For years, Quentin Tarantino’s My Best Friend’s Birthday has been a long lost piece of one of modern cinema’s greatest directors. Now, thanks to the people at MovieLine discovering it, you can watch a piece of it.
For those not in the know, My Best Friend’s Birthday is fabled as the lost Tarantino movie. The film, shot over a period of four years, was Tarantino’s training ground for his later crime opuses, and features future Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary. According to legend (i.e. IMDb), a majority of the film was lost in a fire, leaving only 36 minutes left of Tarantino’s freshman effort. The remaining footage has been screened sparingly, but some lucky fool on YouTube got his hands on a grimy copy of the film and uploaded what’s available about a year ago. But now it’s a story!
Having just watched it, it’s a great piece of history, but a terrible piece of filmmaking. Tarantino’s more than made up for it since then. Birthday comes off as being Tarantino-esque instead of Tarantino, consisting of long diatribes, plotless events, bad acting, and some really terrible dialogue (“He’s a real bad motorscooter”). Granted, there is only half a movie here, but I was expecting a little bit more focus here. The plus here is that it should give hope for every single person that’s ever made anything bad. Tarantino followed this up with Reservoir Dogs, so all of us struggling filmmakers have no reason to not be good.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch and revel.