This time, Director Face/Off pits two legendary visual storytellers against each other: Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino. While some may disagree, the two have some stuff in common – both directors were obsessed film fanatics at very young ages, broke into the industry humbly by way of short films and co-written screenplays, and then went on to make cinematic staples like Pulp Fiction and Boogie Nights. Both directors make solid, intriguing films held up by foundations of strong, colorful characters, nonlinear narrative continuity and plenty of violence. Who does it all better, though?
For our first Face/Off, take a moment to think about all the memorable quotes from both directors’ films. I never refrain from using, “I drink your milkshake!” on people, when conditions are ideal. Even people I don’t know that well. And, the majority of my after school hangouts in junior high/high school consisted of butchering Pulp Fiction lines back and forth between friends. I mean, who hasn’t done this? The quotes are too good not to spend the rest of your life repeating in day to day life happenstances. Even further, both directors have some incredibly memorable and quotable tell offs worth examining.
Battle 1: Tell Offs
“If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? Watch it. Now, my straw reaches acrooooss the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I. DRINK. YOUR. MILKSHAKE!”
There Will Be Blood, Anderson
“Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again. I dare you, I double dare you motherf*****, say what one more goddamn time!”
Pulp Fiction, Tarantino
Probably the most well-known quotes both directors are responsible for, hailing from There Will Be Blood and Pulp Fiction. In There Will Be Blood, Daniel Plainview, in his mentally disintegrated, drunken state, shouts the line at Eli, before doing some other bad stuff to him. In Pulp Fiction, Jules and Vincent are sent by Marcellus Wallace to set some business straight with some young, Big Kahuna-eating hoodlums. Both lines have such powerful rage, but all I have to say is, Samuel L. Jackson. Samuel. L. Jackson.
Winner: Tarantino/ Pulp Fiction
“You’re not the boss of me, Jack. You’re not the king of Dirk. I’m the boss of me. I’m the king of me. I’m Dirk Diggler. I’m the star. It’s my big d**k and I say when we roll.”
Boogie Nights, Anderson
“The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is: I collect your f***ing head. Just like this f***er here. Now, if any of you sons of b****es got anything else to say, now’s the f***ing time!”
Kill Bill Vol. 1, Tarantino
Without having this article get too NSFW, a paraphrased description of Boogie Nights is Mark Wahlberg plays an adult entertainer who just so happens to be very good at his job, for size-related reasons. If you haven’t heard the quote, just read it aloud in your best Mark Wahlberg voice and you’ll understand why it’s so memorable/funny. On the other hand, what could be more badass than Lucy Liu freaking out and shouting a lot?
Winner: Tarantino/ Kill Bill Vol. 1
“I will drop-kick those f***ing dogs if they come near me.”
“Eddie, you keep talking like a b***h, I’m gonna slap you like a b***h.”
Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino
In Magnolia, Tom Cruise plays a hotshot inspirational speaker and author, Frank T.J. Mackey. A hilarious and intense character played by a hilariously intense actor. Let’s just say the line about drop-kicking dogs is pretty darn entertaining. Mr. Blonde tells off Eddie in Reservoir Dogs, in such a way that gets his point across while simultaneously inspiring viewers to store the tell off away in the memory bank somewhere to use later on.
Winner: Anderson/ Magnolia
Subjective Winner: Tarantino’s Films Have The Best Tell Offs
Join us next week for the next battle, and check out prior segments, featuring Richard Linklater/Wes Anderson: