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Sep 18

SLO Rewind screening series starts tonight with “Reservoir Dogs”

Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut is still one of his best

Picture this.

A police officer sits in the center of an abandoned warehouse, tied to a folding chair.

His mouth covered with duct tape, the captive cop watches nervously as another man, clad in black trousers, a black tie and a pristine white button-up shirt, saunters over the radio.

“You ever listen to K-Billy’s Supersounds of the ’70s weekend?” Mr. Blonde asks as he pulls a straight razor out of his cowboy boot. “It’s my personal favorite.”

As the opening strains of “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealer’s Wheel swell in the background, Mr. Blonde launches into an impromptu dance …

Thus begins one of the most memorable sequences in independent cinema — the infamous “ear scene” in “Reservoir Dogs.”

Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 directorial debut centers around six crooks hired by Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) to pull off a jewel heist.

The thieves are known only by their colorful code names: Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Brown (Tarantino), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker) and the sadistic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen). They quickly turn on each other when the robbery goes awry.

Known for its stunning violence, retro soundtrack, razor-sharp pop culture quips and hip anti-heroes dressed in sleek black suits, “Reservoir Dogs” launched Tarantino’s career as auteur — setting him up as the patron saint of scores of young moviemmakers to come. What modern-day crime movie doesn’t strive for the same effortless cool?

See “Reservoir Dogs” at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Fremont movie theater, 1025 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo. Come a half-hour early for trivia and prizes. Admission is $8.

The SLO Rewind screening series continues next month with:

  • Oct. 2: “The Big Lebowski”
  • Oct. 16: “Blazing Saddles”
  • Oct. 30: “The Shining”
  • Nov. 13: “Clerks”
  • Nov. 27: “Gladiator”
  • Dec. 11: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
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