Kill Bill 2 (Framing & Composition)

Kill Bill 2 offered a number of dynamic composition as well as various examples of framing images. Entering into the first scene of the movie, in which Beatrix was driving in her car in the continuation of her quest to hunt Bill down and kill him. The camera closes up on Beatrix’s face, with her voice acting as the narrator in the background. Obviously in scenes such as these, her face will be the center of focus, commanding the audience’s attention. Even though at first sight, one might think that the composition technique used in this scene is weak as it obviously went against two guidelines of composition. The first being her face located right in the middle of the image, thus breaking the guideline of the rule of thirds. As for the second, this particular composition also seemed to have broken the guidelines of visual perspective, in which it is advised never to position the camera straight in front of the character,  but to keep it 45 degrees from the subject.

Having said that, if one were to observe the scene closely, it would become noticeable that even though the overall image did not adhere to the rule of thirds, Beatrix’s eyes were situated near the points indicated. This was perhaps the director’s way of emphasizing to the audience that the center of interest is not her face, but in fact, her eyes. Perhaps the director understands the importance of a person’s eyes in revealing their true feelings or emotions. In this case, Beatrix’s eyes were the main tool which showed the audience how determined and driven she was in her quest, and that she would allow nothing or no one to stand in her way. Also in this scene, the audience would notice her sword set beside her on the car seat. This sword served as a tool to support the theme of this scene, and highlight the ruthlessness of her character.

Moving on to some interesting framing, one of which was shown during Beatrix’s flashback to the dress rehearsal of her wedding. She walked out of the church for some air and discovered Bill sitting at the side, playing his flute. When he stood up to greet Beatrix, the camera did a big close-up on their feet, frequently diverting from their faces to their feet, showing them slowly and gradually closing up on each other. This technique of framing probably aimed to show the audience the intimacy between the two. It also showed the contrast of their actions, their faces showing no emotions whatsoever, and yet they kept stepping closer and closer to each other. This action revealed that there was some sort of attraction between them.
 
Towards the middle of the movie, another effective composition can be spotted. This one again showed Beatrix driving in her car to locate Bill after she discovered his whereabouts from one of Bill’s acquaintances. In this scene, the camera closed up on the side of her face. But this time, her face was set on the side of the frame instead of the middle, leaving some free space in the rest of the frame. This use of space effectively allowed the audience to get a feel of the fast speed at which the car was moving.  
Also, another interesting composition was seen in the scene where Karen Kim, the hired assassin, shot a hole in the door with her shotgun and entered the hotel room. After Beatrix managed to persuade Karen to leave by telling her that she was pregnant, Karen walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. The camera shot a wide angle of the room and the audience was able to see the spacious room. And yet, despite the wide angle, the audience would find their view instantly focusing on Karen’s face on the other side of the door, which was framed by the round hole she left on the door with her shotgun. One crucial composition tool used in this scene is light. The lighting of the hotel room was dim, drawing the audience’s eyes to the circle of light coming from the bright hallway, which could be seen clearly from the hole on the door.
An example of another movie which offered various types of composition tool is Talladega Night. This movie is mainly about the ups and downs of a famous racer and the challenges he faced. Similar to the technique used to impart movement in Kill Bill 2, the same technique is frequently adopted in Talladega Night. The racers’ faces were set at the side of the frame, allowing some free space in front of them to give the sense of the car racing. This composition tool played a crucial part in this movie as the main theme of the movie is movement and speed.  Another distinctive composition in Talladega Night was the use of lines. The race tracks were shot in a way which made them look like curved lines, thus, giving the audience a sense of movement, as well as the grace at which the cars were racing by.
References:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378194/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Bill_Volume_2_(soundtrack)
http://207.177.51.234/images/Kill-Bill-Uma-in-Car.jpg
 
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