Beautiful, depraved

Intimacy. Debauchery. Irreverence.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"6": Prettiness. i.

I recently saw Kill Bill 2 for the third time. There are very few movies I have seen or would see that many times. I love this film. I love what Tarantino does with characters. He gives them time to etch themselves slowly on the screen, filling in between the lines and bringing themselves to life. I love the archetypal journey of a woman, a hero, a fighter and conquistador who is courageous and fierce.

I'm with a male friend. We're at the scene where Uma has been buried alive in a nailed shut coffin. She's panicking - she's going to die there. She's sweating, crying, screaming and bleeding. Until she has an epiphany and realizes she has the ability to ratchet herself out of this impossible situation. And out she comes. Pounding, swinging and clawing her way through this mess. She's covered in dirt and blood and sweat and she's looks better than I've ever seen her.

"She's beautiful," I say. He looks at me quizzically. "Uma."

"I've always thought Uma Thurman was beautiful," he says.

"Hmm. Sort of. But she's gorgeous now. Her hair is matted, there's shit all over her, she's bleeding and she's a fucking mess. But she's more self-possessed than I've ever seen her. She's far more beautiful than when she's in her perfect dresses, dolled up or playing stupid hookers."(Smart hookers are fine.)

I remember reading an interview with Uma after the making of Kill Bill. She was talking about how Tarantino claimed to love her. "What kind of love is this?" she said. "He's constantly covering me in shit and dirt... This is love?" I think Tarantino knew exactly what he was doing. You take a born-pretty girl and you dress her up in pretty things, curl her pretty hair and she becomes empty. Vacuous. The only thing she can claim as a self identity is her one dimensional beauty. But take a pretty girl and throw some shit on her, and make her fight her way out of it and she'll grow to be other-worldly radiant and a force to be reckoned with.

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