Monday, April 19, 2004

bill, once again

Not long after my first look at the second installment of QT's glorious tribute to martial arts flicks, film noir, spaghetti westerns and film lore, I was back in the hall watching the 2 hour 17 minute epic unfold again. The second look jogged my memory on stuff I had noted the first time, but never gave a second thought. And it also helped me grab some more notes

* Movie references: The poster for Mr Majestyk in Budd's trailor. The reference to the Garfield/Turner classic The Postman Always Rings Twice. Other explicit references like Shogun Assassin, Carrie (as Beatrix emerges from the grave of Paula Schultz, a reference in itself), The Golden Stallion, The Circle of Iron/The Silent Flute. References in the script AND the soundtrack to Road to Salina.

* Gordon Liu wasn't the only one to play different characters in both parts (Johnny Mo in the first, Pai Mei in the second). Michael Parks played the sherriff in the first, and Esteban Vihaio in the second.

* That book Esteban puts down ("The Carrucans of Kurrajong" by Jasmine Yuen, if I'm not mistaken) seems like an in-joke. Jasmine Yuen Carrucan (also credited as Jasmine Carrucan) was second assistant camera on the first part. Interestingly, she was associated with an aborted (although it looks like it's coming back to life ...) project familiar to triviamongers back home -- a film called Water by Deepa Mehta [more and more].

* "The Lonely Death of Paula Schultz" is the only chapter title that does not appear against a black background

* What was the bleep for during Bill's conversation with Budd when he says "afraid"?

* Once again the soundtrack CD seems to missing stuff including at least one track by Isaac Hayes, a couple of Ennio Morricone tracks, and a couple of Bacalov pieces. And even that piece of disco/sitar music as Beatrix spars with Pai Mei.

* More on the Pai Mei segment: It's amazing how much faithful detail QT adds (in subtle ways) to the segment: the lensing, the sudden camera zooms into XCUs, the background mattes, and the background music. Priceless.

* And there's a multiple-POV moment when Elle arrives at Bud's trailer in the morning: one from a regular POV, and the second time as the Bride looks down (and Isaac Hayes's Ironside begins to play).

* There are radical deviations from the script: Yuki's Revenge was excised (and replaced by a scene exploring the massacre at the chapel). Bill's description of Pai Mei's wrath happens at a fire instead of in a jeep driving to Pai Mei. And Esteban Vihaio appears to tell Beatrix about Bill's fascination for blondes instead of having Bill tell Beatrix this.

* Was Tommy Plympton (the Bride's ill-fated groom) named in reverence for George Plympton? (who was a screenwriter for The Green Hornet among other goodies)

* When Budd refers to the Bride as a cowgirl when he is talking to Elle Driver, was that a nod to the Uma Thurman starrer Even Cowgirls Get the Blues?

* And should I be thrilled that I spotted a gaffe (Bill takes SIX steps instead of FIVE before succumbing to the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique) that has now made it to the IMDB page? [ADDENDUM: April 28, 2004: For some reason this has vanished from the goofs page ... and a new one about the camera being visible in Larry's glasses has appeared ...]

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