In the movie Kill Bill, why does the colour keep shifting from standard colour to black and white? Is it to keep the gross levels down?
Kill Bill is basically a homage to dozens of films from the past, which were generally shown in black & white on television to cut down on the gore. The same happened to Kill Bill to be able to achieve an R rating and be released in theatres.
IMDB's trivia section confirms this:
The black and white photography is ultimately an homage to '70s and '80s US television airings of kung fu movies. Black and white (as well as black and red), were used to conceal the shedding of blood from television censors. Originally, no black and white photographic effects were going to be used (and in the Japanese version none are), but the MPAA demanded measures be taken to tone the scene down.
No, I don't think it got anything to do with "gross level" - maybe the blood is not red, but body parts still fly around.
My own common sense tells me the goal of this technique is to put more focus on those scenes, draw the viewer attention.
This way those scenes are also much more "artistic" and give the movie whole new layer.. many times those things make the difference between "just another movie" and a cult movie.
Couldn't find any official explanation, so I stick with the above two reasons.
in Japan it is in color but no English subtitles for the extensive Japanese, in the film. It is way better in color. If i guess at why B&W here in the states it is because of the gore factor it is not typical Hollywood but realistic or not it is much more hardcore and the B&W tone it down about 1000% if you are a fan of the movie you owe it to yourself to see the Japanese version