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Anders Thomas Jensen
Jens Jørn Spottag,
Today, Quentin Tarantino's first film "My Best Friend's Birthday" might be silly or very poor in quality to some, but to others it is a perfect example of seeing how a great director was born, with a limited budget trying to make a small film without taking film lessons in film schools elsewhere. For the fans, this is a great chance to see a few things that makes us love Quentin and his films and that is his early uses of film references; pop culture references; those long and interesting, clever and funny dialogs.
In its half hour more or less, unfinished or with the ending lost somewhere, "My Best Friend's Birthday" delivers short situations with a bunch of characters talking randomly but very funny stuff or getting themselves involved in some hilarious situation. But all of these small sketches takes them to Mickey's birthday (played by Craig Hamann, one of the writers of the film), friend of Clarence (Tarantino, playing the role later given to Christian Slater in "True Romance"), a friendlier and funny DJ of a local station, who holds our attention with his movie references like "Jailhouse Rock", "The Countess of Hong Kong" and "Dressed to Kill", and his ideas on Elvis, music and other things.
Right there, in 1987, and you already have the Tarantino as his usual routine as we all know: fast talker, the way he uses the references and the music in the background (classic rock), and all. It's more like a comedy and the only instance of violence comes with a hilarious moment of Mickey fighting kung fu with a pimp and that's it. The rest of it is dialog after dialog and brilliant ones (my favorite parts are the "garlick gum" that made a guy cursing all the time and Quentin having a cocaine bad trip).
Even without the ending and with a terrible amateurish cinematography, this is a good example of how someone can start in the film business but with very few at hand. During interviews about the amazing "Inglorious Basterds" Quentin said this: "Some people will like "Inglorious Basterds". Some people won't. But it was made with all the passion I've made everything with - except maybe my first film, which was probably made with more passion than I'll ever have again." Even if now, he disowns this little gem, barely talks about it, this statement, made when he already had given us classics like "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction", is a proof that even this almost unseen short film has a special place in Quentin's heart, something he'll never forget. And it was his first real experience behind a camera dealing and learning with all the pros and cons about what making a film really is.
I enjoyed it and recommend. It's hilarious, funny, entertaining, very simple and with incredible moments. We can only look back and see how Tarantino got better and better with the time. 10/10
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