Quentin Tarantino (born March 27, 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is an American screenwriter, film director and actor who rapidly rose to fame in the early 1990s as a fresh and gritty storyteller who brought new life to the most familiar American archetypes.
Tarantino's big break came with the sale of his script True Romance, written with Roger Avary, which was made into a film starring Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater. He also wrote the original screenplay for Natural Born Killers, as part of the longer screenplay that True Romance came from, although it was changed significantly by subsequent writers.
The sale of True Romance funded his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, in which he also played a minor role. A stylish, witty and blood-soaked heist movie, this set the tone for his later films.
His followup was Pulp Fiction, which won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1994 Cannes film festival. It was a complexly plotted film with a similarly brutal wit. It featured many critically acclaimed performances, and was noted for reviving the career of John Travolta.
Tarantino's next film was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of a novel by his mentor Elmore Leonard. A homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who had featured in many of the genre's films in the 1970s.
In 1998, he turned his attention to the Broadway stage, where he starred in Wait Until Dark.
He had then planned to make the war film Inglorious Bastards. However, he postponed that to write and direct Kill Bill (released as two films, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), a highly stylized "revenge flick" in the Chinese Wuxia and Japanese cinematic traditions. It was based on a character (The Bride) and plot that he and Kill Bill's lead actor, 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, but it did screen on the final night in its original 3+ hour version.
Tarantino's movies are renowned for their sharp dialogue, graphic violence, splintered chronology and pop culture obsessions. Fictional brands such as Red Apple cigarettes and Big Kahuna Burgers from Pulp Fiction have shown up in other movies including Four Rooms, From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill and even Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Almost as well-known as his movies is his public persona as a motor-mouthed, geeky hipster with an encyclopaedic knowledge of both popular and art-house cinema. The director is also known for his love of cereal, and many of his movies feature discontinued brands such as Fruite Brute (a spin off of the more popular Franken Berry) in Pulp Fiction and Kaboom in Kill Bill.
One of Tarantino's trademarks is the trunk shot — the camera looking out from the trunk of a car at the actors. He has used it in all the films he has directed.
One of Tarantino's closest friends is fellow director Robert Rodriguez (the pair often refer to each other as brothers). It was Tarantino who suggested that Rodriguez name the final part of his El Mariachi trilogy Once Upon a Time in Mexico. They are both members of A Band Apart, a production company that also features directors John Woo and Luc Besson.
Tarantino has been romantically linked with Sofia Coppola, the Golden Globe and Academy Award winning writer/director of Lost In Translation, as well as the Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino. There have also been rumours about his relationship with Uma Thurman, who he has referred to as his "muse". However, Tarantino has gone on record as saying there is nothing romantic between them.
He has stated that the character of Clarence in True Romance was somewhat autobiographical. Clarence was also the name of the character he played in My Best Friend's Birthday, an amateur film he also co-wrote and directed in 1987, around the time he was writing True Romance.
Director & screenplay
My Best Friend's Birthday (1987)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Four Rooms (segment "The Man from Hollywood") (1995)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Kill Bill (Vol. 1 2003, Vol. 2 2004)
Inglorious Bastards (2005)
True Romance (1993)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
My Best Friend's Birthday Clarence Pool
Reservoir Dogs Mr. Brown
Pulp Fiction Jimmie Dimmick
Sleep With Me (1994) Syd
Destiny Turns On the Radio (1995) Johnny Destiny
Four Rooms (segment "The Man from Hollywood") Chester
Desperado (1995) Pick-up Guy
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Richard Gecko
Girl 6 (1996) Q.T
Little Nicky (2000) Deacon
Alias (TV Series) (2001) McKenas Cole
Killing Zoe (1994)
From Dusk Till Dawn
God Said, 'Ha!' (1998)