Sunday, April 12, 2015

A to Z Challenge post - K is for Kylin and Kill Bill (volumes 1 & 2)

Today’s post is coming in a little early (unusual for me); it is supposed to be Monday’s post, but I need to post it on Sunday because I will be down in Portland with Mom and without internet access. So, here we go:

Today’s “K” word is: kylin. This is actually kind of cool; I’m kind of liking it for a tattoo. Maybe. What is it? It is a Chinese mythical animal; a kind of unicorn with the tail of an ox and the legs and body of a deer, with horns on the head and scales all over the body. The kylin is said to be an animal of longevity that could live for 2,000 years. It is also believed that the beast could spit fire and roar like thunder. The Kylin is one of the "Four Divine Creatures", the other three being the phoenix, the turtle and the dragon. Of all animals, the kylin was ranked second only to the dragon.

In ancient Chinese culture, there are lots of legends about the relations between kylin and emperors. It was widely believed that the animal would convey the will of Heaven and therefore dictate the rise and fall of a dynasty. In folk culture, common people regard the animal as a divine creature bringing children to them. It is said that Confucius was brought by a kylin. The animal is also used to describe a brilliantly talented person.

In traditional Chinese folk customs, various ornaments bearing kylin images are made and given to children as a talisman that could bring luck and protection. The images of the kylin can still be found today. The most famous ones are the guarding creatures in the imperial mausoleums of the Southern Dynasty located in Qixia Town of Nanjing.

I am decorating my room in an Asian style, and I may have to order this print to go with some of the other cool Asian art that is waiting to grace my walls:

Chinese Flying Kylin Catching The Sun

Hmmmm...or maybe not.

In keeping with the Asian theme, my "K" film selections are Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2. Now, please bear in mind that these are Quentin Tarantino films, so we probably don't need to discuss how violent and bloody they are. If you are unfamiliar with his films, you may want to stay that way; but if you don't mind your films being somewhat gruesome and at times almost hilariously bloody, then you may enjoy them as I do. Also, this is Tarantino's first full length film to use the "F-word" less than 100 times; it is only used 17 times. Just so ya know.

Volume 1 stars Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus, Chiaki Kuriyama, Shin'ichi Chiba, and Michael Parks. Story line: The Bride awakens from a four year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins that betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Michael Madsen and David Carradine are actually barely in this movie; in fact, you only hear Carradine and never actually see him. Madsen only has a few lines, and then they are right at the end of the movie. They have much larger parts in Volume 2.

Volume 2 has a lot of the same actors, some are now background and some that were background in Volume 1 are now main characters. Story line: The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle; and it's all leading up to the ultimate confrontation with Bill, the Bride's former master and the man who ordered her execution.

I don't think this one is quite as bloody, but it is still pretty violent. Both movies (which was actually supposed to just be one but it would have been waaaaaaaay too long) are inspired by the 1970's styles of martial arts films. I think Tarantino totally nailed that. They are action packed, the amount of violence is almost silly, the soundtracks completely evoke that 1970's cinema aura, and are pretty much unrealistic in what really happens in the real world. But I think that is kind of what makes them fun to watch! If you are interested in learning about how much Tarantino weaves all sorts of stuff into his films, check out the trivia section of these two movies on IMDb; but do it AFTER you watch the films since there can be some spoilers. Then, once you know what to look for, you can enjoy the movies again!

Well, that's it for today! Thanks for stopping by, and again, thank you so much for all the nice comments. They truly make my day!


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