• Quentin Tarantino

 

Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor. In the early 1990s he was an independent filmmaker whose films used nonlinear storylines and aestheticization of violence. His films include Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (Vol. 1, 2003; Vol. 2, 2004), Death Proof (2007) and Inglourious Basterds (2009). His films have earned him Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Palme d’Or Awards and he has been nominated for Emmy and Grammy Awards. In 2007, Total Film named him the 12th-greatest director of all time.[1]

Early life

Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Connie McHugh Zastoupil, a health care executive and nurse, and Tony Tarantino, an actor and amateur musician born in Queens, New York.[2] Tarantino’s father is Italian American and his mother is of Irish and Cherokee Native American ancestry.[3][4][5] He attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California for his freshman year before dropping out of school at age 15. Quentin and his childhood friend, Adam Olis,[citation needed] began to make movies in his backyard using cheap animations. He attended acting school at the James Best Theatre Company in Toluca Lake. At age 22, he held employment at the Video Archives, a now defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach where he and fellow movie buffs like Roger Avary spent all day discussing and recommending films to customers.[6]

[edit] Film career

After Tarantino met Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, Bender encouraged Tarantino to write a screenplay. He directed and co-wrote a movie called “My Best Friend’s Birthday” in 1987. The final reel of the film was almost fully destroyed in a lab fire that broke out during editing but its screenplay would go on to be the basis for True Romance.[7] In January 1992, Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs hit the Sundance Film festival and was an immediate hit. The film garnered critical acclaim. Reservoir Dogs was a dialogue-driven heist movie that set the tone for his later films. Tarantino wrote the script in three and a half weeks and Bender forwarded it to director Monte Hellman. Hellman helped Tarantino to secure funding from Richard Gladstein at Live Entertainment (which later became Artisan). Harvey Keitel read the script and also contributed to funding, took a co-producer role, and a part in the movie.[8]

 
Tarantino has had a number of collaborations with director Robert Rodriguez

Tarantino’s screenplay True Romance was optioned and eventually released in 1993.[9] The second script that Tarantino sold was Natural Born Killers, which was revised by Dave Veloz, Richard Rutowski and director Oliver Stone. Tarantino was given story credit, and wished the film well.[10] Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached by Hollywood and offered numerous projects, including Speed and Men in Black. He instead retreated to Amsterdam to work on his script for Pulp Fiction. After Pulp Fiction he directed episode four of Four Rooms, “The Man from Hollywood”, a tribute to the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode that starred Steve McQueen. Four Rooms was a collaborative effort with filmmakers Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, and Robert Rodriguez. The film was very poorly received by critics and audiences. He appeared in and wrote the script for Robert Rodriguez‘s From Dusk Till Dawn, which saw mixed reviews from the critics yet led to two sequels, for which Tarantino and Rodriguez would only serve as executive producers.

Tarantino’s third feature film[9] was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. An homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who starred in many of that genre’s films of the 1970s. He had then planned to make the war film provisionally titled Inglorious Bastards, but postponed it to write and direct Kill Bill (released as two films, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), a highly stylized “revenge flick” in the cinematic traditions of Wuxia (Chinese martial arts), Jidaigeki (Japanese period cinema), Spaghetti Westerns and Italian horror or giallo. It was based on a character (The Bride) and a plot that he and Kill Bill’s lead actress, Uma Thurman, had developed during the making of Pulp Fiction. In 2004, Tarantino returned to Cannes where he served as President of the Jury. Kill Bill was not in competition, Kill Bill Vol. 2 had an evening screening, while it was also shown on the morning of the final day in its original 3-hour-plus version with Quentin himself attending the full screening. Tarantino then went on to be credited as “Special Guest Director” for his work directing the car sequence between Clive Owen and Benicio del Toro of Robert Rodriguez‘s 2005 neo-noir film Sin City.

The next film project was Grindhouse, which he co-directed with Rodriguez. Released in theaters on April 6, 2007, Tarantino’s contribution to the Grindhouse project was titled Death Proof. It began as a take on 1970s slasher films,[11] but evolved dramatically as the project unfolded. Ticket sales were low despite mostly positive reviews.

Among his current producing credits are the horror flick Hostel (which included numerous references to his own Pulp Fiction), the adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s Killshot (for which Tarantino was credited as an executive producer but with the movie set for release in 2009 he is no longer associated with the project)[12] and Hell Ride (written and directed by Kill Bill star Larry Bishop).

Tarantino said, “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.'”[3]

Tarantino’s summer 2009 film Inglourious Basterds was the story of a group of guerrilla U.S. soldiers in Nazi occupied France during World War II. Filming began in October 2008.[13] The film opened Friday, August 21, 2009 to very positive reviews[14] and the #1 spot at the box office worldwide.[15] It went on to become Tarantino’s highest grossing film, both in the United States and worldwide.[16]

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