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Read some highlights from Reservoir Dogs' 25th anniversary screening

04.29.2017

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the classic Quentin Tarantino heist film, RESERVOIR DOGS, and needless to say there’s been much rejoicing. This week Tarantino and the cast of the movie, including Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel, celebrated the event at the Tribeca Film Festival with a panel and screening of the movie at the Beacon Theater in New York. Oh, to be in crowd.

During the panel Tarantino reminisced about the first screening of the movie, and how the proceedings didn’t exactly scream “legendary.”

That was a disaster, that’s kind of famous, actually. It looks like kaka all the way through it. That would be bad enough but then it gets to the final climax and all of a sudden the lights come up. Someone says, “Oh shit,” and they brought the lights down. Then everybody has their guns pointed on everybody else and right at the height of that scene, there’s a power outage and all of the power goes out. It was a f—ing disaster.

Though the second screening went much better, Tarantino still recalls how people would walk out all the time during early screenings of the movie, including by horror maestro Wes Craven while at Spain's Sitges Horror Film Festival:

I started counting the walkouts during the torture scene and 33 was the largest. [While in Spain] I thought, “Finally I’ve got an audience that won’t walk out” and I even joked about it while introducing the film. Five people walk out of that audience, including Wes Craven! The f—ing guy who did The Last House of the Left walked out?! My movie was too tough for him.

Of course the particular scene of brutality that took these audiences members too far is the infamous torture scene involving Madsen’s Mr. Blonde and some poor cop. Madsen talks about improvising the dance scene given the vagueness of Taratino’s script. The director trusted he could think of something, and didn’t even listen to the song (“Stuck in the Middle With You”) until take one:

In the script it said, “Mr. Blonde maniacally dances around.” And I kept thinking, “What the f— does that mean? Mick Jagger?" I started thinking about this weird little thing Jimmy Cagney did in a movie that I saw, that’s where it came from.

DOGS was met with hesitation, and often disgust, at first, but it found praise and paved the way for Tarantino to do PULP FICTION, and the filmmaking world has never been the same. To this day DOGS acted as the gateway into the world of a higher plane of cinema for may film lovers with its crisp dialogue, brutal violence, tense scenario and terrific performances. Tarantino's other films don't have the same small-scale, intimate feeling as DOGS, and it remains special for that very reason. Am I right in assuming "Stuck in the Middle With You" is stuck in your head?

Source: THR

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