From Stuntwoman to Star, Zoë Bell in 5 Films

Zoë Bell, the international action icon discovered by Quentin Tarantino, will appear at Museum of the Moving Image with a preview screening of her new film ‘Raze’, on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. In this exciting and relentlessly hyperviolent action film directed by Josh Waller, she stars as a woman forced to do battle with other innocents for the amusement of unseen spectators. Leading in to this special screening and appearance, the Museum will also present a retrospective of her work—chronicling her transformation from stuntwoman to star—in the films Whip It, Death Proof, and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 on January 4 and 5.

A New Zealand native, Zoë Bell started out as a gymnast and martial artist who worked as Lucy Lawless’s stunt double in Xena: Warrior Princess. She was featured in the 2004 documentary ‘Double Dare’, about stuntwomen, a film that drew the attention of Quentin Tarantino and helped her land a role as Uma Thurman’s stunt double in the ‘Kill Bill’ films. Working on these films, Bell’s days consisted of sword fights, body burns, karate, and all-out pugilism. She quickly became one of the most sought after stunt performers in Hollywood (appearing in ‘Catwoman’, ‘Poseidon’, and ‘The Kingdom’). With Tarantino’s 2007 film, ‘Death Proof’, Bell played herself, in a role that showcased her amazing physicality and her instinctive acting ability. Drew Barrymore, in her 2009 directorial debut ‘Whip It’, likewise tapped Bell to play a veteran roller derby player who mentors newcomer Ellen Page.

Most screenings will take place in the Bartos Screening Room, with the preview screening of Raze to be shown in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater, at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria. 

Saturday, January 4th, 1:30 P.M.
Dir. Drew Barrymore. 2009, 111 mins. 35mm.
With Ellen Page, Jimmy Fallon, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Zoë Bell.
Drew Barrymore’s exciting directorial debut assembles a fierce all-girl dream team making a rowdy foray into the world of roller derby. Zoë Bell gets to show off her acting chops and her new-found roller skating skills as teammate Bloody Holly. Roger Ebert praised Whip It as “an unreasonably entertaining movie, causing you perhaps to revise your notions about women’s roller derby, assuming you have any.”

Saturday, January 4th, 4:00 P.M.
Dir. Quentin Tarantino. 2007, 113 mins. Digital projection.
With Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Eli Roth.
Quentin Tarantino dives deeply into his pulp-genre roots with Death Proof, a rip-roaring slasher flick that harkens back to the drive-in exploitation films of the 1950s. When a trio of Austin’s foxiest femmes trot out at dusk for a fun night on the town, they fall victim to a weathered stuntman who uses his “death proof” muscle cars to execute his murderous plans. In her biggest role to date, Zoë Bell stars as herself, opposite Kurt Russell.

Friday, January 5th, 2:30 P.M.
Dir. Quentin Tarantino. 2003, 111 mins. Digital projection.
With Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Chiaki Kuriyama, Shin’ichi Chiba (a.k.a. Sonny Chiba).
A thrilling pastiche of kung fu, yakuza, spaghetti westerns, and anime, with homages to the Shaw Brothers, Sonny Chiba, and Bruce Lee, Kill Bill is one of the most audacious odes to action cinema to ever come out of Hollywood. Emerging from a coma after an assassination attempt and massacre on her wedding day, The Bride—a fearless ex-assassin wielding a katana—embarks on an action-packed journey that takes her to Okinawa, Japan, to seek her vengeance.

Friday, January 5th, 5:30 P.M.
Dir. Quentin Tarantino. 2004, 137 mins. Digital projection.
With Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Chiaki Kuriyama.
Kill Bill: Vol 2 follows The Bride (with Zoë Bell back as stunt double) while she continues to pursue her vengeance against her ex-boss, Bill. This time, she takes aim at Bill’s younger brother Budd and Elle Driver—the only survivors from the squad of assassins who betrayed her four years earlier—before the ultimate face-off with Bill himself.

RAZE w/ Zoë Bell in person
Tuesday, January 7th, 7:00 PM
Dir. Josh C. Waller. 2013, 87 mins. DCP.
With Zoë Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thoms, Sherilyn Fenn, Doug Jones.
In her biggest role to date, Zoë Bell headlines a sly subversion of the women-in-prison genre. When Sabrina is mysteriously abducted, she finds herself in an underground lair, forced to do battle with other innocents for the amusement of unseen spectators. After showcasing her amazing physicality and tough-as-nails persona in films and television, Bell finally has a film to call her own, filled with bloodshed and mayhem of the highest order. With a cast of who’s-who genre favorites, including Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) and a rare performance sans prosthetics from Guillermo del Toro mainstay Doug Jones (HellboyPan’s Labyrinth), Raze announces its extreme intentions from the very first frame.
This special screening is presented as part of Fist and Sword, the Museum’s monthly martial arts and action showcase, organized by Warrington Hudlin.

Museum of Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street)
Astoria, Queens


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