CHRIS, 25, took me to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater: Improv is where they make up the show totally on the spot, in case you didn’t know. What were we talking about? Probably directors. My favorite director is definitely Quentin Tarantino. You know that shot in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are pointing their guns straight to camera? I had that poster in my college dorm room. Very cool and unique, right? Do you know the names of any directors?
MIKE, 30, met me at The Whiskey Ward (or similar): Awesome that you can order a whiskey, by the way. So, Quentin Tarantino dropped out of high school and never even went to college. That’s why I like him a little bit better than Paul Thomas Anderson, who had some college before he dropped out. That’s actually a great story. Paul Thomas Anderson knew his screenwriting professor was bullshit, but to test her he submitted a David Mamet scene instead his own homework assignment. The professor gave him a C+, so he quit. Sorry, what did you say? Well, yeah, it’s plagiarism but that’s beside the point. Anyway, back to Quentin Tarantino.
ALEXANDRE, 29, left his hat in my apartment: I do not care much for American cinema, but do you know the films of Quentin Tarantino?
JASON, 28, Took me to some Naples-style pizza spot: The first feature Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed was called My Best Friend’s Birthday, and a lot of it was lost in a fire. It’s OK, though, because a lot of that script wound up going into True Romance. Here’s the thing: Even though he lost that physical copy of the film, Quentin Tarantino is totally against digital! He says he’ll stop making movies once it becomes impossible to shoot on film anymore. You just have to admire that kind of integrity and love of the craft. Oh, and not sure if you know this, but in Italy they actually eat pizza with a knife and fork.
ANDREW, 27, never took me anywhere (I’m starving): What places are delivering right now? So, in the early ’90s, right around when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino were dating. I always thought Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a dumb chick flick, but I caught part of it on cable the other day and there was an ad for Red Apple cigarettes in the background of one of the shots! Do you know about Red Apple cigarettes?
FRANK, 26, also took me to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater1: Red Apple is the made-up brand of cigarettes that Quentin Tarantino uses in all his movies. There are all sorts of little Easter eggs like that in his movies, if you’re paying attention. Like there’s this scene in Pulp Fiction where Mia Wallace is talking about a movie she acted in and years later that description turned into Kill Bill! This improv team is supposed to be pretty good, by the way. One of them had a small part in Broad City. You know that show?
ALEXANDRE: I have actually been to several of the locations where they shot Inglorious Basterds, but what you might not know is that most of them are in Berlin and not in Paris.
ANDREW: Oh, sorry, I don’t have a working card hooked up to my Seamless right now. Mind if we order on yours? Oh, so this is a badass story: At Jamie Foxx’s first rehearsal for Django Unchained, he was reading the part with, like, too much finesse. So, Quentin Tarantino takes him aside and just rips him a new one, telling him to play the part more honestly. Didn’t walk on eggshells or anything just because Jamie Foxx is a star. Jaimie Foxx said Quentin Tarantino was a tyrant but that he’d work with him again in a second. That’s the kind of filmmaker I’d want to be, you know? When does the delivery window start?
MIKE: It’s totally cool that you got your whiskey on the rocks, but just so you know, you should really taste it neat first, then maybe add a bit of water. Where was I? Oh. So, when Quentin Tarantino was making The Hateful Eight, the script leaked. He said after that he was going to write it in the form of a novel instead of a movie, and I have to say that was devastating. It turned out fine, though, because he changed his mind. Then they released it on 70-millimeter and that was just, like, a religious experience for me. I know a lot of people don’t care about that sort of thing, but I’m just, like, a purist.
JASON: Oh, man. Seeing The Hateful Eight on 70-mil? I know a lot of people wouldn’t care about that sort of thing but I’m just, like, a purist. Anyway, Quentin Tarantino says that he probably won’t get married as long as he’s working because right now is his time to make movies, and I just think that’s the way to go, man. Why muddy things up with kids and a marriage when you’re in the prime of your career? That’s definitely what I’m going to do. I mean, I guess maybe it’s different if a woman wants to make movies, but how often does that happen?
CHRIS: Quentin Tarantino’s movies have a lot of strong, female characters. There’s The Bride in Kill Bill, Shoshanna in Inglorious Basterds, the chicks that don’t get murdered in Death Proof. I find that a lot of movies have female characters. Have you seen a movie?
ALEXANDRE: I find most American women to be vulgar, but you are very sweet.
1 It turns out that students of the Upright Citizens Brigade are required to see improv shows, and the dating apps kept sending me aspiring comedians.