Feature by: Jack Foley
THERE is never a dull moment around Quentin Tarantino. The Kill
Bill director is excitable at the best of times, but even he describes
himself as probably being possessed on the set of
his latest two movies.
Kill Bill: Volumes One and Two mark his triumphant return to
form, after six years of self-imposed exile in Hollywoods
wilderness. Aside from a brief appearance in the television series,
Alias, he has been very quiet.
Yet now the accolades are pouring in, with the Kill Bill movies
- featuring Uma Thurman as a vengeful bride, seeking to kill the
five assassins who struck on her wedding day - being hailed by
many as a masterpiece.
And following the UK premiere of Volume Two, Tarantino, speaking
to London journalists via a satellite link from LA, said that
it was very gratifying to be back on top, having dedicated so
much time to the project.
"Admittedly, if we'd poo-pooed at the box office, you would
feel anti-climactic. We wouldn't be done, of course, as it would
still be up to history to judge it, but we would definitely be
"Now, having done really well at the box office, on our
second time at bat, and after working for four years, it's pretty
Needless to say, the acclaim which has greeted the Kill Bill
franchise has made the director hotter than hot, and its success
could pave the way for future movies in the series.
"I'm thinking about the idea of doing some graphic novels,
that could follow the story, or some of the other Deadly Vipers,
if I wanted to.
"I thought about the idea of writing an anime feature, which
would be the origin of Bill, right? It would be a complete anime
feature about how Bill became Bill. It would deal with the three
godfathers of his.
"And then I've thought about the idea of, 15 years from
now, doing a sequel to these two movies, that would follow Vivica
Fox's daughter, as she tries to get revenge on The Bride."
First up, however, is the possibility of completing his World
War Two/Dirty Dozen homage, Inglorious Bastards, as well as the
slight possibility of taking on the Bond franchise.
Tarantino has expressed an interest in remaking Casino Royale,
and has even spoken to Pierce Brosnan about the possibility, but
he remains dubious about whether the producers will allow him
to do it.
"It's one of the best stories and the first one, so it's
ironic that it's never been done," he added.
Returning to the subject of Kill Bill, however, Tarantino was
forced to fend off some difficult questions about the level of
violence depicted on screen, opting to dismiss such accusations
out of hand.
When asked whether he thought he had played a role in glamorising
violence, he replied, simply, no, and then claimed
that nothing in any of his movies had made his stomach turn.
So did anything, onscreen, gross him out?
"Well, actually, I was watching an episode of Jackass, where
Johnny Knoxville put a bunch of live leaches in his mouth, and
I started gagging.
"And I remember when I saw Monty Python's Meaning of Life,
that fat bastard guy that does all the puking, that was really
gross. I remember sitting in the movie thinking that if somebody
vomits, and I actually smell vomit while I'm watching this, I'm
going to hurl."
Dismissed, too, were recent comments by X-Men
star, Patrick Stewart, who highlighted Kill Bill as a film which
glamorised violence towards
women, rather than empowering them. Asked whether he agreed,
he looked uninterested and said: "Naturally, I don't think
it's a correct comment in relation to Kill Bill."
But he got more excited when asked to name a British actor, or
actress, he could provide a similar career renaissance to as the
one he had given Daryl Hannah and David Carradine.
"Well, I guess after Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee
doesn't really need my help anymore, but I'm a huge Christopher
Lee fan. And I've always liked Tommy Steele.
"When I think of Tommy Steele, I think of that movie, The
Happiest Millionaire, the Disney movie. And I would also like
to cast Dick van Dyke!"
In the more immediate future for Tarantino, however, lies the
Cannes Film Festival, in May, at which he will preside as this
years president. And, as incorrigible as ever, he concluded:
"That's like a dream come true, as I've always considered
Cannes to be the pinnacle of world film-making, so to be going
there ten years after winning the Palme d'Or, to be president
of the jury, is terrific.
"One of the things he gets to do is pretty much figure out
what the aesthetic of this jury is going to be - whether political,
or national - but with mine, there will no politics, and no nothing;
it's all about movies and may the best one win!"