Quentin Tarantino: The Director

VOICE OVER: Derek Allen
One of the most recognizable pop cultural icons of the 1990's, Quentin Tarantino is perhaps most famous for not following Hollywood rules. He is well-known in the film community for his over-riding philosophy that the quality of the finished film project comes high above any paycheck. In this video, takes a look at the directing career of this controversial figure.
He gained instant international fame and a cult following for his mastery of non-linear storytelling, as well as his extreme portrayal of violence. Hello, welcome to, I’m your host Derek Allen and today we’ll be learning more about the always-controversial, Quentin Tarantino.

Born March 27th, 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Quentin Tarantino, dropped out of high school at the age of 15 but went on to study acting at the James Best Theatre Company. It was at the age of 22, while working at a video store when Tarantino’s passion for discussing and analyzing movies truly took hold of him. Using every free moment to write his own screenplays, Tarantino took advantage of the opportunity to study what people were watching and why.

Tarantino got his start in the industry with small acting roles, one of which coming in 19--, where he played an Elvis impersonator on an episode of "The Golden Girls", it was only after meeting producer Lawrence Bender when he would begin to gain exposure for his writing.

Bender’s encouragement to share some ideas would lead to Tarantino’s 1992 breakthrough film, “Reservoir Dogs.” The film was produced by Bender and entered into the Sundance Film Festival, even being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Following this success, he would continualy come under scrutiny by critics for blatantly plagiarizing his movie favorites.

The film received instant critical acclaim and Tarantino became a mega hit on the cult-film circuit in the United Kingdom. Reservoir Dogs set the groundwork for all of his films that would follow. Rumours and accusations of plagiarizing on the part of Tarantino seemed to only boost his appeal to audiences in the following years.

His style however, forever became cemented in the public consciousness with 1994’s  “Pulp Fiction.” Tarantino’s use of non-linear narrative, strong graphic violence, language, sexuality and drug use became staples of his work. By breaking many of the narrative rules of filmmaking, Tarantino helped rewrite the way a story could be told.

In 2003, Tarantino released the first part of the Kill Bill series and again created a stir in the media for pushing the boundaries of violence and mayhem. Tarantino also used the project to make a tribute film as well as a revenge saga. Tarantino basked in using genre-sampling of exploitation films of the 1960s and 70s. Tarantino even admitted in an interview with Playboy that illicit substances aided him in making the film.

The Kill Bill films acted as a prelude to his 2007 film project "Grindhouse" with fellow director Robert Rodriguez Tarantino has shared an incredibly strong collaborative bond with Robert Rodriguez since he had a minor role in Rodriguez’s "Desperado" in 1995.

The two often refer to themselves as brothers for their shared cinematic vision as well as passion of B-movies and exploitation films. Their double feature "Grindhouse" pays comprehensive homage to that style of long defunct cinema.

Their double features "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" came complete with fictionalized trailers, advertisements, and in-theater announcements. During planning the two directors became competitive in seeing who could deliver more on screen carnage.

2009's Inglorious Bastard's was constructed as an epic ensemble war film that took its inspiration from the 1978 film of the same name. Taking place during World War II in Nazi-occupied France, the film is viewed by Tarantino as his personal masterpiece and "some of the best writing that he has ever done". The film took Tarantino over a decade to write. As the story kept growing and expanding, which resulted in it being pushed back several times.

Aside from directing and writing, Tarantino has continously dipped into other roles such as acting and producing. In most of his films he has a minor acting role. But he has also starred in larger parts, such as being one of the principle characters in the film “Dusk Till Dawn” and had a re-occurring guest spot in the first season of 2001's Alias. He has also always enjoyed taking on the role of producer so that he can give lesser known films, that would otherwise have gone unnoticed, the opportunity to gain recognition. These films are usually subtitled with the phrase "Quentin Tarantino Presents".

In his personal life, Tarantino has been romantically involved with several famous entertainers over the years including Julie Dreyfus, Shar Jackson, Sofia Coppola, Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho. Frequently, there has been a rumor about a possible relationship with Uma Thurman. Tarantino denies these claims and says that she is his “muse” and close platonic friend. Quentin Tarintino has never married and has no children.

Tarantino is one of the most recognizable pop cultural icons of the 90's and a true film auteur. He is well known in the film community for his over-riding philosophy that the quality of the finished film project comes high above any paycheck.