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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Tarantino's use of the 'Ecstasy of Gold' in Kill Bill Vol 2 from the Finale of 'The Good the Bad and the Ugly'

Tarantino has made an inter- textual reference between Kill Bill and The Good the Bad and the Ugly in the landscape. Both the scenes use deserted landscapes which have few boundaries, these can also be inter- textually referenced to the landscapes within; The Assassination of Jesse James and Animal Kingdom.  ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ is located within an isolated desert and briefly shows a graveyard in the film, In ‘Kill Bill Vol 2’ the bride is captured in an isolated location then taken to a graveyard later in order for Bill to bury her.


Both of these pictures, the top from (Animal Kingdom 2010) and the bottom from ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ establish location but also determines it to be threatening and dangerous. It suggests that there is no escape and no hiding place, no shelter or resources within miles. An injured individual would be lucky to survive such an injury with no shelter or nutrition.



Quentin Tarantino has very cleverly used an inter- textual reference to depict the Bride in Kill Bill as an iconic hero. Tarantino’s bride in Kill bill is called Bride, the ‘Good’ from ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ is called Blondie, this shows that they have similarities; they also share the trait of being clever and determined.  This indicates to the audience that the bride is not going to give up, because Blondie never does.  In the finale of ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ the ‘Bad’ dies, and is killed by the ‘Good’ Indicating to the audience that the Bride (The good) will defeat (The Bad) Bill at the end of the film.



Bud (The Ugly) from ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ is shown digging for money, Bill in Kill Bill is also shown digging but instead of digging for money he is digging a grave for the bride in order for him to bury her alive, Tarantino has also used this as a way of linking the characters from both films.



The pathological fear of being buried alive is called taphophobia; this originates from the Greek taphos; meaning grave. The thought of being buried alive for most; is a fate worse than death and an unthinkable nightmare which is why the scene in which the bride is sealed within a coffin underground is one of the most notable within the thriller genre. The bride is buried alive a wooden crate, creating an extremely claustrophobic atmosphere, and connotes death and entrapment. When the bride is buried the screen appears black; this is a technique Tarantino has used to heighten the atmosphere and tension amongst the audience. The audience are then able to hear the diegetic sound of mud falling onto the coffin, which then adds a large amount of suspense and realism; it also allows the audience to feel the horror and apprehension that the bride must feel.


Tarantino has used an inter-textual reference in Kill Bill by using Morricones soundtrack “Ecstasy of Gold” which is also used in Sergio Leones Film ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’. When the soundtrack is used within Leones film;  Blondie (The good) is having a three way duel with the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’. In this scene the audience become aware how intelligent Blondie is, and how he does whatever he wants to do. When the music is used in Kill Bill Vol 2, the bride is being beaten up, this however by referencing  to ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ Tarantino is almost foreshadowing that the bride; like Blondie, is a hero, and can do anything she desires to do. Tarantino has also used this track in order to pay homage to previous filmmakers that have been inspiration to him, it also acts as an ironic way to reference the ‘bads’ and the ‘uglies’ who tried to defeat the Bride in Kill Bill.

1 comment:

  1. My teacher wrote these comments on this post:
    vmbFeb 21, 2012 12:44 AM
    An interesting and articulate discussion on how Tarantino references Leone's film in the climactic and boldly fearful sequence near the beginning of Kill Bill Vol 2. The purpose of the intertextual reference is not only to feed film geeks/buffs vanity thus adding to the film's appeal but to also indicate (as you recognise) the bride's iconic status and ability to defy all odds.
    Re use of film language, try to start using mise-en-scene when discussing visual and aural conventions within the frame.

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