Creator: Quentin Tarantino
"When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'"Quentin Jerome Tarantino
(born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor. According to legend, he learned everything he knows about filmmaking from working at a video rental store in Manhattan Beach. Roger Ebert
once quipped that the store owner should get a finder's fee based on QT's subsequent career.
In the early 1990s he was an independent filmmaker whose films used nonlinear storylines and aestheticizing take on violence. He is known for his absurdly encyclopedic knowledge of film history
. 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. Known for being very excited about his movies
in interviews, using many different sources of inspiration with his work and having many Shout Outs
. Notable for his witty dialog and frequently using the same actors in his movies. He's also into feet.
Is allegedly dating Uma Thurman
(who he's "loved for years"), although she claims they're just friends
presented him like this
. Suits well for the trope page.
Works that he has been involved in: Directed:
Wrote but did not direct:
- "My Best Friend's Birthday" — Tarantino's first film, shot in black and white. The plot revolves around a man attempting to do something nice for his friend on his birthday, only to have his efforts continually backfire. The film was originally 70 minutes long, but was re-edited to run just over 36 minutes due to a fire in the warehouse where the originals were kept. Never officially released, nor likely ever to be. Unofficially, can be found on YouTube, etc.
- Reservoir Dogs — A heist film that skips the heist, jumping back and forth between the set-up and the calamitous aftermath of a jewelry store robbery. This film uses a nonlinear narrative that became a trademark of Tarantino's. The storyline is said to be based on the Ringo Lam movie City on Fire. The nonlinear structure has caused a lot of comparisons to be made to Kubrick's The Killing...but Quentin makes it a point to downplay this.
- Pulp Fiction — Various tales of sex, violence, drugs, and redemption intersect in the underworld of LA. This film put Tarantino on the map and had tremendous influence on the way films were made for the next decade.
- The ER episode "Motherhood", arguably one of the best of the series, features his trademark foot and trunk shots.
- Four Rooms (segment "The Man from Hollywood") — A group of Hollywood power players hire the bellhop to serve as an impartial hatchet-man to preside over an ill-advised dare. Contains a particularly impressive Oner.
- Jackie Brown — A just-making-it flight attendant collaborates with a bail bondsman to pull a heist on an arms dealer. Low-key and more smart than bloody, it disappointed viewers who expected work as stylish as Pulp Fiction, but it has a loyal following and is critically highly acclaimed as his most "mature" work. Adapted from the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (who publically praised the film), and a subtle homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s.
- Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2 — An Action Girl, Left for Dead after being betrayed by her former lover and the other four members of the group of assassins she was once a part of, goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- A scene in the Sin City movie, specifically, Dwight driving to the tar pits.
- The CSI episode "Grave Danger" — which is highly regarded as the best two-part episode of the entire series and features a lot of his motifs while staying within the confines of a CSI episode.
- Death Proof — A pastiche of exploitation and muscle car films of the 1970's: A serial-killing stuntman targets young women, using his Cool Car as the murder weapon. This was Tarantino's half of his double-feature collaboration with Robert Rodriguez, Grindhouse.
- Inglourious Basterds — A group of Jewish-American Nazi-killers and a Jewish-French owner of a cinema hatch separate plots to kill Adolf Hitler at the premiere of a high-profile German propaganda film. Bad luck ensues.
- Django Unchained — Tarantino's first "true" take on The Western, or "Southern", as he's calling it, as well as a throwback to Western-themed blaxploitation films and Spaghetti Westerns. Follows a freed slave as he is mentored by a German bounty hunter (played by Christoph Waltz of Basterds fame) to save his wife from an evil plantation owner. The film features an All-Star Cast headed by Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, the aforementioned Christoph Waltz, Don Johnson, and Samuel L. Jackson.
- The Hateful Eight — Tarantino's second western. Rescued from a self-induced Development Hell - Tarantino initially canceled the project after the script was leaked, but restarted pre-production after a rewrite.
His film and TV roles include:
- True Romance — A hipster with a screw loose marries a hooker with a heart of gold, steals a cache of cocaine, and flees to Hollywood with the mob and police in pursuit. Directed by Tony Scott, who gave the film a happy ending. As opposed to the below entry, Quentin is on record as liking the final product.
- Natural Born Killers — Serial-murdering lovers on the lam allegedly illustrate something about violence, media, and the American psyche. Directed by Oliver Stone, who altered the story so much that Tarantino disowned the final product. (Interestingly enough, Quentin's original script is much more clearly the dark satire on media glamorization of serial killers that the film alleges to be.)
- Its Pat—cowriter, uncredited
- From Dusk Till Dawn — A pair of hardened criminals (Tarantino and George Clooney) abduct a preacher and his family, then get ambushed by vampires in Mexico. Directed by Robert Rodriguez—Tarantino's close friend in the business. Tarantino also produced.
- Crimson Tide — Uncredited, but rewrote or added many scenes to include his signature pop culture references. Director Tony Scott went so far as to credit Quentin with saving the film, giving it what it needed to come "alive".
- The Rock — Wrote a late draft of the screenplay. Again, pop culture references appear, particularly early on. (Pay attention in particular to the scene where Nicolas Cage defends records as being superior to CDs—which is said to be exactly what Quentin believes....)
- Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs.
- Jimmie in Pulp Fiction. You'll recognize him when he asks what sign does not appear over his garage. Tarantino was going to play either Jimmie or Lance the drug dealer. He decided on Jimmie so he could be behind the camera during the adrenaline shot scene.
- Johnny Destiny in Destiny Turns On The Radio, his only major role.
- A gangster in Desperado. He tells a classic joke and then gets shot.
- Famous Hollywood director Chester Rush in Four Rooms.
- Richard Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn, brother of the main character and one of his largest roles.
- He has a quick appearance as an Elvis impersonator in The Golden Girls, during the episode where Sophia gets married. He's the conservatively-dressed one in the back who snaps his fingers instead of gyrating when they all get up and sing. (This is perhaps his earliest on-screen role.)
- His smallest role is Jackie Brown, where he just plays a voice on an answering machine.
- He was a guest star in J. J. Abrams' Alias. He played McKenas Cole, a former SD-6 agent turned mercenary, in four episodes.
- Little Nicky, where he plays an evangelist.
- He appears as a corpse in Kill Bill, Episode 1.
- Planet Terror as an infected soldier who attempts to rape one of the main characters.
- Warren in Death Proof, the bar owner.
- Sukiyaki Western Django, a Japanese Western with a very similar modus operandi to his own works, directed by Takashi Miike.
- Sid in Sleep With Me, where he goes on a filibuster on the Ho Yay in Top Gun.
- Inglourious Basterds as a dead Nazi being scalped. Also seen from behind in Nation's Pride as the American soldier who says, "I implore you, we must destroy that tower!" His hands also strangle Bridget von Hammersmark.
- Django Unchained as an Australian slave trader with a questionable accent who gets tricked and blown up by Django.
- Killing Zoe, the directorial debut of former writing partner Roger Avary. Avary had previously written a script titled The Open Road, which was the basis for True Romance, and Pandemonium Reigns, which became "The Gold Watch" story in Pulp Fiction.
- The Man with the Iron Fists: Yet another Genre Throwback, this time, to violent Wuxia movies of the 70s and 80s.
- Chungking Express (Tarantino founded Rolling Thunder Pictures specifically to provide Wong Kar Wai's film with a US release)
- Sonatine by Takeshi Kitano
- Switchblade Sisters (initially released in 1975)
- Hard Core Logo
- The Mighty Peking Man (initially released in 1977)
- Detroit 9000 (initially released in 1973)
- The Beyond
- Rolling Thunder (Initially released in 1977)
- Hero: Tarantino "presented" the film in American promotional material on the grounds that it be subtitled and un-cut.
Each of his films is packed chock-full of references to other films: here
is a far from complete list.