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93. Reservoir Dogs (#76)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode thrown in.

This time, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Following a disastrous botched jewellery heist, what remains of a criminal gang meets at an abandoned warehouse. Unsure of who to trust and unable to determine what went wrong, these violent men quickly turn on one another while navigating a complex web of shifting loyalties.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 76th best movie of all-time on the Internet Movie Database.

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“The Things You Gotta Remember Are the Details”: Reservoir Dogs and the Fragility of Memory and Meaning in the Nineties…

It’s always interesting to understand how much of being one of the defining artists of a cultural moment is down to understanding the zeitgeist, and how much of it is down to simply being in the right place at the right time.

This is not to denigrate the incredible skill and talent required to be perfectly positioned “in the right place at the right time”, as any amount of sustained success requires both a great deal of determination and an incredible amount of talent. Quentin Tarantino is undeniably determined and impressively talented. Tarantino has a unique knack with dialogue, a keen understanding of genre, and a fine appreciation of the history the medium. It is hard to imagine a world in which Tarantino would ever have been unable to parlay those skills into some form of success in filmmaking.

Still, there are very few directors who were so perfectly in step with the nineties as Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino is a writer and director who emerged almost fully formed, to the point that many critics and pundits would argue that his first two films are the best films in his filmography; Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. (As an aside, there are a not-insignificant number of pundits who would argue that Tarantino’s best film was his third, the underrated Jackie Brown.) It seems fair to describe Tarantino, however controversial his legacy and however divisive his modern films might be, as a defining nineties filmmaker.

(As an aside, it should be acknowledged that Tarantino arguably had something of a similar moment towards the end of the first decade and into the second decade of the twenty-first century. Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight are films that have generated a lot of polarised debate, but they also seemed very much on-the-pulse in terms of the tensions and anxieties that bubbled to the surface of American popular consciousness at towards the end of the twenty-tens. However, that is perhaps a debate for another time.)

Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction speaks specifically to a collection of nineties anxieties and uncertainties that seem only to have crystalised in retrospect, as if working through an existential crisis that the decade didn’t realise it was having in real time. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fictions are stories about memory and meaning, and how fleeting the human understanding of a chaotic world can be. They are stories about the breakdown of social order, and of trying to find some way to navigate increasingly turbulent and unstable times.

They are films that embody the tensions of nineties as effectively as Forrest Gump or the films of Oliver Stone or Chris Carter’s work on The X-Files and Millennium.

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February 2013 (Jameson Dublin International Film Festival) In Review

Man. That was exhausting. 29 events spread across 11 days, including classic films. It was a hell of a festival, with quite an impressive programme put together. In fact, by any measure, it was actually a stronger festival than last year’s, even if I didn’t catch a film that was quite as good as The Raid this time around. Using the 4-point audience award scale, the numbers stack in this year’s favour. Indeed, I gave one more “4” than last year and – most impressively – I actually managed to avoid giving out the lowest grade at all, the dreaded “1.” Maybe I’m getting a bit softer as I get older, but I think that’s an indication that I had a pretty good Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

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Win tickets to the Jameson Cult Film Club ‘LA Confidential’ screening with special guest Danny DeVito!

To celebrate the 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, we are giving you and a guest the chance to walk the same green carpet as Hollywood star Danny DeVito, who will attend a special Jameson Cult Film Club screening of the 1997 classic ‘LA Confidential’ on Thursday 21st February. Guests will also be treated to an on-stage Q&A with the legendary actor-director-producer, Mr Hush-Hush himself after the screening.

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Following on from last year’s successful screenings of Silence of the Lambs, JAWS, Blues Brothers and Reservoir Dogs, Jameson are kicking off the 2013 series of Jameson Cult Film Club screenings with the neo-noir film, LA Confidential. This very special screening promises to transport the audience right back to glamorous Los Angeles in 1953 with its compelling mix of LA history, police corruption and celebrity scandals. LA Confidential features an all-star cast including co-star Kevin Spacey, who attended the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of The Usual Suspects during the 2011 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

The Jameson Cult Film Club events offer movie fans unforgettable screenings of their favourite cult movies held in locations highly relevant to the film’s storyline. Themed special effects and live theatre timed perfectly with the onscreen action will create an electric atmosphere in the venue. Experience this classic the way it was meant to be enjoyed!

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To apply for free tickets to this screening and for all the latest information, please log onto www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie

For your chance to win tickets to this exclusive event, simply answer the below question:

This competition is now closed. The winner will contacted shortly.

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To find more details on the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival which takes place from 14th – 24th February, check out www.jdiff.com

©2012 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. All Rights reserved.

Jameson Cult Film Club: Jaws (November 27th)

If you’re a regular visitor, you’ll know that I’m a massive fan of the Jameson Cult Film Club. They stage screenings of classic films in unconventional locations, enhancing the experience and even occasionally bringing scenes from the film to life. They’ve announced that their next film will be Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, screening on the evening of the 27th November at a top secret city centre location. The event promises all the fun of a day on the beach at Amity Island – with barbecues and refreshments, and a fantastic atmosphere. The best part, though? Is that tickets to the event are absolutely free. Coupled with their sponsorship of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, I think that Irish film fans have a lot to be thankful for – they really do a great job supporting the love of film in the city. (And outside it to boot.) Just head on over to their website to apply for free tickets.

If you don’t make it along, the film is now available on blu ray and I hear (from reliable sources) that the picture and sound quality of the original summer blockbuster is absolutely astounding in the format.

If you aren’t familiar with the Jameson Cult Film Club, check out some photos from past screenings: Alien, The Blues Brothers, Reservoir Dogs and Silence of the Lambs. It really is all top notch, and comes very highly recommended.

Win! Tickets to the Jameson Cult Film Club Screening of Snatch, in Cork! (Closing Tomorrow)

I’m a big fan of the Jameson Cult Film Club. It’s a great excuse to celebrate cinema in a delightful unconventional way. Literally transforming the screening into a scene or location from the film,a s well as bringing key scenes to life, it’s a wonderfully awesome way to enjoy cult classics. So far, the screenings have – as far as I’m aware – been confined to Dublin. However, this time, the wonderful team behind the Jameson Cult Film Club are bringing Snatch to Cork. And we have four tickets to give away, to one lucky individual and three mates.

I’ll be closing the competition at 9am on the 23rd May 2012. Courtesy of the nice folks at the Jameson Cult Film Club, here’s an example of what’s in store.

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Jameson Cult Film Club: The Blues Brothers

We’re on a mission from God.

– Elwood Blues

If ever a movie lent itself to the Jameson Cult Film Club experience, I think that The Blues Brothers is it. Hosted by the Jameson Cult Film Club as a way of celebrating cinema, the events see the team trying to bring the movies to life, offering a rather immersive experience. It’s a wonderful way to honour classic films, and I think that The Blues Brothers really embodies the best type of film for that sort of adaptation. After all, it is a movie so famed for its cult status and audience participation that John Landis and Dan Ackroyd actively recruited fans from screenings to appear in Blues Brothers 2000. Second to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Blues Brothers is a movie were the energy and exuberance really can’t be confined to the screen, and I think that’s why the team were able to do such a wonderful job with it.

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