Quentin Tarantino, the enfant terrible of underground filmmakers, will be a focal point of the upcoming New York Underground Film Festival. Unfortunately, it promises to be more of a Quentin bash-fest than a homage.
Tarantino’s heard charges before that his electrifying debut film, “Reservoir Dogs,” borrowed from the Ringo Lam-directed Hong Kong shoot-’em-up “City on Fire.” A 12-minute short film featured in the March 22-26 fest at t he Anthology Film Archives called “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling” does scene-by-scene comparisons of Tarantino’s pic with its Hong Kong predecessor.
The film’s by Mike White, who’s a film student and Blockbuster Video clerk from Michigan who said he made the movie because he was shocked at the similarities, and felt Tarantino never properly owned up.
Though White described “City on Fire” as “awful,” he feels there are enough similarities to “Dogs” in the film’s last 20 minutes to fill a reservoir.
“There’s no way you could look at my film and tell me Tarantino had no idea what he was doing,” said White. He has no idea if his short violates copyright, but reasoned: “After all he took from the Hong Kong film, who is he to point fingers at me for taking from him?”
Other film buffs say the prime similarity is the final scene, in which the characters draw guns on each other.
One alarmed Quentin supporter added that, legalities aside, the short film gives short shrift to Tarantino, since the movie buff has openly acknowledged “Dogs” was inspired by that film, as well as “The Killing” and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.”