The director’s breakout short has his raw signature.

Two cars parked in a motel parking lot. It’s black and white, middle of the night. Sounds noirish, no? Not when it’s directed by Taika Waititi.

Back in 2004, Waititi had mainly been doing comedy shows and competing in 48-hour film contests. Then came Two Cars, One Night. It allowed Waititi the perfect (ahem) vehicles for his brand of undercutting comedy, a couple of brash kids, in a quiet, poignant setting. This directly led, after a number of years, to Waititi’s second feature Boy, which went on to become New Zealand’s highest-grossing film (for a while).

It’s got some very sweet (yet hilariously brash) jokes in it, just as kids might accidentally make, and the cinematography is varied enough that you can see the director’s imagination attempting to burst onto a bigger stage. If you loved Thor: Ragnarok, this is where it all began.

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