Here’s one of those difficult to find pieces of film history that was once a sort of holy grail but is now wonderfully easy to see thanks to the internet. Before Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino spent a couple years working piecemeal on his first film, called My Best Friend’s Birthday. Some of the 16mm film was reportedly destroyed, so all that remains is thirty-six minutes. But that chunk is now available on YouTube, and you can watch it below.

Really, this is a must-see for any Tarantino fan, because it has all the elements of what has become his signature style. He co-wrote the film with friend Craig Hamann (who really began the project — QT came on later) but all the pop-culture references, long dialogue passages and even signature elements of his own fictional universe are there. K-BILLY, the radio station heard in Reservoir Dogs, is a part of the film, and there are links to True Romance, too. It’s a rough, raw piece of work, but there’s a very obvious line that connects this film and everything else the director has done. It’s fascinating and kind of wonderful to see.

Gotta love YouTube for stuff like this. My Best Friend’s Birthday is something I’d once trawled for at bootleg tables during comic conventions in the ’90s, but I never even thought to look for it on YouTube.

[via Movieline]

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