30 Day Film Challenge Reboot Day 2: Favorite Directorial Debut

Welcome to the second edition of the 30 Day Film Challenge!

A director’s first time in the big chair is kind of a big deal. That first film often serves as an introduction to the aesthetic sensibilities, tone, cadence, and other key features that will define the rest of their filmography. The debut can open doors for more opportunities or stop a filmmaker’s career in its tracks.

A strong debut can also spark an ongoing fandom, as has been the case with my choice for this prompt: Reservoir Dogs. I first saw this film shortly after it was released back when I was an impressionable teenager, and it was already unlike most films I’d seen at the time. I really enjoyed the complex characters, crisp dialogue, solid pacing, interesting cinematography, sense of humor, and effective use of flashbacks. Before this film, I admittedly didn’t really understand how important of a role directors played in filmmaking, and how closely that factor would later define my own likes and dislikes when it comes to films. I raved about the film to everyone I knew, and would make a point of checking out every Quentin Tarantino film I could since then. Many of the actors and stylistic choices that would appear in subsequent Tarantino films debuted in Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino is one of the few directors whose entire discography I’ve watched, and I enjoyed each film to varying degrees, but on most days Reservoir Dogs is still my personal favorite Tarantino film.

Prompt: What’s your favorite directorial debut in film?