Kill Bill Vol 1 – Why I Fell in Love with Media Studies

I often look at the down sides of my studies, we spent days and weeks ripping apart films and scenes apart. I remember watching the scene from Alien when the baby alien pops out of that guy's chest and rushes along the floor and out of the room. Now the first time we saw that (bare in mind we were all 16/17 years old) the whole class jumped. Then the teacher paused it just as the alien rushed off.

“See that? It's a dog dressed up”

She rewinded back to the start of the scene and this time we all laughed. I mean a dog dressed up in an alien costume? It isn't scary it is just daft now. Sadly I cannot watch that scene without giggling now and this often is the case when taking scenes apart we kind of forget the actual story the film is telling and begin to look at small details and some times mocking them for it. But there was one film that didn't lose it's charm.

My first time watching Kill Bill in full was when I was 18 years old and studied large amounts of it. I am not a huge Tarantino fan but this film caught my interest. The scene we mostly worked on is fairly famous, the long tracking shot of the Japanese restaurant with live music being played and O-Ren upstairs. Now there's a lot of scenes that a like during this movie and many are Tarantino's signature shots (he has done many shots from the inside of a car boot and the “God's Perspective” shot is always a good one of his) but this blew me away.

The room the camera man has to work with is not to be sniffed at. He is using a Steadicam to make it smooth as it flows around the rooms naturally. Then there's the fact every actor would have to move at the right pace as several characters we see twice so go from one place to another without delay or without rushing too much. And the music, it is what starts the shot and ends it. We even have the camera going high up and looking down on actors as they walk, following them perfectly. You get the idea of what is going on, where important characters are in the building and in the end you would not have known it took 17 takes, 6 hours in 1 day and that the camera man bumped and bashed into all sorts of stuff and yet never fell.

If you are thinking of working behind the scenes as a cameraman then I recommend watching this shot, infact there's several good long shots that are more than 2 minutes long and really this one is fairly short, but the work and detail put into this to me makes it worth while as a media student, a film lover and for anyone who wishes to work in film or television. Go on, if you haven't already seen it then hire it, buy it, borrow from a friend! The whole film is great (warning if you don't like blood you may want to watch with friends or a sick bag!) so worth your time.

Oh and the black and white scene where The Bride fights everyone in the restaurant? That was because it was too gruesome to be in colour and to get around that Tarantino did this. The saturation to make her yellow outfit look almost white makes her stand out and almost as if he did this on purpose, you'd not realise it was not originally planned that way. Oh and you can watch it in full colour if you find a version from a country that allowed it but I have not dare to do that, I know it is a movie but I have a rather angelic stomach to say the least.

So thank you Kill Bill and Tarantino for helping me enjoy my course and also reminding me why I loved it too.

Helen is out, PEACE!

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