Quentin Tarantino
Uploaded by Baftaonline on Jan 27, 2010 Director Quentin Tarantino looks back at his extraordinary career with BAFTA. Part of the Alfred Dunhill BAFTA A Life in Pictures series. Find out more on the BAFTA Website: http://www.bafta.org/accessallareas
Born Quentin Jerome Tarantino March 27, 1963 (1963-03-27) (age 48)Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, actor
Years active 1988–present
Influenced by Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, Howard Hawks, Jean-Luc Godard, Samuel Fuller, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Sergio Corbucci[1]


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Quentin Tarantino

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Tarantino at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival 2009

Quentin Jerome Tarantino (pronounced ; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and occasional actor. In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with films employing nonlinear storylines and the aestheticization of violence. His films include Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003, 2004), Death Proof (2007), Inglourious Basterds (2009), and the upcoming Django Unchained (2013). He has earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA and the Palme d'Or, as well as Emmy and Grammy nominations.

Early life

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Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Tony Tarantino, an actor and amateur musician who was born in Queens, New York, and Connie McHugh, a nurse. Tarantino's father is Italian American and his mother is of Irish and Cherokee ancestry. He was raised by his mother, as his parents separated before his birth. When he was two years old, he moved to Torrance, California and later to the Harbor City neighborhood where he went to Fleming Junior High School in Lomita and took drama classes. He attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City for his freshman year before dropping out of school at age 15, to attend an acting class full time at the James Best Theater Company in Toluca Lake.

At age 22 he worked at the Video Archives, a now-defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach where he and fellow movie enthusiasts, including Roger Avary, discussed cinema and customer video recommendations at length. He paid close attention to the types of films people liked to rent and has cited that experience as inspiration for his directorial career. Tarantino has been quoted as saying, "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'"

Film career

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Tarantino has had a number of collaborations with director Robert Rodriguez.

After Tarantino met Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, Bender encouraged him to write a screenplay. Tarantino 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 occurred during editing but its screenplay would form the basis for True Romance. In January 1992, Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs screened at 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, taking a co-producer role, and a part in the movie.

Tarantino's screenplay True Romance was optioned and eventually released in 1993. 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. 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 was completed, he then 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 was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. A 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 Inglourious 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. 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" in Robert Rodriguez's 2005 neo-noir film Sin City for his work directing the car sequence featuring Clive Owen and Benicio del Toro.

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, 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 although Taratino was no longer associated with the film after its 2009 release.) and Hell Ride (written and directed by Larry Bishop, who appeared in Kill Bill Vol. 2).

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. The film opened on August 21, 2009 to very positive reviews and the #1 spot at the box office worldwide. It went on to become Tarantino's highest grossing film, both in the United States and worldwide.

In recent years, Tarantino has used his Hollywood power to give smaller and foreign films arguably more attention than they would otherwise have received. These films are usually labeled "Presented by Quentin Tarantino" or "Quentin Tarantino Presents". The first of these productions was in 2001 with the Hong Kong martial arts film Iron Monkey which made over $14 million in the United States, seven times its budget. In 2004 he brought the Chinese martial arts film Hero to U.S. shores. It ended up having a #1 opening at the box office and making $53.5 million. In 2006, the latest "Quentin Tarantino presents" production, Hostel, opened at #1 at the box office with a $20.1 million opening weekend, good for 8th all time in January. He presented 2006's The Protector, and is a producer of the (2007) film Hostel: Part II. in 2008 he produced the Larry Bishop helmed Hell Ride, a revenge biker film.

In addition, in 1995 Tarantino formed Rolling Thunder Pictures with Miramax as a vehicle to release or re-release several independent and foreign features. By 1997, Miramax shut down the company due to "lack of interest" in the pictures released. The following films were released by Rolling Thunder Pictures: Chungking Express (1994, dir. Wong Kar-wai), Switchblade Sisters (1975, dir. Jack Hill), Sonatine (1993, dir. Takeshi Kitano), Hard Core Logo (1996, dir. Bruce McDonald), The Mighty Peking Man (1977, dir. Ho Meng-Hua), Detroit 9000 (1973, dir. Arthur Marks), The Beyond (1981, dir. Lucio Fulci) and Curdled (1996, dir. Reb Braddock).

Other potential projects
Before Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino had considered making The Vega Brothers. The film would have starred Michael Madsen and John Travolta reprising their roles of Vic (Mr. Blonde) from Reservoir Dogs and Vincent from Pulp Fiction. But in 2007, because of the age of the actors and the onscreen deaths of both characters, he claimed that the project (which he intended to call Double V Vega) is "kind of unlikely now".

In 2009, in an interview for Italian TV, after being asked about the success of the two Kill Bill films, Tarantino said "You haven't asked me about the third one", and that he would be making a third Kill Bill film with the words "The Bride will fight again!" Later that year, at the Morelia International Film Festival, Tarantino announced that Kill Bill: Vol. 3 would be his ninth film, and would be released in 2014. He said he intends to make another unrelated film before that date as his eighth film. He confirmed that he wanted ten years to pass between The Bride's last conflict, to give her and her daughter a period of peace.

In a 2007 interview with The Daily Telegraph, he discussed an idea for a form of spaghetti western set in America's Deep South which he called "a southern", stating that he wanted "to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to". On May 2, 2011, it was confirmed that the title of this film will be Django Unchained, and feature the revenge of a slave on his former master. Tarantino finished the script on April 26, 2011, and handed in the final draft to The Weinstein Company. Agency William Morris Endeavor reported Christoph Waltz was cast to play a German bounty hunter, with Stacey Sher producing. Will Smith and Idris Elba are rumored to be up for the title role, while Michael K. Williams' fans are campaigning for him to be considered for the role. Tarantino regulars Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz will play Stephen, a wise, proud house slave and a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz, respectively. The film is said to be inspired by the 1966 film Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci, but also the 2007 Japanese remake by director Takashi Miike, called Sukiyaki Western Django, which featured Tarantino in a cameo as a character named Ringo.

Personal life

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Tarantino has been romantically linked with actress Mira Sorvino, directors Allison Anders and Sofia Coppola, actresses Julie Dreyfus and comediennes Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho. There have also been rumors about his relationship with Uma Thurman, whom he has referred to as his "muse". However, Tarantino has stated that their relationship is strictly platonic. Tarantino stated "I'm not saying that I'll never get married or have a kid before I'm 60. But I've made a choice, so far, to go on this road alone. Because this is my time to make movies." He also has said that he plans to retire from filmmaking at age 60, to focus on writing novels and film literature. He also is skeptical of the film industry going digital, saying, "If it actually gets to the place where you can't show 35 mm film in theatres anymore and everything is digital projection, I won't even make it to 60."

Influences and style of filmmaking

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The trunk shot is used in many Tarantino films, including Reservoir Dogs.

In an awards ceremony in the Critics Choice Awards celebrating Tarantino, he said he got his start in filmmaking in his 20s. Music is an important part of his filmmaking style. He said he would listen to music in his bedroom and create scenes that correlated to the music playing.

In the 2002 Sight & Sound Directors' poll, Tarantino revealed his top-twelve films: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Rio Bravo; Taxi Driver; His Girl Friday; Rolling Thunder; They All Laughed; The Great Escape; Carrie; Coffy; Dazed and Confused; Five Fingers of Death; and Hi Diddle Diddle. In 2009, he named Kinji Fukasaku's violent action film Battle Royale as his favorite film released since he became a director in 1992.

In August 2007, while teaching a four-hour film course during the 9th Cinemanila International Film Festival in Manila, Tarantino cited Filipino directors Cirio Santiago, Eddie Romero, and Gerardo de León as personal icons from the 1970s, citing De Leon's "soul-shattering, life-extinguishing" movies on vampires and female bondage, particularly Women in Cages. "It is just harsh, harsh, harsh," he said, and described the final shot as one of "devastating despair".

Tarantino's different style of film making earned him many accolades worldwide. According to Tarantino, a recurring hallmark in all his movies is that there is a different sense of humour in all his movies, which gets the audience to laugh at things that aren't funny. Michael Winner, whilst appearing on an episode of Piers Morgan's life stories (an ITV production), stated that Quentin Tarantino was a "big fan" of Death Wish.

Racial epithets in Tarantino's work
Spike Lee questions Tarantino's use of racial epithets in his films, particularly the racially offensive epithet, "nigger". In a Variety interview discussing Jackie Brown, Lee said: "I'm not against the word... and I use it, but Quentin is infatuated with the word. What does he want? To be made an honorary black man?" Tarantino responded on Charlie Rose by stating:

Tarantino retaliated on The Howard Stern Show by stating Lee would have to "stand on a chair to kiss my ass."Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in both directors' films, defended Tarantino's use of the word. At the Berlin Film Festival, where Jackie Brown was being screened, Jackson responded to Lee's criticism by saying:

Tarantino has defended his use of the word, arguing that black audiences have an appreciation of his blaxploitation-influenced films that eludes some of his critics, and, indeed, that Jackie Brown, another oft-cited example, was primarily made for "black audiences".

According to a 1995 Premiere magazine article, actor Denzel Washington also confronted Tarantino on his usage of racial slurs in his pictures, but mentioned that Tarantino was a "fine artist."

Recurring collaborators


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Tarantino in Paris at the César Awards 2011.

  • Reservoir Dogs was given the Critic's Award at the 4th Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival in 1993.

  • Pulp Fiction won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, winning one for Best Original Screenplay, which was shared jointly by Tarantino and co-writer Roger Avary.

  • In 1996, Tarantino was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor in From Dusk Till Dawn, but lost against Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau.

  • In 2005, Quentin Tarantino won the Icon of the Decade award at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards.

  • On August 15, 2007, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presented Tarantino with a lifetime achievement award at the Malacañang Palace in Manila.

  • In 2009, his film Inglourious Basterds was nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, winning one for Best Supporting Actor.

  • In March 2010, Tarantino was awarded the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic along with Lucy Liu and Andy Vajna for producing the 2006 movie Freedom's Fury.

  • In February 2011, Tarantino received an honorary César from the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma.


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Although Tarantino is best known for his work behind the camera, he has appeared on the large screen, on the small screen, and onstage, in a variety of roles. (Missing from the chart below is the movie True Romance (1993), which was written by Tarantino. Natural Born Killers is also missing from this list.

YearFilmFunctioned asNotes
1987My Best Friend's BirthdayYesYesYesYesClarence Pool
1992Reservoir DogsYesYesYesMr. Brown
1994Pulp FictionYesYesYesJimmie Dimmick
Sleep With MeYesSidCameo appearance
Killing ZoeYesExecutive producer
1995Four RoomsYesYesYesChester Rushsegment The Man from Hollywood
DesperadoYesPick Up GuyCameo appearance
Destiny Turns on the RadioYesJohnny Destiny
1996From Dusk Till DawnYesYesRichard Gecko
Girl SixYesHimself
CurdledYesExecutive Producer
1997Jackie BrownYesYesYesAnswering Machine Voice (voice)
1999From Dusk Till Dawn 2YesExecutive Producer
From Dusk Till Dawn 3YesExecutive Producer
2000Little NickyYesDeaconCameo appearance
Kill Bill (Vol. I & II)YesYesYesCrazy 88 MemberCameo appearance
2004My Name Is ModestyYesExecutive Producer
2005Daltry CalhounYesExecutive Producer
HostelYesExecutive Producer
2006Freedom's FuryYesExecutive Producer
2007GrindhouseYesYesYesYesLewis/Rapist #1
Warren the bartender
Segment: Death Proof
Segment: Planet Terror
Sukiyaki Western DjangoYesRingo
Hostel: Part IIYesExecutive Producer
2008Hell RideYesExecutive Producer
2009Inglourious BasterdsYesYesYesFirst scalped victim
American GI
Cameo appearance
Film within a film: Nation's Pride
2013Django UnchainedYesYes

Stage actor
  • Beginning on April 5, 1998, Tarantino starred in a revival of Wait Until Dark at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway, where it ran for 97 performances.

Television appearances
  • Tarantino appeared as Desmond, a bootleg video salesman, on the short-lived sitcom All-American Girl, starring then-girlfriend Margaret Cho, in the episode "Pulp Sitcom," a parody of Pulp Fiction.
  • Tarantino appeared in the first and third seasons of the TV show Alias, as McKenas Cole.
  • Tarantino played an Elvis impersonator in a season four episode of The Golden Girls.
  • In November 2006, an episode of the Sundance Channel's Iconoclasts features Quentin Tarantino interviewing and spending time with singer Fiona Apple.
  • Tarantino hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in season 21 (1995–1996 season) with musical guest The Smashing Pumpkins.
  • Tarantino was featured as a guest judge on the televised singing competition, American Idol, for one episode during its third season in 2004. He later served as a mentor during the eighth season's top 7 round, featuring "songs of the cinema."

Television directing
Tarantino has directed and been called to direct numerous television episodes.

  • Tarantino directed the season 20 (1994–1995 season) episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by John Travolta (musical guest: Seal), which featured a sketch called "Quentin Tarantino's Welcome Back, Kotter", a hybrid of the 1970s sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter and Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs.
  • Tarantino directed the season 1, episode 24, of ER titled "Motherhood", that aired May 11, 1995.
  • In 1997, Tarantino was originally slated to direct the The X-Files episode, "Never Again" (episode 4x13, which originally aired February 2, 1997), but was prevented from doing so by the Directors Guild of America. The episode features Scully heading to Philadelphia, while Mulder is on vacation, to interview a man who claims his tattoo talks to him. Although the episode was written specifically for Tarantino to direct, the DGA contended that Tarantino, who is not a member, failed to compensate the union for lost revenue as a result of his directorial work on ER.
  • Tarantino directed an April 20, 2004 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Tarantino earned an Emmy nomination for directing the fifth season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which first aired May 19, 2005. The highly rated episode, entitled "Grave Danger", shared a similar situation to one in Tarantino's second Kill Bill film; CSI Nick Stokes is captured and buried alive in a Plexiglas coffin while an Internet camera broadcasts the entire ordeal to CSI headquarters. (In Kill Bill Vol. 2, The Bride was also captured and buried alive in a coffin.) The broadcast was delayed in the UK as the broadcast date coincided with the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London and it was felt that the depiction of a suicide bomber could cause offense. This double-length episode was released on DVD on October 10, 2005.

See also

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  • Quentin Tarantino Film Festival, a film festival in Austin, Texas hosted by Tarantino.

Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quentin_Tarantino

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