of frustration."

www.theasc.com/magazine/oct03/cover/page2.html
 

LarryDavenport

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I was under the impression that they switched to B&W to avoid an NC-17 rating at the Japanese version will all be in color.
 

richardWI

Second Unit
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Why would the same footage but in color garner a higher rating?
Welcome to the wacky logic of the MPAA! I din't mind the BW footage. The part where she shakes her head and shifts back to color again was a nice touch. QT said that the MPAA has problems with red blood. (You'll note there has been some movies with green blood, but I can't remember what they were) If the gore had been pixelated or something THEN I would have minded. From the way people hyped it up I was expecting a giant tidalwave of blood like the elevator scene in The Shining but it wasn't quite at that level.

Lucas did similiar things to have extended fight sequences and still have a PG movie. in TPM there's no blood even when a bad guy is split in two, or thousands of Gungans are killed. Same thing with Clones, there was no blood shown.
 

Russell G

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Welcome to the wacky logic of the MPAA!
A similar tactic was taken with Taxi Driver, as the last reel had the colours desaturated to secure an r rating with out cutting material.

MPAA doesn't like to see crimson red blood. By switching to black and white, it obscures the blood by making it black. You still know it's blood, what else is flying out of those bodies, but in the eyes of the MPAA, it's not as bad as in colour.

I was surprised by the above that said the black and white was always planned in the script. I haven't read the link (don't want to potentialy spoil part 2). I made the comment based on Tarantino saying in the media that the japanese can handle it in colour, where as north american audiences can't. I think it's his way of saying how silly some of the ratings rules can be, especially with how cartoonish the violence is.
 

Matt Pelham

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Real blood filmed in black and white would appear black, but fake red blood filmed in black and white looks grey. That's why I think the Kill Bill scene was originally in color, among other reasons.
 

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