Absorbing and sweet—inspires a second (or third, or tenth) viewing of Kill Bill.




Kung Fu Caine’s Kill Bill comeback.

Cult actor/icon Carradine’s diary, kept during the making of the Quentin Tarantino magnum opus Kill Bill (split by the studio into two “volumes”), is by turns engrossing, funny and surprisingly moving as it records both the impossibly difficult realities of personal-yet-epic filmmaking and an under-appreciated talent’s return to professional grace. Carradine had languished for years in marginal action pictures until Tarantino’s first choice for the eponymous role in his kung fu/western/exploitation extravaganza dropped out of the project. That actor was Warren Beatty, who suggested Carradine for the part after Tarantino had referred to the ’70s star for the umpteenth time. In an easy, unpretentious prose style that is prone in equal measure to mystical rambling and rueful self-deprecation, Carradine describes arduous martial-arts training sessions (in which he clashed with preeminent fight choreographer Yuen Wu Ping); his admiration for the performances of his co-stars (Uma Thurman and Michael Madsen receive particular praise); the compounded complexities of international moviemaking; and the boundless energy and invention of writer/director Tarantino. The emotional power here emanates from Carradine’s joy in finally being given the opportunity to work at the top of his abilities with quality collaborators in an atmosphere of mutual respect. If Kill Bill did not result in a Travolta-scale career rehabilitation for Carradine, it did give him the role of a lifetime, and the uncertainty he expresses in the diary’s early sections is rendered charmingly poignant by his ultimately brilliant performance. (A quibble: Carradine inexplicably gives far too much space to semi-literate Internet movie maven Harry Knowles’s set reports—Carradine himself seems annoyed by Knowles, so the inclusion of so much of his embarrassing gush is doubly puzzling. Maybe it’s a kung fu thing.)

Absorbing and sweet—inspires a second (or third, or tenth) viewing of Kill Bill.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-082346-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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