Quentin Tarantino

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Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino Césars 2014 4.jpg
Tarantino in Paris at the 39th César Awards, February 2014
Born Quentin Jerome Tarantino
(1963-03-27) March 27, 1963 (age 51)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor
Years active 1983–present

Quentin Jerome Tarantino[1] (/ˌtærənˈtn/; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, cinematographer, producer, and actor. His films are characterized by non-linear storylines, satirical subject matter, and an aestheticization of violence, as well as features of neo-noir film[2] and spaghetti Westerns.

Tarantino grew up an obsessed film fan and worked in a video rental store while training to act. His career began in the late 1980s, when he wrote and directed My Best Friend's Birthday, the screenplay of which formed the basis for True Romance. In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992; regarded as a classic and cult hit, it was called the "Greatest Independent Film of All Time" by Empire. Its popularity was boosted by the release in 1994 of his second film, Pulp Fiction, a neo-noir crime film that became a major critical and commercial success and judged the greatest film of the past 25 years (1983-2008) by Entertainment Weekly.[3] Paying homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s, Tarantino released Jackie Brown in 1997, an adaptation of the novel Rum Punch.

Kill Bill, a highly stylized "revenge flick" in the cinematic traditions of Japanese martial arts, spaghetti westerns and Italian horror, followed six years later, and was released as two films: Vol. 1 in 2003, and Vol. 2 in 2004. Tarantino released Death Proof in 2007 as part of a double feature with friend Robert Rodriguez, under the collective title Grindhouse. His long-postponed Inglourious Basterds, which tells the fictional alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership, was released in 2009 to positive reviews. His most recent and highest-grossing work is 2012's critically acclaimed Django Unchained, a western film set in the antebellum era of the Deep South. It became the highest-grossing film of his career so far, making over $425 million at the box office.

Tarantino's films have garnered both critical and commercial success. He has received many industry awards, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards and the Palme d'Or, and has been nominated for an Emmy and a Grammy. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time in 2005,[4] and filmmaker and historian Peter Bogdanovich has called him "the single most influential director of his generation".[5]

Early life[edit]

Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963.[6] He is the son of actor and amateur musician Tony Tarantino and nurse Connie McHugh.[7][8] He has a younger half-brother named Ron. Tarantino's father, from Queens, New York, is of Italian descent, while his mother has Irish and Cherokee ancestry.[9][10][11] His stepfather was Curt Zastoupil, a musician.[7] Tarantino was raised by his mother, as his parents separated before his birth.[12] Tarantino says that his mother dated NBA star Wilt Chamberlain.[13] When he was four years old, they moved to Torrance, California and later to the Harbor City neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he attended Fleming Junior High School.[12] He attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City for his first year, but dropped out of school when he was 15[14] to attend an acting class full-time at the James Best Theater Company in Toluca Lake.[15] In an interview with NPR in 2013, Tarantino talked about how his mother's boyfriends would take him to blaxploitation movies.[16]

Tarantino grew bored with the James Best Acting School and left after two years, although he kept in touch with all of his acting friends. He then landed a job which threatened to interfere with his long-term acting ambitions.[17] As an employee of Video Archives, a now-defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach, 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.[18] Tarantino has been quoted as saying: "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them 'no, I went to films.'"[9]

Film career[edit]

1980s[edit]

After Tarantino met Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, Bender encouraged him to write a screenplay. Tarantino co-wrote and directed a movie called My Best Friend's Birthday in 1987. The final reel of the film was almost completely destroyed in a lab fire that occurred during editing,[citation needed] but its screenplay later formed the basis for True Romance.

1990s[edit]

In January 1992, Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.[19] It was an immediate hit, with the film receiving a positive response from critics. A dialogue-driven heist movie, it set the tone for Tarantino's later films. Tarantino wrote the script for the film 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, now known as Lionsgate). Harvey Keitel read the script and also contributed to the funding, taking a role as co-producer and also playing a part in the movie.[20]

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

Tarantino's screenplay True Romance was optioned and the film was eventually released in 1993. The second script that Tarantino sold was for the film Natural Born Killers, which was revised by Dave Veloz, Richard Rutowski and director Oliver Stone. Tarantino was given story credit and in an interview stated that he wished the film well.[21][22] The film engendered enmity, and the publication of a 'tell all' book titled Killer Instinct by Jane Hamsher—who with Don Murphy had an original option on the screenplay and produced the film—led to Tarantino physically assaulting Murphy in the AGO restaurant in West Hollywood, CA in October 1997. Murphy subsequently filed a $5m lawsuit against Tarantino, which was eventually settled out of court.[23] Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached by Hollywood and offered numerous projects, including Speed and Men in Black, but he instead retreated to Amsterdam to work on his script for Pulp Fiction.

In Pulp Fiction (1994), Tarantino maintained the aestheticization of violence, for which he is known, as well as his non-linear storylines. Tarantino received an Academy Award in the Best Writing (Original Screenplay) category, which he shared with Roger Avary. He also received a nomination in the Best Director category. The film received another five nominations, including for Best Picture. Tarantino also won the Palme d'Or for the film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film has grossed over $200 million and was met with outstanding reviews.

After Pulp Fiction was completed, Tarantino directed episode four of Four Rooms, "The Man from Hollywood", a tribute to the episode "Man from the South" from the television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which starred Steve McQueen in an adaptation of a Roald Dahl story. Four Rooms was a collaborative effort with filmmakers Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell and Robert Rodriguez. The film was very poorly received by critics.

Tarantino appeared in and wrote the script for Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk till Dawn (1996), which saw mixed reviews from the critics. It nevertheless quickly reached cult status, spawning a continuing saga of two sequels, for which Tarantino and Rodriguez only served as executive producers.

Tarantino's third feature film was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. An homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who starred in many of the films of that genre in the 1970s. Leonard considered Jackie Brown to be the favourite of the 26 different screen adaptations of his novels and short stories.[24]

2000s[edit]

Tarantino had next planned to make Inglourious Basterds, as it was provisionally titled, but postponed this to write and direct Kill Bill, 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 originally set for a single theatrical release, but its 4-hour plus running time prompted Tarantino to divide it into two movies. Vol. 1 was released in late 2003 and Vol. 2 was released in 2004. It was based on a character called 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 attended the Cannes film festival, where he served as President of the Jury. Although Kill Bill was not in competition, Vol. 2 had an evening screening, and was also shown on the morning of the final day in its original 3-hour plus version, with Tarantino himself attending the full screening. Tarantino 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.

Tarantino in 2009

In May 2005, Tarantino co-wrote and directed Grave Danger, the 5th season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. For this episode, Tarantino was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series on the 57th Primetime Emmy Awards.[25]

Tarantino's 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,[26] but evolved dramatically as the project unfolded. Ticket sales were low despite mostly positive reviews.

Among Tarantino's producing credits are: (1) the horror film Hostel, which included numerous references to his own Pulp Fiction; (2) the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Killshot, for which Tarantino was credited as an executive producer, although he was no longer associated with the film after its 2009 release;[27] and (3) Hell Ride, written and directed by Larry Bishop and Jonny Lane, who both appeared in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

Tarantino's film Inglourious Basterds, released in 2009, is the story of a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Filming began in October 2008.[28] The film opened on August 21, 2009 to very positive reviews[29] and reached the No. 1 spot at the box office worldwide.[30] It went on to become Tarantino's highest-grossing film until it was surpassed by Django Unchained three years later.[31]

2010–present[edit]

Tarantino in Paris in January 2013, at the French premiere of Django Unchained.

In 2011, production began on Django Unchained, a film about the revenge of a slave in the U.S. South in 1858. The film stemmed from Tarantino's desire to produce a spaghetti western set in America's Deep South. Tarantino called the proposed style "a southern",[32] 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".[32] The film was released on December 25, 2012. During an interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy about the film on Channel 4 News, Tarantino reacted angrily when, in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he was questioned about an alleged link between movie violence and real-life violence.[33]

The Hateful Eight Live Reading at the Ace Hotel Los Angeles, as part of LACMA's Live Read series on April 19, 2014.

In November 2013, Tarantino said he was working on a new film and that it would be another Western. He stated that it would not be a sequel to Django.[34] On January 12, 2014, it was revealed that the film would be titled The Hateful Eight. The production of the western would most likely have begun in the summer of 2014, but after the script for the film leaked in January 2014, Tarantino considered dropping the movie and publishing it as a novel instead.[35][36] He claimed to have given the script to a few trusted colleagues, including Bruce Dern, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.[37][38]

On April 19, Tarantino directed a live reading of the leaked script at the United Artists Theater in the Ace Hotel, Los Angeles. The event was organized by the Film Independent at LACMA, as part of the Live Read series.[39] Tarantino explained that they would read the first draft of the script, and added that he was writing two new drafts with a different ending. The actors who joined Tarantino included Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Amber Tamblyn, James Parks, Walton Goggins and the first three actors to be given the script before the leakage, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.[40]

On May 28, Tarantino said that he had calmed down and would start filming The Hateful Eight in November in Wyoming, with all the cast members from the script reading and with a possible 2015 release date.[41][42] The shooting is set to begin in early 2015, pushed back from the November 2014 schedule.[43] At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International he confirmed that he would be making the film, and that he was working on third draft.[44] On July 30, 2014, a poster for the film was revealed,[45] and on August 14, Slash Film revealed that a teaser trailer with a duration of 1 minute and 40 seconds would be released on August 22 along with the release of the film Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.[46] In late August 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was in talks to join the film.[47] In late September 2014, Viggo Mortensen was in talks to join as villain for the film.[48] In October 2014, Jennifer Jason Leigh was in talks to join as female lead for the film.[49]

As producer[edit]

In recent years, Tarantino has used his Hollywood power to give smaller and foreign films more attention than they might have received otherwise. 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 No. 1 opening at the box office and making $53.5 million. In 2006, the latest "Quentin Tarantino presents" production, Hostel, opened at No. 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 piece to release or re-release several independent and foreign features. By 1997, Miramax had 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 films[edit]

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. In 2007, because of the age of the actors and the onscreen deaths of both characters, he claimed that the film—which he intended to call Double V Vega—is "kind of unlikely now".[50]

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 implied that he would be making a third Kill Bill film with the words, "The Bride will fight again!"[51] Later that year, at the Morelia International Film Festival,[52] Tarantino announced that he would like to film Kill Bill: Vol. 3. He explained that he wanted ten years to pass between The Bride's last conflict, in order to give her and her daughter a period of peace.[53]

In a 2012 interview for the website We Got This Covered, Tarantino said that a third Kill Bill film would "probably not" happen. He also said that he would not be directing a new James Bond film, saying that he was only interested in directing Casino Royale at one point.[54] In a late 2012 interview with the online magazine The Root, Tarantino clarified his remarks and described his next film as being the final entry in a "Django-Inglourious Basterds" trilogy called Killer Crow. The film will depict a group of World War II-era black troops who have "been fucked over by the American military and kind of go apeshit. They basically – the way Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and the Basterds are having an 'Apache resistance' – [the] black troops go on an Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland."[55]

A long-running rumor in the industry is that Tarantino is interested in filming a new version of Bret Easton Ellis′ 1985 novel, Less Than Zero. His friend Roger Avary adapted Rules of Attraction, another novel by Ellis, to film in 2002, and since both he and Tarantino like the works by Ellis, Tarantino has been eyeing the possibility of adapting Less Than Zero. Ellis recently confirmed, in an interview for Vice magazine, that Tarantino had been "trying to get Fox to let him remake it".[56] At a Q&A session at Harvard Book Store in 2012, in reply to a question asking whether Less Than Zero would be remade, Ellis once again confirmed that Tarantino "has shown interest" in adapting the story.[57] At the 2014 Comic-Con, Tarantino revealed he is contemplating a possible science-fiction film.

Personal life[edit]

Tarantino has been romantically linked with American actress Mira Sorvino,[58] directors Allison Anders[citation needed] and Sofia Coppola,[59] actress Julie Dreyfus,[60] actress/model Didem Erol from 2007 to 2011,[61] and comedienne Margaret Cho.[62] There have been rumors about his relationship with Uma Thurman, whom he has referred to as his "muse".[63] However, Tarantino has stressed that their relationship is strictly platonic.[64]

Tarantino has expressed himself as non-religious, yet has often stated a belief in divine inspiration which he has admitted confuses him and holds a belief in reincarnation.[65]

Tarantino has also said, "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."[66]

His best friend is fellow filmmaker and frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez who, in the credits of Kill Bill Volume 2, he refers to as his brother. He is also close friends with Fiona Apple, Eli Roth, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Edgar Wright and Harvey Keitel.

Tarantino has said that he plans to retire from filmmaking when he is 60, in order to focus on writing novels and film literature. He 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."[67] On February 18, 2010, it was announced that Tarantino had bought the New Beverly Cinema. Tarantino has allowed the current owners to continue operating the theater, but he will be making programming suggestions from time to time. He was quoted as saying: "As long as I'm alive, and as long as I'm rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing films shot on 35mm."[68]

Influences and style of filmmaking[edit]

An awards ceremony in the Critics Choice Awards celebrated Tarantino, citing his start in filmmaking when he was in his twenties. Music is an important part of Tarantino's filmmaking style, and he said that he would listen to music in his bedroom and create scenes which correlated to the music that was being played.[69][70]

In the 2012 Sight & Sound directors' poll, Tarantino listed his top 12 films: Apocalypse Now, The Bad News Bears, Carrie, Dazed and Confused, The Great Escape, His Girl Friday, Jaws, Pretty Maids All in a Row, Rolling Thunder, Sorcerer, Taxi Driver and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with the last being his favorite.[71] In 2009, he named Kinji Fukasaku's violent action film Battle Royale as his favorite film released since he became a director in 1992.[72] He is also a fan of the 1981 film Blow Out directed by Brian De Palma, so much so that he used the main star of the film, John Travolta, in Pulp Fiction.[73] Tarantino praised Mel Gibson's 2006 film Apocalypto, saying, "I think it's a masterpiece. It was perhaps the best film of that year."[74]

Tarantino in 2007

In August 2007, while teaching in 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.[75] He referred to De Leon's "soul-shattering, life-extinguishing" movies on vampires and female bondage, citing in particular Women in Cages; "It is just harsh, harsh, harsh", he said, and described the final shot as one of "devastating despair".[75] Upon his arrival in the Philippines, Tarantino was quoted in the local newspaper as saying, "I'm a big fan of RP [Republic of the Philippines] cinema."

Tarantino often uses graphic violence that has proven seductive to audiences, and he has been harshly criticised for his use of gore and blood in an entrancing yet simultaneously repulsive way. His films have been staunchly criticised and scorned for their use of violence, blood and action as a "colour" within cinema, and rebuked for allegedly using human suffering as a punchline.[76]

Actor Steve Buscemi has described Tarantino's novel style of filmmaking as "bursting with energy" and "focused",[77] a style that has earned him many accolades worldwide. According to Tarantino, a hallmark of all his movies is that there is a different sense of humor in each one, which gets the audience to laugh at things that are not funny.[78] However, he insists that his films are dramas, not comedies.[79] Michael Winner, while appearing on an episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, a British ITV production, stated that Quentin Tarantino was a "big fan" of his own film Death Wish.

Tarantino has stated that the celebrated animation-action sequence in Kill Bill (2003) was inspired by the use of 2D animated sequences in actor Kamal Hassan's Tamil film Aalavandhan. He often seeks to harness, manipulate and ultimately imitate the aesthetic elements and conventions typically used in the cartoon medium. More specifically, he often attempts to meld comic strip formulas and aesthetics within a live action film sequence, in some cases by the literal use of cartoon or anime images. Tarantino's cinematic ambition to marry artistic expression via live action and cartoonism is yet another example of his ability to morph genres and conventions to produce a new and authentic style of his own.[80]

Tarantino often manipulates the use of commodities in order to propel plot development or to present an intriguing juxtaposition that ultimately enhances his notorious combination of humor and violence, equating a branded genre with branded consumption.[2] He often pairs bizarre props with an equally bizarre scene, in which the prop itself develops into something of higher substance. Likewise, he often favors particular brand names of his own creation to make promotional appearances. The typical brands he uses within his films are "Acuña Boys Tex-Mex Food", "Big Kahuna Burger", "G.O. Juice", "Jack Rabbit Slim's", "K-Billy", "Red Apple cigarettes", "Tenku Brand Beer" and "Teriyaki Donut".[81]

On the biopic genre, Tarantino has said that he has "no respect" for biopics, saying that they "are just big excuses for actors to win Oscars. ... Even the most interesting person – if you are telling their life from beginning to end, it’s going to be a fucking boring movie.”[82] However, in an interview with Charlie Rose, he said:

There is one story that I could be interested in, but it would probably be one of the last movies I [ever make] ... My favorite hero in American history is John Brown. He's my favorite American who ever lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and ... he killed people to do it. He decided, 'If we start spilling white blood, then they're going to start getting the idea.' "[83]

Tarantino has stated in many interviews that his writing process is like writing a novel before formatting it into a script, saying that this creates the blueprint of the film and makes the film feel like literature. About his writing process he told website The Talks:

[My] head is a sponge. I listen to what everyone says, I watch little idiosyncratic behavior, people tell me a joke and I remember it. People tell me an interesting story in their life and I remember it. ... when I go and write my new characters, my pen is like an antenna, it gets that information, and all of a sudden these characters come out more or less fully formed. I don’t write their dialogue, I get them talking to each other.[82]

In 2013, a survey of 17 academics was carried out to discover which filmmakers had been referenced the most in essays and dissertations on film that had been marked in the previous five years. It revealed that Tarantino was the most-studied director in the UK, ahead of Christopher Nolan, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.[84]

Controversies[edit]

Gun violence[edit]

Tarantino does not believe that violence in movies inspires acts of violence in real life. In an interview after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, he expressed "annoyance" at the suggestion that there is a link between the two, saying, "I think it's disrespectful to [the] memory of those who died to talk about movies. ... Obviously the issue [here] is gun control and mental health." [85] When asked in 2013 by Britain's Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, "Why are you so sure that there's no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence?", Tarantino responded by saying, "I refuse your question. I'm not a slave and you're not my master ... It's none of your damn business what I think about that. ... I have explained [my view on this] many times over the last 20 years, I just refuse to repeat myself over and over again."[86]

Racial epithets[edit]

Spike Lee questioned Tarantino's use of racial epithets in his films, particularly the word "nigger". In a Variety interview discussing Jackie Brown, Lee said, "I'm not against the word...And some people speak that way. But Quentin is infatuated with that word. What does he want to be made–an honorary black man?"[87] Tarantino responded on Charlie Rose by stating:

As a writer, I demand the right to write any character in the world that I want to write. I demand the right to be them, I demand the right to think them and I demand the right to tell the truth as I see they are, all right? And to say that I can't do that because I'm white, but the Hughes brothers can do that because they're black, that is racist. That is the heart of racism, all right. And I do not accept that ... That is how a segment of the black community that lives in Compton, lives in Inglewood, where Jackie Brown takes place, that lives in Carson, that is how they talk. I'm telling the truth. It would not be questioned if I was black, and I resent the question because I'm white. I have the right to tell the truth. I do not have the right to lie.[88]

In addition, Tarantino retaliated on The Howard Stern Show by stating that Lee would have to "stand on a chair to kiss my ass".[89] 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:

I don't think the word is offensive in the context of this film ... Black artists think they are the only ones allowed to use the word. Well, that's bull. Jackie Brown is a wonderful homage to black exploitation films. This is a good film, and Spike hasn't made one of those in a few years.[citation needed]

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 was primarily made for "black audiences".[90]

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".[91]

Django Unchained was the subject of controversy because of its use of racial epithets and depiction of slavery. Many reviewers[92] have defended the use of the language by pointing out the historic context of race and slavery in America.[93] Spike Lee, in an interview with Vibe magazine said that he would not see the film, explaining, "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors. That's just me...I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody else."[94] Lee later tweeted, "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them."[95] Writing in The Los Angeles Times, journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan noted the difference between Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Django Unchained: "It is an institution whose horrors need no exaggerating, yet Django does exactly that, either to enlighten or entertain. A white director slinging around the n-word in a homage to '70s blaxploitation à la Jackie Brown is one thing, but the same director turning the savageness of slavery into pulp fiction is quite another".[96]

Filmography and critical reception[edit]

Frequent collaborators[edit]

Like many directors, Tarantino has built up an informal "repertory company"[97] of actors who have appeared in multiple roles in films that he has directed.[98] Most notable of these is Samuel L. Jackson,[99] who has appeared in five films directed by Tarantino, and a sixth that was written by him, True Romance.[100] Other frequent collaborators include Uma Thurman, whom Tarantino has described as his "muse",[100][101] Christoph Waltz[102] and Zoë Bell.[103]

Editor Sally Menke, who worked on all Tarantino films until her death in 2010, was described by Tarantino in 2007 as "hands down my number one collaborator".[104][105]

Actor My Best Friend's Birthday Reservoir Dogs Pulp Fiction Four Rooms Jackie Brown Kill Bill Death Proof Inglourious Basterds Django Unchained Total
Michael Bacall NoN NoN NoN 3
Zoë Bell NoN NoN NoN NoN 4
Michael Bowen NoN NoN NoN 3
Steve Buscemi NoN NoN 2
Paul Calderón NoN NoN 2
Laura Cayouette NoN NoN 2
Omar Doom NoN NoN 2
Julie Dreyfus NoN NoN 2
Kathy Griffin NoN NoN 2
Sid Haig NoN NoN 2
Craig Hamann NoN NoN 2
Brenda Hillhouse NoN NoN 2
Samuel L. Jackson NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN 5
Linda Kaye NoN NoN NoN 3
Helen Kim NoN NoN 2
Harvey Keitel NoN NoN NoN 3
Jonathan Loughran NoN NoN 2
Michael Madsen NoN NoN 2
James Parks NoN NoN NoN 3
Michael Parks NoN NoN NoN 3
Stevo Polyi NoN NoN NoN 3
Tina Rodriguez NoN NoN 2
Eli Roth NoN NoN 2
Tim Roth NoN NoN NoN 3
Robert Ruth NoN NoN 2
Shana Stein NoN NoN 2
David Steen NoN NoN 2
Bo Svenson NoN NoN 2
Uma Thurman NoN NoN 2
Rich Turner NoN NoN NoN 3
Venessia Valentino NoN NoN NoN 3
Rowland Wafford NoN NoN 2
Christoph Waltz NoN NoN 2
Bruce Willis NoN NoN 2

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1992 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Dramatic Reservoir Dogs Nominated
Independent Spirit Award Best Director Nominated
1993 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival Critic's Award [106] Won
1994 Independent Spirit Award Best Director Pulp Fiction Won
Best Screenplay Won
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Won
1995 Academy Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Writing (Original Screenplay) Won
BAFTA Awards Best Direction Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Won
Best Director Nominated
1996 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor From Dusk Till Dawn Nominated
2004 Saturn Awards Best Director Kill Bill Volume 1 Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
Satellite Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2005 Saturn Awards Best Director Kill Bill Volume 2 Nominated
Best Writing Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Grave Danger Nominated
2007 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Death Proof Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association Awards Austin Film Award Grindhouse Won
2008 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Hostel: Part II Nominated
2009 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Inglourious Basterds Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association Awards Best Original Screenplay Won
2010 Academy Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Writing (Original Screenplay) Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Direction Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Critics' Choice Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
Critics' Choice Award for Best Director Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Director Nominated
2012 Hollywood Film Festival Screenwriter of the Year Django Unchained Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2013 Academy Awards Best Writing (Original Screenplay) Won
BAFTA Awards Best Original Screenplay Won
Best Direction Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Critics' Choice Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Won
Best Director Nominated

Other lifetime honors[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception to films Tarantino has directed.

Film Rotten Tomatoes[111] Metacritic[112]
Reservoir Dogs 92% 78
Pulp Fiction 94% 94
Jackie Brown 86% 64
Kill Bill Volume 1 85% 69
Kill Bill Volume 2 84% 83
Death Proof 67% N/A
Grind House 83% 77
Inglourious Basterds 89% 69
Django Unchained 88% 81
Average 87% 77

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Greene, Richard; Mohammad, K. Silem, eds. (2007). Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court Books. ISBN 0-8126-9634-4. 
  • Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005). Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. New York: Harper Entertainment. ISBN 0060540176. 

External links[edit]