reservoir dogs
My Sundance eWaitlist place in line

I go to at least one Sundance film every year. I mean, why wouldn’t I when I live only 35 miles away. And depending on the weather and how much snow there is, it only takes about 40 mins to drive up Parley’s [I-80 East] to get up to Park City. Also, I get tickets to the Salt Lake City screenings, so that’s even closer to home. In the almost 40 years the festival has been going on, there’s been a good number of movies I’ve seen in the last 25 years.

But this past Sundance, on Friday January 27th, I drove up that snow-covered stretch of canyon road to see “Reservoir Dogs” which was first released in 1992 at Sundance. And yes, I was there in 1992 to see it.

25 Years Ago

I don’t have photos or anything to memorialize my place in cinema history. Just the knowledge that I was there with my friend Jay Bell to see a movie that no one had heard of, no one had any clue who Quentin Tarantino was and no one was expecting so much violence and blood and language.

I remember being very bothered during several of the scenes, even though I knew this was some kind of movie that was telling a heist story in the more bizarre and eclectic kind of way. I thought the film was pretty cool, but I don’t recall much of the after the showing. I recall seeing Tarantino, but his tall and lanky frame and highly animated way of talking about his movie was pretty funny.

25 Years Later

reservoir dogs
the Q&A after the movie with Michael Madsen, Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino

So when I heard the film was getting a showing at this year’s Sundance festival, I tried to get tickets. Sold out. And pretty quick. It was a given that Tarantino was going to be doing an after movie Q&A so the popularity of getting tickets was pretty high. But then I remembered the day of the show that every movie did an eWaitlist, which is where you can get tickets for getting on the Sundance app, tapping really fast when the eWaitlist line opens up and hoping for a spot that will get you into the theater.

As the photo above shows, I got number 59. For the Eccles Theater in Park City, it holds hundreds of people, so I knew my chances would be really good. Plus once you get in line, there is a cutoff, so anyone that arrives to the waiting area after that cutoff time, they get turned away. As it turned out, I got in after 42 people ahead of me got their seats.

I enjoyed the movie on the big screen again [it’s been a good 10 years since the last time I watched it on DVD] and stuck around for the Q&A with Quentin, Lawrence Bender and Michael Madsen. Tarantino was very animated and excited to talk about this movie as I imagine he was 25 years ago, as my best collective memory seeing him back then.

I was so glad I went. I didn’t get home until at least 1am [the movie started at 9pm and I didn’t get out of the theater until a few minutes after midnight]. To experience the same movie at the same film festival 25 years later, was magical.