The rogue New York Underground Film Festival had a change of heart last week, after this column detailed plans to screen Mike White’s short “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling,” a scene-by-scene comparison between Quentin Tarantino’s Miramax pic “Reservoir Dogs” and Ringo Lam’s “City on Fire.” A press screening set for last Tuesday drew a swarm of local and national press who were disappointed to hear at the last minute that the short had been pulled. Rumors swirled that the organizers were leaned on heavily by Miramax and others who felt Tarantino was being unfairly ridiculed.
Fest organizer Todd Phillips denied this, joking, “There’s no truth to the rumor that Harvey Weinstein sent two dead fish to the office.” Phillips said the film will play in the festival, but explained that response to last week’s story threatened to overshadow the lineup of renegade features.
He also felt the story wrongly implied malice toward a fellow indie filmmaker. “Our purpose is not to bash successful independent filmmakers,” said Phillips. Of course, that sentiment doesn’t exactly come across in the description of the film in the Underground catalog, which promises, “This vicious assault on Quentin Tarantino indicts the ‘Pulp Fiction’ director of blatant cinematic plagiarism.”