Jackie Brown: About Quentin Tarantino

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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.

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