Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: The Whole Bloody Affair

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since he was the impetus for the TMT series, something I’ve milked shamelessly, I owe the blogger and writer otherwise known as Colonel Mortimer a lot. I also must directly credit him for giving me a chance at this particular year old memory. For without his heads-up post from last February, who knows if I’d have had the chance to purchase tickets to see something here in my hometown that hadn’t been seen, outside a coastal town in France, except by a handful.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” ~ Old Klingon proverb.


Theatre

The New Beverly Cinema:


Images c/o WikipediaCinema Treasures sites

Movie

Time

March 28, 2011: before the release of KILL BILL Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in Fall of 2003 and the Spring of 2004, respectively, it was long known by fans of Quentin Tarantino that there was another version out there. The cut, which attained almost whispered cult status, became known to as “The Whole Bloody Affair” (by QT himself and the press). It premiered and was shown only once at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2003, with French sub-titles, at that. This “version integral” print, as the filmmaker originally intended it, was over 3½ hours in runtime (not including the intermission). Splitting it into two films certainly made the studio and distributors happy as they could milk the proceeds from two QT movies instead of one upon its U.S. run. Fans could only hold on for the long-rumored release of this version to Blu-ray/DVD… which we’re still waiting upon, btw.

Enter the New Beverly Cinema. For years, this lovingly maintained and intimate movie theater (just 300 seats) has been the place to catch classic and genre cinema of all kinds in the City of the Angels. Plus, the venue regularly projects on 35mm film. That it eventually came under the ownership of the same filmmaker and rescued it for local film fans (as the number of closures and demolitions of beautiful old movie palaces in L.A. over time attests) proved a godsend. As the Colonel wrote last year, before he became a proud new papa, on the key ‘cinema event’ of 2011:

“… writer-director (and New Beverly theatre savior) Quentin Tarantino takes over programming for the entire month of March.”

And with that, QT scheduled the U.S. première of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair for the end of the month. It ran for over a week, sold out, as additional screenings were added to meet the demand. I, along with my long-time friend, golf- and occasional movie-partner, obtained tickets for the Monday evening showing (the first weekend’s tickets were gone the first minute they were available online). I left work at the end of the day and drove down the street to find parking and get into line for that night’s filled-to-the-gills-with-movie-fans 7:30 PM screening. Turned out to be one of the best movie experiences… ever.

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

24 Responses to “TMT: The Whole Bloody Affair”

    • le0pard13

      Well, the “beautiful and brilliant Sofie” loses more parts ;-). It is to an extend like what Max mentions below. Certainly, the cliff-hanger (and reveal) goes missing. But, QT’s blending of the halves, as he originally intended, makes for a more poignant story I think. Thanks, Julian.

      Reply
    • le0pard13

      True. The only thing I’d add, within the context of the slightly altered story, is that the impact of Bride finding her daughter alive in the second half (no surprise reveal from Bill in the first half) is more emotional. I thought it enriched the presentation. Thanks very much, Max.

      Reply
  1. Eric

    That’s so awesome that you were able to see this. I wonder what’s taking so long for this to be released on DVD/Blu-ray…

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Y’know, reaching the one-year mark of this I’m wondering the same thing. I’m sure part of this was to convince the studio that putting in the time to re-master the film for a new Blu-ray (they could do a DVD, but it’d take 2 discs) is well worth the effort and that’s there is a market for it among his fans. It’s also been rumored that QT would like to create a new anime segment (many think it’d be for the sequence where Gogo’s sibling comes seeking revenge on the Bride) to be worked into the second half of ‘The Whole Bloody Affair’. In the meanwhile, I certainly wouldn’t mind if he scheduled another showing for us around here ;-). Thanks, Eric.

      Reply
  2. Castor

    I’d love for my theater to run Kill Bill v1 and v2 back to back. That would be an awesome cinematic experience!

    Reply
  3. Rachel

    You are suck a lucky duck with the awesome re-releases and venues you get to try out!! In this case, I’m actually more jealous of your experience than of the movie itself. I’ve never been a huge QT fan but Kill Bill seemed like a lay-up for something I’d like and it didn’t turn out that way. The scientist in me really balked at a few things (stupid thing to apply to what amounts to a hyper-violent fantasy film, I know!) but as a movie goer I thought Vol. 1 started a story that mildly interested me but the Vol. 2 conclusion totally lost me. I wonder if the re-working of The Whole Bloody Affair would change my mind about the story.

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      KILL BILL:TWBA essentially is the same story but with a slight emphasis change, emotionally, for The Bride. As you say, it is a pure hyper-violent fantasy film, but one few have ever topped (at least for me). And I’m lucky, alright. Many thanks, Rachel.

      Reply
  4. rtm

    Though I’m not exactly a QT fan, I quite enjoyed this one actually, but haven’t seen the second one yet. Not sure I can handle it on the big screen though :) Another great TMT, Michael and that poster is awesome!

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      KB Vol. 1 has QT’s love of the Japan’s samurai film and Vol. 2′s emphasis is the revenge aspects of the Kung Fu and the Spaghetti western. I definitely recommend both, Ruth. Thank you very much.

      p.s., isn’t that an awesome poster?!?

      Reply
  5. Christine McCann

    Color me jealous! I would have loved to catch that version! (I think even Brian would have braved a packed theatre for that.)

    I think the only film I ever saw that required an intermission was GHANDI.

    You lucky dog..er, I mean le0pard, you! :)

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      This one is worth seeing, definitely; crowds and all. In the meantime, while we wait for the Blu-ray, if it ever comes back, I’ll give you two the heads-up, Christine. Many thanks :-).

      Reply
  6. filmplicity

    I didn’t know there was a combined version of Kill Bill. I think I prefer the first one but either way I’m not in a hurry to see either again. I’ll have to do my own little TMT whenever I get round to it p.s. I still haven’t forgotten about Red Sun, sorry :-)

    Reply
  7. filmplicity

    Like Ruth, I’m not a huge QT fan either but I like Kill Bill 1. I like the idea of watching them back to back like that. I don’t mind intermissions as long as there is a good supply of snacks and easy access the John (as you yanks would say ;-)

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      I truly wish more fans of his get a chance with this mind-blowing and epic film, T. Here’s hoping someone releases this version of the tale to disc, and soon. Thanks, my friend.

      Reply

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