3 F’s of Kill Bill: Fashion, Fighting, and Females
In 2003, Quentin Tarantino made the film Kill Bill starring Uma Thurman. This means I’ve let 15 years happen before being exposed to this genius. Everything from the Japanese Kimonos to the perfectly placed blood spatter is pure brilliance. Let’s just dive in. I’ve thought so long about where to begin because it’s all too good, but every morning when I get dressed I find myself thinking what would Beatrix Kiddo (Thurman) wear, so I’m seeing it appropriate to start there.
I could talk on this particular section for all the minutes, there’s so much to say. The Japanese Kimonos, the chopsticks in the hair, the origin of the slutty nurse costume, and even a sexy eyepatch. But there is something that cannot be undersold. And that something that we obviously need to address is the sneaks. Uma Thurman single handedly instituted the legend of the Tiger sneaker. Before every scene I came to lovingly depend on the anticipatory feeling waiting to see what new color combination of Tiger’s Kiddo was casually kicking ass in. But obviously the most iconic is the black and yellow Tiger to match her chic-as-hell black and yellow jumpsuit. Of course. How did we not think of this. For so long women in an action role have been rockin a ridiculous stiletto (i.e. Mrs. Smith) or heeled boot (see: Catwoman). I’m the last person who’s going to knock a well placed stiletto and especially the last to hate on a woman who can kick ass in such a footwear; but when did we lose our appreciation for the chic iconic staple that is a well matched sneaker? To anyone who’s doubting in their sneaker wear, worried about looking badass in a simple shoe, not feeling sexy in tenni, look to Beatrix Kiddo, who reminds us that sneakys are sultry.
And this is the moment where I realized that gore is an art form. I can honestly say I’ve never been so mesmerized by a severed head flying through the air only to land on a dinner table. I’ve never been so romanticized by the stated velocity of a blood spurt shooting out of a stomach after being penetrated by a sword. I’ve never been an “action” girl. Frankly, I think it’s boring? I’m the last person you’d catch watching any sort of superhero movie, matrix type, die hard films. So I really don’t think it’s even worth comparing. What Tarantino does is truly an art and is different than any other kind of violence I’ve ever seen. Tarantino is known for skillfully balancing the line between violence and comedy and Kill Bill is a beautiful example. The gore in kill bill is done with such finesse that it’s 9 times out of 10 breathtaking rather than stomach turning.
One of the best parts about this movie is that (with the exception of a restaurant owner or an extra here and there) every single woman in this movie is smart, sexy, strong, and scary good at killing people. Whether it’s a villain we’re supposed to hate or Beatrix Kiddo herself, I have a deep fondness for every female in the film. Obviously, one of the more iconic women in the film is Elle Driver. Evil on all accounts, I mean truly a terrible person, but who else can look so menacing and so beautiful at the same time and do everything they do wearing an eyepatch. The first time we see Elle Driver she’s wearing a striking white peacoat with black piping that just makes ya love her. Right when you think she can’t get cooler, she dips into a closet and seconds later emerges wearing the legendary sultry nurse outfit. I know what you’re thinking, “been done 100x too many.” Sure, I get that gut reaction, but let the fact that she originated this phenomenon sink in and I trust that you’ll see her in a new and groundbreaking light! Right up there on the list of legendary looks is the foxy schoolgirl made iconic by Gogo Yubari, one of the leading villain’s number one bodyguard. It’s so refreshing to see the ultimate security to the most feared Villain in Japan be a 15 year old school girl, how badass is that? Gogo Yubari is truly a phenomenon. She is the perfect convergence of innocence and brutality. There’s a softness to her that’s beautiful and alluring and then before you know it she’s jumping off the second story of a restaurant, soaring through the air with a sword aimed at your heart. But ultimately, nothing compares to Beatrix Kiddo. Everyone should look up to sweet Beatrix in one way or another. Whether it’s the ability to look exactly the right amount of chic for every fight scene you may encounter, or the knack of knowing exactly what to say and when to say it, Beatrix Kiddo is a legend. From single handedly defeating an army of 80 men with one sword, willing herself to walk after being in a coma for four years, and being truly loved by all, even her enemies, Beatrix Kiddo is the perfect woman.
The fashion icons, the savage kills, and the badass babes ultimately make Kill Bill one of the best hour and 52 minutes of my life. If Kill Bill is something you haven’t given yourself the gift of seeing yet; set aside two hours, throw up those subtitles, and prepare to be changed. Then go ahead and queue up Kill Bill 2 and you’re in for a very fulfilling day.
author, anna issacson
Anna was born and raised in Kansas City and has spent the last two years attending school in
Santa Barbara, California. She recently moved to Fayetteville and is studying ceramics at the
University of Arkansas. Anna really likes the idea of minimalism but has resolved that this
principle will most likely not be a part of her life because of her love for unnecessary clothing.
She is an avid listener of the classics, has an unrelenting crush on Paul McCartney (still), and
likes to start off her day listening to Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix. Her role models include
Leslie Feist, June Carter Cash, Brene Brown, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
graphics, jae vyskocil
Jae is a member of the Gold Hand creative team.
Jae Vyskocil is currently a student at Portland State University in Oregon. She is majoring in international studies with a regional focus on the Middle East and minoring in graphic design and conflict resolution. Her illustrations use patterns and textures to explore a range of themes. When she’s not drawing you can find her skiing on Mt. Hood or knitting.