Natural Born Filmmaker
Time to look at the crazy man himself.
I LOVE QUENTIN TARANTINO!!! There is literally nothing else to say. He is just an amazing filmmaker.
Between his writing, directing, insane personality, and knowledge of film, there is no
denying that whatever he creates is going to be a unique and crazy masterpiece.
He does have a few critics, with his films using constant racial slurs and having excessive violence, but Tarantino has a way of doing his stuff so over the top that you find yourself laughing at the sheer insanity of it, rather than cringing at the actual seriousness of it.
Once Upon a Time... in Knoxville
Tarantino was born on March 27, 1963, in Tennessee. He is an only child whose father left before he was born.
When he was 3-years-old he and his mother moved to California where he lived on-again, off-again for the next few years.
Captain Peachfuzz and the Anchovy Bandit
Throughout his adolescence, Tarantino stuck with his love of film and even wrote a screenplay titled Captain Peachfuzz and the Anchovy Bandit.
He took acting classes and worked a number of jobs, most noticeably at a video store and an adult film theater.
Like many people trying to start out in show business, Tarantino struggled to make it, with many of his screenplays and acting attempts falling short.
In 1987, he was able to direct a low budget film called My Best Friend’s Birthday, but the film was never finished.
“When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, 'No, I went to films'”
- Quentin Tarantino
In 1992, with money from friends and a non-speaking role on an episode of The Golden Girls,
, Tarantino was able to finance one of his scripts and direct his first movie; Reservoir Dogs.
A story about 9 criminals who rob a bank. However, the robbery goes bad. The group spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out what went wrong.
It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992 to great acclaim, although it’s violence and language were criticized. These are two complaints that Tarantino has dealt with his entire career.
He subsequently wrote (though didn’t direct) several other scripts: True Romance, From Dusk till Dawn, and the fun for the whole family outing, Natural Born Killers.
...He Made One of the Ones That Became Something...
In 1994, he cemented his success in Hollywood with arguably one of the greatest movies ever made: Pulp Fiction.
A neo-noir thriller that goes against every classic storytelling structure. This film was a huge success after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Palme d’Or, as well as with mainstream critics and audiences. It also won Tarantino an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Accept No Substitutes
While it would be a while before Tarantino made it back to the Oscars, he still made films that were met with praise, including Jackie Brown (based on the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch), Kill Bill (a six-hour movie broken into two parts), and Death Proof (in my opinion not terrible, but for Tarantino, pretty subpar).
It wasn’t until 2009’s Inglorious Basterds, that Tarantino was once again recognized by the Academy.
It was such a cool, unique and crazy film experience. It does something towards the end that no one but Tarantino would try. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I won’t ruin it for you.
While the film was critically acclaimed and earned several Oscar nominations, winning one for Best Supporting Actor, Tarantino himself took none home. It wasn’t until three years later when he made another masterpiece, Django Unchained, that he earned his second Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
It created tons of controversy for its violence and excessive use of the n-word, but was nevertheless still a major success.
He has since made two more films, The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, both of which were also lauded by critics and audiences, receiving several Oscar nominations.
The Method to the Madness
One thing that many argue about regarding Tarantino films is what genre they fall into. They’re serious, funny, violent, suspenseful. You could say they are dramas, but watch this scene from Django,
. It’s hilarious, and when you see it, it’s hard to say this film is just a drama.
Personally, what I think makes his films so special and unique are that they are their own genre. Tarantino has created his own sense of filmmaking; the writing style, visuals, the rewriting of history, and the common threads that connect them all.
· Big Kahuna Burger (Death Proof, Pulp Fiction & From Dusk Till Dawn)
· Red Apple Cigarettes (Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight & Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
· Family connections;
1. Vic Vega (Michael Madsen) in Reservoir Dogs & Vincent Vega (John Travolta) in Pulp Fiction are brothers.
2. Paula Schultz grave in Kill Bill belongs to the wife of Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) in Django Unchained.
3. Crazy Craig Koons in Django Unchained is a distant relative of Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) in Pulp Fiction.
4. And of course; Samuel L. Jackson.
These are just a few examples, and if you do some serious digging you’ll find more; but that’s on you.
The End of an Era?!
Quentin Tarantino films may not be for everybody, but for those who appreciate unique, eccentric and brilliant films, Tarantino never disappoints.
Tarantino says that he plans to retire after 10 films, which is too depressing a thought to even comprehend. But even if it’s true, there is no denying that this master has left his brilliant mark on the history of film.
If you’ve never seen an of his films and want to get a sense of what they are like, here are trailers to each one:
Kill Bill: Vol. 1:
Kill Bill: Vol. 2:
The Hateful Eight:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: