Hollywood history has its share of artistic rebels, and writer/director
Quentin Tarantino has already established himself as one of the most unique
and talented filmmakers of his generation. Not bad for this former video
store rental clerk whose biggest professional credit a couple of years ago
was an appearance as an Elvis impersonator on "The Golden Girls."
Tarantino wrote, directed and starred in PULP FICTION, which won the prestigious
Palme D'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, numerous critics awards, a
Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, was nominated for seven Academy Awards
including Best Picture and Best Director, and received an Academy Award
for Best Screenplay. A trilogy of interrelated stories about seedy criminals
in contemporary Hollywood, the film stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma
Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Maria
De Medeiros, Amanda Plummer, and Christopher Walken. The film made over
$100 million in the U.S. box office alone.
While still working at a southern California video store, Tarantino passed
his time writing screenplays. Tarantino's first produced project was RESERVOIR
DOGS. Made on a shoestring budget with a cadre of impressive talent (including
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen), Tarantino's twisted tale of
cops and robbers made an immediate impact on audiences and critics all over
the world. Released by Miramax, the film continues to draw audiences in
Europe and midnight screenings in the United States nearly four years after
it first hit the festival circuit.
Hollywood was obviously enamoured of Tarantino's harrowing vision of contemporary
life, where torture, violence and humiliation are turned on their head as
Tarantino's memorably malevolent characters take a walk on the seedier side
of life. Clamoring for more Tarantino material, Hollywood bought up some
of the properties Tarantino had written as an unknown. TRUE ROMANCE, was
made into a critically successful film by director Tony Scott, and starred
Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette and featured a host of cameos from actors
like Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman. Oliver Stone turned Tarantino's NATURAL
BORN KILLERS into a feature starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis
as serial killers on the run.
With his production partner Lawrence Bender (through their company A Band
Apart Productions), he served as executive producer on October Film's KILLING
ZOE, directed by Roger Avary, and starring Jean-Hugues Anglade, Julie Delpy
and Eric Stoltz.
His acting roles include DESTINY TURNS ON THE RADIO, directed by Jack Baran,
in which he plays Johnny Destiny, opposite James LeGros and Dylan McDermott
and a role in DESPERADO, Robert Rodriguez's follow-up to EL MARIACHI.
Tarantino also completed the omnibus feature FOUR ROOMS produced by Lawrence
Bender, in which he wrote, directed and starred in a segment as well as
executive producing. Set in a Hollywood hotel on New Year's Eve night, the
film follows the adventures of a bell-boy (Tim Roth) as he witnesses the
goings on in four different hotel rooms, directed by Allison Anders, Robert
Rodriguez, Alexandre Rockwell and Tarantino. FOUR ROOMS was released by
Miramax in December 1995.
Not content to stay idle, Tarantino turned his attention toward the small
screen with a cameo on an episode of Margaret Cho's "All American Girl"
entitled "Pulp Sitcom," this was followed by his television directorial
debut with an episode of the hit drama "ER" entitled "Motherhood."
Renowned for his gritty, realistic style of writing, he also performed a
dialogue polish on the hit film CRIMSON TIDE.
Tarantino executive-produced and starred in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN from his
own script, featuring George Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was released by Dimension
in January 1996. He also executive produced CURDLED featuring Billy Baldwin
and Angela Jones for Dimension.
Miramax's confidence in Tarantino led to the formation of his own independent
distribution arm, Rolling Thunder. Created to provide a showcase for unique
films that would not otherwise receive distribution, 25% of all profits
from Rolling Thunder will be donated toowards film preservation. Rolling
Thunder's first release of Jack Hill's cult classic, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS.
Rolling Thunder will next release SONATINE in 1998.