Monday, December 20, 2010

Kill Bill and Miltonic Allusion: [intro material]

I should have put an explanation of my process in introductory posts to the Kill Bill and Miltonic Allusion series. I have been getting a lot of Internet questions about it so let me briefly sketch out how I am doing this.

To begin with I got a PSC-CUNY grant to study the allusions in Kill Bill. So that is where this got started.

Googling "Kill Bill references" will get you to several sites which list off movies Kill Bill references, including The Kill Bill References Guide, The Internet Movie Database, and a Kill Bill References YouTube Channel which shows you clips from all kinds of movies. There is even a Kill Bill Casebook. The Kill Bill Casebook seems especially just sort of thrown together from Internet message boards, and often includes claims like "some have seen a connection here to The Beyond," leaving you to sort out who the "some" might be, and what the presumed connection is.

These are great resources, but tend to mostly just list stuff. And once the game is started people jump in to say that any similarity between anything in Kill Bill and anything in any other movie is a reference. Case in point: the Wesley Snipes movie Boiling Point. Someone claimed a link on the basis of a gun hidden in flowers being like the gun in the cereal box in Kill Bill. The gun hidden in flowers is common enough. But I watched it anyway. No surprise, there was not a connection. But my process has been to fill my Netflix que with any movie anyone has claimed as a link and see for myself what is going on. And then every time I start one of these movies I Twitter about it, and say what the claimed connection is. Often if there is no good connection the movie is still reasonably fun.

So that part of the process is not adding anything new to the talk about Kill Bill. What you are seeing on Twitter is raw, and often fruitless, research. What you are seeing here on the blog is a kind of first draft, in somewhat random sections. That, I hope, is original work -- sketching out in more detail than I see elsewhere WHY Tarantino alludes as he does.

There is a larger question about why not just do this silently and not show people stuff as I go, stuff that is often very uncooked, but I wanted to give this process a go. I thought it might be fun. Once this is completed, which is going to take at least a year, I will take the blogs and work them into an essay, or essays, or even a small book.

It is hard for me to imagine this as a print work though -- it is very dependant on seeing the clips. But it is equally hard to imagine an online publisher willing to deal with the copyright tangles. I will also use it for presentations at conferences and at school and maybe elsewhere. But right now I am honestly not thinking that far ahead. Right now this is a fun hobby, akin to playing with model trains in the basement.

1 comment:

JDMarkel said...

I got a PSC-CUNY grant to study the allusions in Kill Bill

You're getting paid to do this?

You're my hero!