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September 14, 2017

"My Best Friend's Birthday" — shot 30 years ago, it marked Quentin Tarantino's film debut


What remains of his 1987 movie.

From Open Culture:


Fewer than 40 minutes survive of "My Best Friend's Birthday," the first film directed by Quentin Tarantino. But its brief screen time runs dense with references to Elvis Presley, the Partridge Family, "A Countess from Hong Kong," Rod Stewart, "Deputy Dawg," and "That Darn Cat." In between the rapid-fire gab sessions, we also witness a slapstick kung-fu battle and even hear a bit of repurposed early-seventies pop music. Though a fire claimed the second half of what was presumably the picture's only print, the first half... leaves no doubt as to the identity of its auteur. In some sense, it bears an even deeper imprint of Tarantino's personality than his subsequent films, since he stars in it as well. To behold the early-twentysomething Tarantino portraying the good-hearted and aggressively enthusiastic but jittery and distractible rockabilly DJ Clarence Poole is to behold the Quentin Tarantino public persona in an embryonic form, a distilled form — or both.

The plot of "My Best Friend's Birthday," such as it remains, finds Clarence looking to give a birthday present to his pal Mickey, who's been freshly — and harshly — re-rejected by an ex-girlfriend. None of Clarence's ideas — not the cake, not the call girl — work out quite as intended, though now I suppose we'll never know how wrong things really went, or if they managed to right themselves in the end. Yet the truncated version of the film feels somehow more fascinating — more satisfying, even — than any completion I can imagine. Both the movie's hopelessly unresolved story and its dreamy visual quality, courtesy of a beaten-up 16-millimeter print transferred onto what looks like a VHS tape, turn it into the most experimental art Tarantino has ever created. It casts adrift even the director's hardiest fans in a stark southern California reality: long-running arguments about meaningless culture, ceaseless elevation of the disposable, and a vague, looming, but nevertheless constant sense of threat. And amid all this, it can still serve up a line like, "What made you interested in tackling prostitution as a career goal?"

September 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

All the buildings in the Netherlands, shaded according to year of construction

Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 1.53.37 PM

As of 2015 there were 9,866,539 and they're all here.

Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 1.48.03 PM

Prints available here.

September 14, 2017 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Basso Coaster


From the website:


Most wine and champagne bottles have an indentation on the bottom, known as a punt or kick-up.

The design of this coaster takes advantage of this property with its raised center.

This lets the bottle instantly self-center when placed on the coaster, without the need for alignment.

Created by Claessen Koivisto Rune, a Swedish multidisciplinary design studio based in Stockholm.

Polished solid brass with a felted underside.

Made in Sweden by Skultuna.




$110 (Veuve Clicquot [my favorite champagne, FWIW] not included).

September 14, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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