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Film

Quentin Tarantino's favourite memory from his video store days

Quentin Tarantino might be one of the most popular directors around but he has always claimed that he is a cinephile first. Ever since he was a child, Tarantino was drawn to the magic that films and television had to offer which is why he inevitably ended up gravitating towards the world of cinema in the first place.

While watching horror films and exploitation flicks as a child, Tarantino wanted to make his own creations and even wrote a screenplay when he was just 14 years old. After dropping out of high school, he worked as an usher at a theatre that screened adult films before signing up for acting classes in order to pursue his dreams.

Tarantino later claimed that those acting classes played a huge role in his development as a screenwriter. According to the iconic director, he learnt everything he knows about writing screenplays by studying the psychology of actors as well as their natural speech patterns. These influences can be seen in almost all his scripts, starting out with Reservoir Dogs.

During the ’80s, Tarantino held a lot of jobs to survive but there was one particular gig that had a huge impact on him. He managed to work as a clerk at Video Archives – a Californian video store – where he was introduced to all kinds of films, ranging from Australian exploitation cult gems to essential cinema such as the French New Wave classics.

Tarantino also gained a reputation in the neighbourhood for being the most reliable guy to go to for movie suggestions. He later explained that he never tried to impose his own taste on the customers which included all kinds of obscure films. Instead, he took the time out to learn more about what they liked and handed out recommendations accordingly.

When asked about his favourite memories from his days at the store, Tarantino explained how much he loved the fraternity among the employees: “One would be the camaraderie of the guys who worked there. The way you have those friendships in your twenties where you’re like a little family and do everything together”.

Since most of the employees loved films just as much as Tarantino did, he was always learning something new and watching interesting things with them. “We went to the movies all the time, we watched movies all the time in the store, we talked about them ad nauseam — people came in the store just to talk to us,” Tarantino declared. “It was just a lot of fun.”

However, there was a specific reason why Tarantino had fond memories of the experience: “But my greatest memory is my first real girlfriend — the first girl I ever really fell in love with and she loved me back. She was a girl named Grace Lovelace, who started working at the video store. Meeting her and the relationship we had for three years is my favourite memory of that time.”

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