Monday, October 26, 2009
The Basterds, Quentin and Me
Last Friday night, the New Beverly Cinema in West Los Angeles held a midnight screening of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Having already seen and reviewed the film, I still wanted to go see the midnight show. The New Bev runs double features every day of the week and you can catch some really great movies there for seven bucks. But, they also have special events as well and being so close to Hollywood allows them to host special guests. I've seen Last Picture Show and What's Up Doc? with Peter Bogdanovich in attendance and last Halloween I saw Shaun of the Dead with Edgar Wright and John Landis judging the costume contest. Living about forty minutes away from Los Angeles has it's advantages, but it's not always easy to get someone to go with me, particularly since on an evening like Friday, we didn't get home until four in the morning.
So, I decided to tell a little, tiny white lie.
Mike (on the phone)
Friend (also on the phone)
Hey man, what's going on?
There's a midnight screening of the Basterds at the New Bev tonight.
That sounds cool.
Yea, and I heard Quentin is going to be there too.
That's what I heard, man.
Would anybody really be upset if he weren't there? Probably not, but as it turned out, it didn't matter. We bought our tickets, received a free copy of the soundtrack and sat in our seats. I decided to go and get a soda and as I walked back up towards the lobby, I saw Quentin Tarantino standing by the wall. He saw me headed towards him and in an attempt to remain incognito, turned to face the wall, then turned around again, made eye contact and said. "Hey." I smiled, stuck my hand out and as he shook it, I said, "Big fan, man." He nodded and said thanks. I turned around in the lobby and went back to my seat, telling my friends that not only was the line too long for a Coke, but Quentin was here and I think he was almost ready to intro the movie. Which he did and as we applauded for him, I told my friends I couldn't believe he was actually here. But, you knew he was coming, they replied. No, I said, I made that shit up so you would come along.
Kinda blurry, I know, but QT doesn't like to stand still.
Quentin thanked us for coming out and told us he had cut together some trailers from some WWII "guys on a mission" movies and would we mind checking them out before the Basterds? The audience clapped loudly in approval and then we sat through roughly twenty five minutes of trailers. Somewhere between Kelly's Heroes and Hornet's Nest, I leaned over to my friend and wondered aloud if anyone told Quentin that his movie was over three hours long since it was already twelve thirty in the morning. However, his movie held up extremely well for not having seen it in two months time and moves up on my list of top films of the year. Also, as we left, everyone got a free poster too.
Good times, good friends, good movies. What more can a guy ask for?