Many moons ago, Sam Lipsyte wrote a very funny takedown of a film called Boogie Nights. “People say it’s an ‘homage’ to Scorsese,” Lipsyte wrote (the review’s lost in the Internet ether now, but that’s a close paraphrase). “Well, that’s like saying: When I walk into a supermarket, slip a quart of milk up my sleeve, and walk out with it, I’m committing an ‘homage’ to milk.”
Quentin Tarantino’s films have also been homages of one sort or another: Collage and bricolage are the director’s bread and butter. But Kill Bill, which appeared in two installments in 2003 and 2004, was especially reliant on other films—and the filmgoer’s ability to catch the cascade of references.
Now a New York filmmaker named Kirby Ferguson has produced a short video that puts those references in perspective, cutting back and forth between Tarantino’s film and the originals that inspired it. (Bruce Lee’s 1978 film Game of Death seems to have been an especially heavy influence.) An L.A. editor named Robert Grigsby Wilson stitched the video together—it’s dedicated to the memory of Tarantino’s own, excellent editor, Sally Menke—and posted it to Vimeo. It, too, is an homage. But like Kill Bill, it’s an awesome one.
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