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Mise-En-Scene in Kill Bill: Vol I

  • Date Submitted: 11/29/2015 02:54 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.4 
  • Words: 307
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The opening scene is a close up of Uma Thurman’s face, battered and covered in blood shot entirely in black and white. She is dressed in a veil and seems helpless to us onlookers. She is looking at someone or something that is out of shot, and isn’t shown to us the entire scene. This immediately creates tension by withholding what we assume to be someone putting her in danger.
The black and white colour suggests something old; almost as if we’re watching an old memory, something that’s already happened. By doing this, Tarantino propels the narrative forward. The instability we see seeks a resolution. It turns out that she was due to be married and that her wedding party had been gunned down as we find out as the film goes on.
The main sequence of violence and disruption is played out whilst Uma Thurman’s character is wearing a yellow jumpsuit. Here, the Bride comes face to face with Lucy Liu’s character and her bodyguards, who wear black masks. This shot is a medium close up of Uma Thurman’s character, in which she’s wielding a samurai sword, and is still seen, in the yellow and black jumpsuit. The shot is in short focus, with the silhouettes of masked men in the background, out of focus. The short focus, here, is pulling the audience’s attention towards this particular character. This suggests the single-mindedness of this character in this moment in time.
The vivid yellow of the jumpsuit immediately jumps out of the scene, which has connotations of danger, when paired with the black stripes on the characters arms. The lighting is particularly focused on Thurman’s character. This clearly shows us that this woman is not about to let anything get in her way, she knows what her goal is and she’s out to get it.

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