What Would Steve Buscemi Do: NYC’s Automatic Tipping Rules to Be Enforced

How far out can you move in Bushwick before you fall into some lake or find yourself actually out of the city or can’t access a subway. That’s what club and restaurant workers are asking themselves as more and more places begin to comply with the (sort of new) tipping regulations. Will tipped employees be able to support themselves now that IRS rules about mandatory gratuities (a.k.a., "autograt") are to be strictly enforced?

The latest update says the added practice of adding an automatic tip of say 18% more or less to large parties needs to be reclassified as a wage rather than a tip. All sorts of grief comes from this as payroll tax withholding and sales tax stuff, not to mention tons of added paperwork, which requires day staff an additional expense owners won’t enjoy or probably agree to.

It will be easier just to end the practice at the expense of the help. The server would have to be paid minimum wage instead of the lesser server wage. It’s a can of worms and the industry ain’t fishing. Autograt will be eliminated. Some places are fooling around with a suggested tip but this probably won’t fly with the government, which will see it as a scam to get around their concept. They would be right. The industry has changed over the years. Cash used to be king, but now its all about the plastic. Hiding or underreporting tips has become harder for those trying to make a living a buck or 3 at a time.

We live in a city where tourist dollars pay for the bread and butter and tourists—especially foreign ones who don’t tip as well as locals…if at all. Without forcing the issue and demanding tips, bartenders and wait staff will suffer. Gone will be the $500-a-night tips and a change in lifestyle will ensue. Without wads of cash, bar employees will spend less. There will be fewer meals in late-night diners and less disposable income for shoes and such. There will be peripheral damage to the economy in general. Staff will seek out cheaper rents in less attractive neighborhoods or live with more roommates. The industry will be less attractive to aspiring models, actors and artists who depend on tip money while they try to make it here.

New York City may become a less attractive option for artist types who just can’t pay the bills. Bar staff may become less attractive as other options surely exist for the beautiful. Fewer "B" models and aspiring actors will find financial support in hospitality and find other options or move back to Peoria or go to back to school and abandon their dreams of stardom. Starving artists working as waitrons may actually starve.

The sky may or may not be falling, only time will tell. But change will be felt come January when all need to comply. I think you might see a time where joints just pay a wage and keep all that tip money and pay the taxes on it as required. Instead of server wages, places may opt to pay a bartender $250 a night and let them grab cash tips as they will. Drink prices may go up a buck or 2, but have a "tip included" line added. Naysayers scream doom. But they screamed doom when smoking was banned.

You Really Learn A Lot About ’60s TV Shows From Tarantino Movies

Good morning, Internet. It’s Monday morning, some of you are still recovering from the holidays, and a few of you are probably still mulling on your mixed feelings about Django Unchained. You look like you could use a Quentin Tarantino montage of the most obsessive type.

Some people at CollegeHumor (I know, but bear with me here) put together a six-minute supercut of nearly every pop culture reference in Tarantino’s films (save for Django) in chronological order of the references. There are a few takeaways from this video, most of them pretty obvious to Tarantino fans, other than someone spending way too much time on clickbaity montages like this: the crash course in the early days of 20th century German cinema throughout Inglourious Basterds, the greatest fraction of the supercut going to references from the 1970s (surprising no one), the most recent reference being one to Lindsay Lohan in Death Proof. Also, totally forgot about the Pam Grier shoutout in Reservoir Dogs. Foreshadowing great things to come, I guess. Watch.

Tarantino Tunes: The Best Musical Moments From Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s slavery spaghetti western Django Unchained delivers all of the usual Tarantino goodness: brilliant dialogue, over-the-top cartoonish violence, fantastic performances from Tarantino regulars Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, and a whole lot of controversy. More impressively, the film’s soundtrack is the usual combination of familiar tunes from Tarantino’s cinematic inspirations, as well as a few original tracks from John Legend, Rick Ross, and RZA. While we’ll have to patiently wait for another year or two before those musical sequences to end up on YouTube (only to be likely taken down because of copyright infringement), let’s take a look back at Tarantino’s catalog and take a listen at the songs we’ve come to associate with the modern-day auteur. 

Stealers Wheel – "Stuck In The Middle With You" (from Reservoir Dogs)

What’s the best way to get the kids interested in Gerry Rafferty? Why, scoring an ear slicing with one of his catchiest tunes, naturally. It’s really a shame that this scene didn’t do for Michael Madsen what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Who know the man had such moves? 

Chuck Berry – "You Never Can Tell" (from Pulp Fiction)

This is arguably Tarantino’s most recognizable scene from arguably his most popular movie. It not only made him a household name, but it reinvigorated the career of John Travolta, who had been struggling in years prior in talking baby movies. And don’t get me wrong, I love a talking baby movie. But I’d much rather see Travolta cutting a rug with weird hair. 

Bobby Womack – "Across 110th Street" (from Jackie Brown)

Jackie Brown is Tarantino’s biggest stand-out. It lacks the gritty or cartoon violence of his other films (it contains, total, just four measly, relatively bloodless murders), and the focus is entirely on plot, dialogue, and the acting. And while there’s no big dance sequence, the opening credits are fantastic. All it takes is a few tracking shots and Pam Grier to set the tone of the film, and Bobby Womack’s soulful voice ties it all together. 

The 5,6,7,8’s – "Woo Hoo" (from Kill Bill Vol. 1)

It’s refreshing when Tarantino pulls out a new song from his jukebox. In the first half of his samari epic, Tarantino brings the old school into the picture with fresh treatment. It seems only natural for the big musical number in Kill Bill Vol. 1 to involve a band that mashes up a wide selection of sounds and elements. It’s the musical equivalent of a Tarantino film, really. 

Bernard Herrmann – "Twisted Nerve" (from Kill Bill Vol. 2)

Kill Bill marked the first time Tarantino picked up classic scores from old films, and Bernard Herrmann’s "Twisted Nerve," the theme from the 1968 psychological thriller of the same name, became, in turn, a Tarantino classic. (It even makes a cameo in Death Proof as Rosario Dawson’s ring tone.) 

The Drifters – "Down in Mexico" (from Death Proof)

Death Proof, one half of Tarantino’s Grindhouse collaboration with Robert Rodriguez, stands on its own feet as a perfect action thriller as well as a quintessential Tarantino flick. In one of the film’s best (and sexiest) scenes, Vanessa Ferlito delivers perhaps the best lapcdance in cinematic history to a terrifying (and weirdly sexy) Kurt Russell. It should come as no surprise that the jukebox playing this jam is Tarantino’s own. 

David Bowie – "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (from Inglourious Basterds)

Here’s another case of a song written for a movie being appropriated for one in Tarantino’s own oeuvre. Wisely using the long, slow-building version of the Giorgio Moroder / David Bowie collaboration from Paul Schrader’s 1982 erotic thriller (as opposed from the shorter, radio-friendly version from Let’s Dance), Tarantino builds the tension and nearly gives away the film’s ending. (Hint: it involves a lot of flames.)

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Queer Lisboa Film Festival Out to Rid the World of the Gay Film Cliché

Are you as tired of hackneyed, stereotype-laden portrayals of gay people on television and in movies as we are? Of course you are, dear reader, because you are an informed consumer who deserves better and knows we all deserve better. Thankfully, the Queer Lisboa Film Festival, now in its sixteenth year, not only thinks and knows we deserve better, but also showcases the films and filmmakers that are doing better and pokes fun at the most tired and ridiculous tropes in this year’s awesome promo video.

In the exploitation-film-evoking fake trailer for Death of the Gay Cliché!, a love triangle unfolds between Fred, the “sauna towel, oiled-up gay man” and Bob, the “leather suit-wearing gay biker,” along with butch East German athletes, sensitive makeup artists and bare-chested cowboys. It’s goofy and fun and will hopefully get people to talk about how we get from portrayals like The New Normal to portrayals that are, well, normal. Oh, and there’s an explosion.  

This year’s program begins September 21 and includes a lot of acclaimed and exciting films, including documentaries on Audre Lorde and Marina Abramovic and narrative films that defy the clichés, including Andrew Haigh’s beautiful Weekend opening the festival and Ira Sachs’s Keep The Lights On, which we really, really liked. Watch the promo—and last year’s, which features a rather funny Reservoir Dogs spoof—below.