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“We didn’t want to do just movies, you know?” Nghiem asked. “Also, his fanbase is pretty rabid, so I was a little bit intimidated doing this one.”

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“By Pineapple Rag” by Danny Gallegos (Provided)
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  • “By Pineapple Rag” by Danny Gallegos

Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

These nine films make up the current filmography of iconic, ever-controversial screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino, arguably the most definitive writer/director of the past two decades.

From an unforgettable cast of psychopaths to lines that have reached the upper pantheon of movie quotations, the man has left an indisputable mark on the cinematic zeitgeist, a mark local comedian James Nghiem honed in on when organizing his latest pop culture-themed art show hosted by 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St.

“From the costumes to the dialogue to the music to the food his characters discuss, we felt like we had a lot of things to play with there,” Nghiem said.

Set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, The Legend of the $5 Milkshake: A Quentin Tarantino Art Show allows local artists to showcase imaginative artistic tributes to the works of the maestro.

“We didn’t want to do just movies, you know?” Nghiem asked. “Also, his fanbase is pretty rabid, so I was a little bit intimidated doing this one.”

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma receives $10 from each work sold. Two of Nghiem’s past shows raised $490 for the local nonprofit.

An untitled work by juliustherobot (Provided)
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  • An untitled work by juliustherobot

Additionally, the Speakeasy offers a special menu as an homage to Jack Rabbit Slim’s, the ’50s dinner from Pulp Fiction. Local sketch comedy group Saad Boys also hosts a film screening loosely inspired by Tarantino’s work. Nghiem said The So Help Me’s will perform, and Josh Lathe (host of Comedy Fight League) hosts a RiffTrax-style screening of Jackie Brown.

Nghiem said Speakeasy expressed interest in a dance competition akin to the iconic dance shared by Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction. He also encouraged guests to dress as their favorite Tarantino film characters.

Given the expected turnout, Nghiem said overflow will be accommodated by Grease Trap Gallery, 5100 Classen Circle.

“It’s gonna be like a mini festival, which is what I’ve always wanted to the shows to be,” Nghiem said.

The Legend of the $5 Milkshake is Nghiem’s fifth show. Past themes include Wes Anderson, video game series Street Fighter and anime Cowboy Bebop.

“The first Street Fighter show, they didn’t know what to make of it. They didn’t even play Street Fighter and thought it was just gonna be a couple of weirdos,” Nghiem said. “They weren’t totally wrong, but I think they were surprised.”

Nghiem said his shows’ continued success has bolstered 51st Street Speakeasy’s ability to draw crowds with one-of-kind artistic offerings.

“They kind of just let us do what we want and have even repainted the walls and arranged some of the space to support us,” he said.

While the show is free, there will be a suggested $3 donation at the door to compensate the band and organizers.

Email Nghiem at robotsavescity@gmail.com for submission inquiries.

An untitled work by Tom Farris (Provided)
  • Provided
  • An untitled work by Tom Farris
An untitled work by John Kuhn (Provided)
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  • An untitled work by John Kuhn
An untitled work by Nora Bisher (Provided)
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  • An untitled work by Nora Bisher
An untitled work by Bekah June (Provided)
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  • An untitled work by Bekah June

Print Headline: Dramatic homage, James Nghiem’s fifth pop culture-themed art show focuses on the work of Quentin Tarantino. 

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