Murderous Mothers, Snaky Women, Figurations of the Goddess: Quentin Tarantino Meets Marija Gimbutas

Prof. Lynda Zwinger
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This paper explores the archaeomythological underpinnings of a certain representation of the feminine, exemplified by The Bride in Quentin Tarantino's two _Kill Bill_ films. The focus is on the juxtaposition of the feminine and animal, the maternal and the murderous, the physical and the transcendent. The visual tropes that characterize The Bride (aka Beatrix Kiddo) strongly echo the artifacts and mythologies of the Goddess discovered and discussed by the immensely important work of archeologist Marija Gimbutas. Using these figurations as 'text', we can begin to discuss the cultural construction of bodies, genders, sexualities, and familial positions and narratives.

This discussion touches upon culturally embedded ambivalence about feminine beauty and its consequent effect on men as found in 'precursor' texts. This opens the discussion for an extended examination of the mutual construction of subjectivity and a certain monstrous femininity in recent popular film, with a focus on the 'Kill Bill' films and brief excursions (time permitting) to other films (King Kong, The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, the Alien series, G. I. Jane), as well as media construction/narrativization of female soldiers in Iraq.

Keywords: Film, Feminine, Kill Bill, Tarantino, Representation, Feminist, Bodies, Goddess, Marija Gimbutas, Sexuality, Violence
Stream: Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Lynda Zwinger

Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Arizona

Ref: A06P0002