Have you ever seen the first film by Quentin Tarantino? No, not 'Reservoir Dogs.' Even before that breakthrough feature, he co-wrote and directed a black and white film called 'My Best Friend's Birthday.' You probably already know this, actually, thanks to online filmography resources like IMDb. And maybe you've even seen it courtesy of online video platforms like YouTube. Thanks to the Internet, once scarce films like this and Todd Haynes' 'Superstar,' previously available on rarely located VHS bootlegs, have thankfully found a lot more exposure.
But unfortunately none of us will ever see the full 70-minute version that was lost in a fire, and so we must settle for only half of what we may think of as Tarantino's "thesis film" (he goes so far as to call it his "film school"). His main collaborators were conceiver and co-writer Craig Hamann, who went on to make a 1998 crime film called 'Boogie Boy,' and cinematographer Roger Avary, who would go on to a fairly successful filmmaking career and an Oscar win alongside Tarantino for co-writing 'Pulp Fiction.'
Watch the 36-minute version of 'My Best Friend's Birthday' after the jump. Fans of Tarantino will notice that his monologue about Elvis was recycled for the beginning of 'True Romance.'