From the Introduction: The opening credit sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 features the Shaw Brothers logo—the letters “SB” encased within a crest symbol not unlike the one used by Warner Bros.—emblazoned across a multicolored frosted-glass backdrop, accompanied by the words “Shaw Scope” and a cheesy trumpet fanfare. For many mainstream American moviegoers, this is probably their first encounter with this iconic symbol from Hong Kong’s cinematic history. But for Hong Kong and diasporic Chinese audiences (in countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore; and in Chinatowns across North America and Europe), this highly familiar branding sequence heralds the movie pleasures ethnic Chinese audiences have come to expect and love from the Shaw films produced during the late-1950s to the mid-1980s in Hong Kong. Tarantino’s culturally and temporally incongruent grafting of the sequence into his own film not only registers his indebtedness to and deployment of Shaw cinema in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, but it also articulates a consciousness of Chinese-language cinemas’ current popularity and cultural cachet in Hollywood, which the recent global retrospective revival of the Shaw Brothers filmic archive also taps into.
Mediascape: UCLA’s Journal of Cinema and Media Studies
Shaw Brothers cinema; Rolling Thunder Pictures
Place of Publication
University of California, Los Angeles
Chan, Kenneth, "Shaw-Tarantino Connection: Rolling Thunder Pictures and the Exploitation Aesthetics of Cool" (2008). Department of English Faculty Publications. Paper 1.