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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

entry arrow10:00 AM | The Film Meme No. 46

[46th of 100]. Most would know what to expect in a Quentin Tarantino movie. His signature as a director is more or less set in stone: the ballet of violence, the stylized dialogue, the cribbing from B-movies and East Asian cinema, the playfulness with time and chronology, the electric score of superb musical choices, the casting [and career resurrection] of forgotten film legends, the inevitable show of foot fetish, and lately, the wishful alternations of horrific history. Most would point to Pulp Fiction as the seminal Tarantino flick embodying many of these quirks in storytelling, and they would probably be right. But for me, the one movie that comes closest to being his masterpiece is his revenge extravaganza starring, and co-created by, Uma Thurman. It has everything you could ask for in a Tarantino movie [except the historical revisionism] -- and all of these Tarantino-esque elements come to an acute focus with the central performance, an energetic, devil-may-care, heartfelt turn by Thurman who should have won an Oscar for this role. As the blood-spattered Bride, we feel her pain [and fears]. As the vengeful snake, we feel for her fury and singular mission to kill those who have done her wrong. But I also love how Tarantino switches so effortlessly between his pop cultural inspirations and references -- from Japanese anime to the American Western, from kung fu movies to grindhouse grit, from Bruce Lee to Sonny Chiba to Gordon Liu [casting the latter two in central roles even] -- and telling them in a terrific mishmash of genres and music and chronology that adds to the shifting of moods, solidifying the story of a woman left for dead in the massacre of her wedding party, and then check-listing all of those she needs to kill for her reprieve, culminating with the title character. It is so epic in its scope and conceit, it had to be told in two films [although I prefer watching the long four-hour cut subtitled "The Whole Bloody Affair"]. Story-wise, this is the most that Tarantino has achieved in terms of cinematic deliciousness -- and also one of the last of his films edited by the late Sally Menke, who knew how exactly to piece together the fabulous shards of Tarantino's vision -- and while the rest of his almost spotless filmmography is fine, fine work, they have absolutely nothing on this truly masterful movie. What's the film?

For the introduction to this meme, read here.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich