That’s another great thing about Tarantino movies – they’re best enjoyed in the presence of other people. It’s actually endearing- not annoying- hearing people recite the Eziekel passage along with Jules Winnfield. It’s great watching people squirm and turn their heads as Mr. Blonde cuts Marvin Nash’s ear off. One of the fondest memories I have of watching Kill Bill is seeing Ramon turn to me and say “I fucking love this” as The Bride slams the door repeatedly on Buck’s head. Death Proof’s premiere in Manila, which, according to Tarantino is his favorite screening of the film, had a number of cool moments; number one of which was seeing Tikoy Aguiluz throw his fists in the air as if he’d just scored a homerun.
It’s 3AM and I’m going home from a Mag:Net High Street’s “God Knows Hudas Not Pay” gig. I’m inside my village already when I get a text from Ryan Eigenmann (from “The Eigenmennz” as pinggoy funnily puts it)
From: Ryan Eigenmann
“Oh fuck,” I say.
“Holy shit,” Essa says, “I thought he was in Boracay?”
“I guess he’s not,” I say.
“Would this be pathetic? To turn around and head back to the Fort to hang out with Quentin Tarantino?”
“But it’s not stalking.”
“Yeah. You see. That’s a good point. It’s not as if we’re stalking the guy. We got invited to go to Jaipur. Why not?”
“That’s a good rebuttal. Ikaw. It’s up to you.”
I then arrive at the ultimate criteria I always have for decision making : “this may seem foolhardy, yes, but would it be something I’d blog about?”
In the blink of an eye I make that 180 degree turn.
When we get there Tarantino is sprawled out on the couch, grooving to the hip hop music and talking with Ryan and his lovely girlfriend Cathy. He sees me and says the most surreal thing –
“HEY MAN! I saw your Trailer!”
“Oh. You did?”
“For which film?”
“For the movie with Wendell, man!”
“No, no, no. Not Katya (for some reason he kept calling ‘Keka’ ‘Katya’). The one with the girl with the glasses!”
“Oh. Gamitan. “
“Now, you see, you’ve got me intrigued! I have a little crush on the girl with the glasses. I’m worried about her fate now. Because she’s gonna get used, right? Does she get her revenge?”
“I can’t tell you that."
He laughs. “That’s the correct answer, Quark” (OHMIGODHEKNOWSMYFUCKINGNAME)
“Don’t watch that man! “ by this time I had given him the other films, you see “Just watch Keka.”
“I can’t just watch Katya! I’m gonna watch this one first. I’m gonna have a fucking QUARKFEST MARATHON, OK? You gotta guide me through this! I kind of have it planned out. I’ll watch the girl with the glasses movie, starring Wendell. Now, Wendell will be my guide, and he will take me to Katya
“But you gotta promise me that you’ll watch Keka, ok? Even if you end up not liking Gamitan.”
“No no no no no. I can’t promise you I’ll watch Katya. If you hate Reservoir Dogs you come into Pulp Fiction in a bad mood! But let’s say I do watch Katya. Where do I go from there?”
“The horror film. But that’s a co-direction.”
“Ok. And then the superhero movie?”
“No. Don’t watch that. Maybe you can use it as a coaster.”
The whole fricking time I’m just sitting there trying to breathe in all the surrealism. The phrase “Quarkfest Marathon” just keeps playing over and over in my head. See?
The blur is Quentin Tarantino. The salivating retard is me.
The rest of the night is equally surreal. Suddenly there’s a line of people waiting to talk to Tarantino in the middle of people bumping and grinding. One of those people is a British English teacher at I.S. and out of nowhere her and Tarantino are having a discourse on English education in this country. I see my cousin, and she introduces me to her girlfriend. That was not a typo. We move to Cuisine and everything turns into an episode of "Entourage". Manolet Dario buys us drinks. Moet is popped and poured. Our table suddenly has its own waiter courtesy of Tim Yap, who brings us to the VVIP section of Embassy (yeah I know all of you know where that is it’s just my first time in ‘Emba’ and i kind of find it funny that there is such a thing as VVIP that’s all). For some reason we end up waiting for Tarantino and the lovely Tiffany Limos of Ken Park fame outside at 6am, our only source of entertainment being the new “Where’s Waldo” book where there’s like a whole fucking Waldo family already. We run into foreign Greenpeacers looking to get drunk and we end up bringing Tarantino and Tiffany home. A drunken Marie reveals my stash of pirated dvds in the car and Tarantino gives us trivia tidbits about how Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul is a remake of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows. THIS SHIT YOU CAN’T MAKE UP.
Back to 1995. Diego and Myrene had both just seen a premiere of Pulp Fiction, and they loved it. So, for the two weeks after that, this is what it was like in the NU Booth...
DIEGO: YOU HEAR ME TALKIN HERE BILLY BOY?! I AIN’T THROUGH WITH YOU BY A DAMN SIGHT! I’M GONNA GET MEDIEVAL ON YOUR ASS!
DIEGO: Five long years, I had that uncomfortable piece of metal. Up my ass.
MYRENE: Hey, did you see a sign saying “dead nigger storage” in my front yard?
ME: You know why you didn’t see that sign?
EVERYONE: BECAUSE STORING DEAD NIGGERS AIN’T MY FUCKIN BUSINESS, THAT’S WHY! HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA
We quote Quentin, and we quote Quentin, and we quote Quentin. 7 years down the line Diego and I are doing our radio show “Let’s Fun”, and what happens?
ME: AGHHHH! I’m dyin, man! I’m dyin!
DIEGO: Excuse me, are you a doctor? I didn’t know you know medicine! You’re gonna be ok! Say it! You’re gonna be oK!
ME: I’m gonna – aggckkkkkkk—
We quote Quentin.
Two days after Jaipur madness (actually, the next day) Tiffany kindly invites me to have dinner with them at Cesar Montano’s restaurant. Midway through her invitation she says, “oh. Wait a second.” Someone else then goes on the phone.
“Hey Quark. It’s Quentin.”
“Oh, hi Quentin!”
“Hey I just saw Keka.”
“Really? Wow. Cool man.”
“I loved it!”
“OH MY GOD! REALLY?”
“Yeah, I totally did! You had me around the palm of your hand, man! I didn’t know what was going to happen next!”
“Oh. Wow. Thank you so much – “
“And I love your ending! You know – ‘it doesn’t matter if I get caught, or if we escape. It’s the end of the movie, ok?’ I love that! And Ryan is SUCH A FUCKING ASSHOLE in the film. I mean, the only complaint I have is that Bobby Domingo didn’t get killed in that movie! He’s such a jerk!”
“Haha. Yeah he—“
“ ‘Oh excuuse me! I’m just your star! If you want your work to be shit, fine!’ Hahaha, I love his lines! He’s such a great character. You really wanna kill him!”
“I know, it’s –“
“And my favorite scene is the one where she’s describing what she does. ‘Oh yes, we at Tech Support are assholes. And that’s because we ARE smarter than you.’ Did you write the subtitles?”
“Yes. Yes i di—“
“I knew it, man! You had to have written it. There was a sort of rhythm or meter to those subtitles. You did really good, Quark.”
There are other aspects to this story; how he had me invite Katya to the dinner so he could meet her and talk about the film with her (“i’m a big fan, and you need that in Manila because it’s so hot—a big fan! Pa-dum-tss!”), how he called Ryan and was repeating Ryan’s lines to him over the phone, how TJ Trinidad silently made his way to meet Tarantino because he was blown off as a fan the first time (“Dude! He called me a great character actor!”), how at one point he was singing the Keka theme song (except in English).
However, all of that is a blur now. The only thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was how lucky I was. I’ve always felt that “making art” - or whatever you might call it – was the result of being inspired by others’ works so much that you feel almost compelled to throw something back at the world in gratitude. And for the first time I felt that I had actually come full circle, because I found myself literally giving something in gratitude to a person who pretty much changed my life with his art. In the midst of all the talking and laughing and socializing, I couldn’t concentrate. I was still trying to get over the shock of this one simple realization --
Holy mother of God.
Quentin just quoted me.
for more geekgasming, see Life With Julie