Finally saw Quark Henares' "Keka."

I can see where Quark borrows--basically, Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black" with maybe a little of Brocka's "Angela Markado" (which takes off from Truffaut), some heavy influencing by Mike de Leon's "Batch '81" and, I'm guessing here, deadpan black-comedy tone via the Coen Brothers. I wouldn't know where "Kill Bill" comes in--I'd say Quark and Tarantino just mined parallel sources.

Nothing wrong with borrowing; as a matter of fact, Tarantino's bag is bigger and more varied. But there's borrowing extensively and there's making a film; one requires knowledge, the other talent. Tarantino's knowledge may be far bigger, but I'd give Quark, smaller budget and all, the credit for being the better talent, somewhat. He knows how to cut and frame his images, he knows how to put together his shots and make them flow. It's not just a style cobbled together by an expert cinematographer and a good editor; it's a look that's an extension of the filmmaker's sensibility. Well, I suppose Tarantino has an edge on scriptwriting--but I'd say that's an extension of his grab-bag knowledge.

But Quark's young--damned young. He'll grow, for sure.

Some flaws: the Bhong character feels more like a plot function, and his and Katya's conversations seem unbelievable, talking so breezily about murder and all; I thought it would have streamlined matters better if she went at it alone, and the relationship be mainly a triangle betwee murderer, cop, and intended victim.

Also, the psychology isn't deep; this isn't much of a character study of a young girl turned vengeful psychotic. The motive felt weak--Angela Markado had a far better reason for cracking up and killing (so did The Bride in "Kill Bill," come to think of it). There are some plot loopholes--the cop when he realizes the answer shouldn't have gone elsewhere to confirm his suspicions, he should have gone straight to the girl. I'd like the confrontation between girl and final victim to have been more physically inventive. (con't)

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