Young people love Quentin Tarantino. A lot of older people do, too, but there is something so electrifying about being twenty years old and hearing Samuel L. Jackson shout the word "Motherfucker!"
The witty dialogue, the unexpected plot turns ("Spider caught himself a coupla flies"), the pop-culture references you'd never heard before but started researching once the film was over: The first five Quentin Tarantino films remain as galvanizing for impressionable students today as when they were first released.
And so the University of Colorado's International Film Series is bringing these iconic films to a new generation with the Quentin Tarantino Film Series, which starts on Wednesday, February 15. The one that started it all, Reservoir Dogs, will kick off the festival with screenings at 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 15. "Tarantino's passion for cinema remains fun, infectious and controversial," says IFS director Pablo Kjolseth. "Some of the over-the-top stuff has a way of alienating older viewers, but obviously younger audiences have always gravitated toward the hyperkinetic stuff."
Beyond the fact that students will always come out in droves for a Tarantino film, the series was inspired by the Boulder campus being selected as a stop on the Miramax College Tour, in which guests are treated to a special screening of the cult favorite Jackie Brown -- with the film's star, Pam Grier (a hometown heroine who went to East High and now lives outside of Denver), and Tommy Moreno, head of operations for Miramax, hosting a special Q&A after the film.
"I thought it would be fun to surround that particular screening with other Tarantino films in chronological order," says Kjolseth. "For me, Jackie Brown is Tarantino's masterpiece -- and I'm not just saying this because Pam Grier is our special guest. Tarantino knew it would be a mistake to try to one-up Pulp Fiction, so instead he went for a low-key approach that feels much more mature and satisfying to me."
The films will play nightly in chronological order. Reservoir Dogs will be followed by Tarantino's most celebrated film, Pulp Fiction, at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 17 (there will be no Tarantino film on February 16). Jackie Brown screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 18, with the special-guest Q&A to follow. And the series will close on Sunday, February 19, with the two-part Kill Bill series: Volume One will show at 2 p.m. and Volume Two at 7 p.m.
"All of the Tarantino titles except for Reservoir Dogs are on beautiful 35mm prints," Kjolseth proudly adds. "We have a monkish devotion to cinema and like to boast of being a quiet place to enjoy films. So we don't serve any drinks or snacks -- which, we like to point out, means that we're the only place in Boulder where you can see big-screen films without the distraction of hearing people chomping, slurping or otherwise wrestling with their food packaging."
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All films will be shown in Muenzinger Auditorium; each Tarantino screening is free to students (the usual fee is $6) and $7 for everyone else. The Quentin Tarantino Film Series is presented in association with the Boulder International Film Festival, which begins on February 16 and continues through February 19.