Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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Quentin Tarantino
Film: North side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Director | Producer | Writer
Born Quentin Jerome Tarantino on March 27, 1963 in Knoxville, TN

In a league of his own, Quentin Tarantino has consistently used loquacious characters, violence and eclectic music as diverse as Stealers Wheel, Dusty Springfield and Ennio Morricone to develop a unique style of filmmaking. He achieved critical and popular success through repeated collaborations with actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Tim Roth.

"It's far from naturalism. It's far from the habit of just whispering your way through a movie," Roth told The Times in 2015 after working with Tarantino on "The Hateful Eight."

"It requires a willingness to jump in and not be worried about embarrassing yourself because he will take care of you."

From a young age, Tarantino held an infatuation for the silver screen. He wrote his first script at age 14 and performed in community theater productions. In his late teens, Tarantino lied about his age to usher at an adult theater and notably worked as a video store clerk, writing scripts for future films while on the job.

The filmmaker earned acclaim for his feature writing and directing debut, "Reservoir Dogs," in 1992. Tarantino's star continued to rise with his second film, 1994's "Pulp Fiction," which claimed the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and earned seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture and director. Tarantino won his first Oscar for original screenplay and the film became a box-office hit.

Following that success, Tarantino wrote and directed "Jackie Brown" and the two-part martial arts film "Kill Bill," prolifically writing scripts faster than he could produce a film. He dabbled in television, wrote scripts directed by Tony Scott ("True Romance") and Oliver Stone ("Natural Born Killers") and collaborated with Robert Rodriguez on "Four Rooms," "From Dusk Till Dawn" and the double-feature, "Grindhouse."

"I came up with the idea of 'Kill Bill' at some point during the process of making 'Pulp Fiction.' But then I did 'From Dusk Till Dawn.' And then I thought, 'Well, I've kind of done a bride heist movie,' and so I was looking for something else to do," Tarantino told The Times in 2013.

"And so I did 'Jackie Brown.' Then I came up with the idea of 'Inglourious Basterds.' My problem is not writer's block. My problem is I can't stop writing."

From the vengeful killings of Nazis by Jewish soldiers to the rebellion of a freed slave against white slave owners, Tarantino has recently pushed the envelope with his subject matter.

He followed "Inglourious Basterds," which tallied eight Academy Award nominations, with "Django Unchained," winning his second Academy Award for original screenplay. In 2015, he released another historical epic, "The Hateful Eight," a post-Civil War western starring Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

"I can look at, in particular, "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" and think, "Oh, wow." You know, I've learned a little bit more about directing," Tarantino told The Times in 2013.

"They were that Quentin then, and these movies reflect this point in time now. And to some degree or another, it's actually the imperfections of the early movies that I love the most."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1994 Best Director Pulp Fiction Nomination
    1994 Best Original Screenplay Pulp Fiction Win*
    2009 Best Director Inglourious Basterds Nomination
    2009 Best Original Screenplay Inglourious Basterds Nomination
    2012 Best Original Screenplay Django Unchained Win
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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