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Quentin Kill Bill Interview in CINESCAPE

I’ll do my best. Don’t give me crap If I mess anything up…

And give me a few minutes.

I will ask that you don’t comment until I’m done. Thank you.


It’s the most expensive exploitation movie ever made. The script took a year and a half to write. Lensing the movie extended for 50 weeks. And there are onlt a handful of digital effects shots in it.

The movie is Kill Bill and it’s writer director Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited return to the big screen. Whereas audiences knew what to expect with the summer’s big guns-Hulk, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Matrix Reloaded and so on- Kill Bill is likely to slay moviegoers by sheer virtue of exposure.

“I have to tell you, a lot of people know about Kill Bill and when its coming out,” Tarantino says. “The only thing they’ve seen is the trailer, but we put the trailer together while we were shooting the movie. There’s nothing from the second half. It’s mostly the first half because thats all we had done. I’m not trying to get high on my own vapors, but people don’t know what they are getting into.”

Very little of the movie’s story has been leaked, and Tarantino’s plan to release the epic Kill Bill this fall as two 90-minute installments (Volume 1 and Volume 2) within a month of each other is unprecedented for a genre film. On top of thatm a versoin edited for the Japanese market is also being prepared with different scenes and a different flow (Tarantino even shot a completely different opening title sequence for this cut).

But that’s putting the cart before the horse. What about the movie itself? Let’s allow Tarantino to whet genre fan appetites with his own description:

“It is a revenge movie,” he says. “Uma Thurman plays the Bride. She’s an assassin and she works for a team of assassins run by this guy Bill [David Carradine] of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and she tries to break away, leaves them and disappears. Bill tracks her down and she’s now pregnant and she’s getting married in Texas somewhere. They massacre everybody at the wedding chapel. They think they’ve killed her-they shot her in the head- but they didn’t [kill her], they just put her in a coma for four years. She comes out of the coma, tracks all the members of the deadly Viper team down one by one, leaving Bill for last. The thing is, it’s been four years. They’re all in different places, doing different things now. Some of their have failed. None of that means anything to the Bride. They are all going to pay horribly.”

In true Tarantino fashion, the premise has been twisted in such a way as to afford the writer-director the opportunity to experiment with different styles of filmmaking.

“These five people on her list, they’re all like in a different genre,” explains Tarantino. "She’s going to a different movie every time she goes to the next person on the list. With one, it’s a Japanese Yakuza samurai/wild gonzo violence shogun assassin kind of thing, where people have garden hoses for veins. Another character has her going into a spaghetti western movie; another is like an old Shaw Brothers kung fu world. She’s hopping all these different genres."

And unlike all those movies, the shooting schedule for each sequence was laboriously staged and executed. The Bride’s Tokyo showdown with assassin O-ren (Lucy Liu) was perhaps the most ambitious.

“I wanted it to be to kung fu fights what the Apocalypse Now helicopter battle scene was to battle scenes,” says Tarantino. "To put it in perspective, Pulp Fiction took 10 weeks to shoot. That fight scene took eight weeks."

Tarantino stepped out of the directorial limelight after 1997’s Jackie Brown-the 40-year-old says the reason for the hiatus was that he needed time to re-energize and re-evaluate the direction of his career. He’s still a fan at heart; he spent most of his time away building up a collection of flim prints and watching at least one genre film a day. Now his biggest filmmaking adventure, Kill Bill, is only a few short months from release. While camped out in an editing facility in Los Angeles, Tarantino took a break to discuss Kill Bill with Cinescape and convinced us within moments that the director is back-and with a vengence!

What were you doing during your down time between Jackie Brown and Kill Bill?

Tarantino: I was relaxing, enjoying myself, living my life and watching a lot of movies. I was also working the entire time, but just writing. I have a ton of material to show for it. There was also something kind of cool about just writing after being in public eye for a while. I got in the public eye by being a writer and it was great to just dive into the material. People kind of forget, when I came on the scene, I had a whole wealth of material. So I started writing again and began with  a World War II script, Inglorious Bastards, which turned into three seperate World War II scripts. Then I started writing Kill Bill.

What is your writing process?

Tarantino: I write scripts the way other writers write books, not the way other writers write scripts. I don’t go write on a computer. I write it by hand. I don’t have any 3X5 cards and no spine and I don’t go “This happens here, that happens there.” I have a pretty good idea about what is going to happen. The whole process is finding it. I know this is probably going to happen, but getting there is half the thing. It’s very free form.

When did you start your film print collection?

Tarantino: I started building it eight years ago, whether it be 35mm prints or 16mm prints or my fourth generation bootlegs of Shaw brothers kung fu films or Italian Giallos. During those six years, there was never a day that went by that I didn’t watch a movie. I didn’t go out that often; I was just into my own cinema personal history. That was a whole lot of what I was doing, almost reconnecting myself as a writer and reconnecting myself as a film lover. Not just a moviemaker-a movie lover-and getting excited about it all again.

Did you ever worry about being away from the spotlight for too long?

Tarantino: People say I started this director-as-a-rock-star thing. It’s extremely flattering, but rock stars aren’t known for their longevity. I’m really so not about keeping up with the Joneses or stirring up some heat or anything. My whole feeling is I’m a filmmaker and I can do what I want to do, and so it’s like I can put it down, and when I want it, I can pick it up again.

Do you see yourself more as a writer as opposed to a director or an actor?

Tarantino: Not necessarily. It’s more along the lines of, I have three muses that I have to attend to. The director. The writer. The actor. They all kind of go together. There are different situations where one demands complete dominance over the other ones. In the case of Jackie Brown, I did the adaptation of that. But that was a choice of not writing an original and filtering my world through [novelist] Elmore Leonard’s world. And I didn’t act in it. That was completely the director. After that, I did Wait Until Dark on Broadway. I played the Alan Arkin character with Marisa Tonei. That was the actor taking center stage. After I had done both of those things, then it was. “OK, now it’s time for the writer.” THen I got comfortable. It’s nice, after all the bigness, to get small again.

As a writer, do you feel as a director you’re reverential to the writer’s work?

Tarantino: Writing is really about creation. You just have a white piece of paper looking back at you. When I’m directing, I’m very faithful to my script until I start shooting. Thats one of the reasons I do a good job on my stuff-I know when to be reverential and know when to say suck it and throw it away, whereas somebody else might not. To me, when I’m direccting, it’s all about capturing a moment. It’s not about what was in your head when you were writing. Now you’re on the set, you’re shooting, you have actors and everything there. How do I feel today? You’re trying to capture that creativity and magic that exists that Tuesday.

Now that you don’t have to write to make a living, is it freeing to be able to write whatever you want, knowing you’ll likely be able to get it made without any struggle?

Tarantino: I’m definatley more precious about writing than I’ve ever been before, especially on Kill Bill. I really got into the literature of the script, which was less important to me when I was shooting the movie but was all-important when I was writing the movie. It’s all about the page-I’ll make the movie later. It is a different discipline. A case could be made, if I had to pay my rent, you would’ve gotten a whole lot more work out of me. That’s true. Somebody said to me once, “As an artist, you haven’t been giving us your work. An artist owes us their work.” To some degree I agree with that, [but] I’m more along the lines of an artist owes you not to burn out. An artist owes you the best [he] can do every time. There are some directors that have completely different aesthetics, like Takashi Miike, who does five fucking movies a year. That becomes his aesthetic. You’re going to be hit-and miss with this one and that. You’ll love this one, you’ll love moments of that one [Rainer Werner] Fassbinder was like that too. In the course of a 30-year career, I don’t want any of my fans who are going to grow with me or maybe find my shit 15 years from now-like I’ve done with other directors-and have them apologize for the last 20 years of my work. I think one of the ways to combat that is to do it when it means everything to you. If not live a good life.

I’m assuming it’s all done? Thanks a lot for writing out the full article. Really appreciated.

I will ask that you don’t comment until I’m done. Thank you.[/quote]

Not done yet. I’m sending it to the Admin to post on the site as the whole article…or whatever. Almost done. I’m at work now…

Thanks for the appreciation though! ;D

Does the full article reveal too much? Or is it not a spoiler?


I guess there are some small spoilers…but…

dude, stop posting pieces. Take your time typing that bitch into an email and send it right to YOURS TRULY :wink:

:wink:You will notice that I haven’t posted any pieces since I told you I was going to stop posting pieces and e-mail you the rest. I still have a little to go that I haven’t gotten around to. ;D

I preferred the installment plan to nothing since a couple days ago. No offense or anything. I appreciate the effort and all. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I’m dying for the info! ;D

I’ve been having to do overtime during the day (and I gues you could say at night…). I’ve typed a few words here and there, and you all can look forward to the rest on Saturday (Thats when I’ll send it to the admin anyway…)

Thanks again for taking the time Holiday. :slight_smile:

[quote]I preferred the installment plan to nothing since a couple days ago.  No offense or anything.  I appreciate the effort and all.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I’m dying for the info! ;D[/quote]

just buy the magazine then!

thanks HOLIDAY for your time and effort!