Quentin Tarantino

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Quentin Tarantino (2015)Quentin Tarantino's signature.svg

Quentin Jerome Tarantino [ ˌtærənˈtiːnoʊ ] (born March 27, 1963 in Knoxville , Tennessee ) is an American film director , producer , screenwriter , cameraman and actor . He is a two-time Oscar and three-time Golden Globe winner, as well as the Golden Palm of the Cannes International Film Festival .

His most famous works include the episode film Pulp Fiction , the two-part revenge epic Kill Bill , the counterfactual war film Inglourious Basterds , the spaghetti western Django Unchained and the crime - comedy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood . Typical features of his films are numerous allusions and cross-references as well as the use of long dialogues and the explicit representation of violence .


Childhood and youth

Tarantino was born in 1963 in Knoxville , Tennessee, to 16-year-old Connie McHugh and 21-year-old Italian-American Tony Tarantino . It owes its name to Quint Asper, a character from the western series Smoking Colts , which was played by Burt Reynolds . The character in the series was half- Indian like Tarantino's mother (half Irish and half Cherokee ancestry).

When Tarantino was two years old, his mother moved with him to Los Angeles , where she raised him alone. As an only child, he particularly enjoyed spending his free time in small suburban cinemas, which mainly showed martial arts and B-movies ( Grindhouse films ).

First steps in film

Tarantino dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and began training as an actor. Tarantino is dyslexic . Five years later, because of his extensive film knowledge, he got a job at the Video Archives video library in Manhattan Beach . He and his friends Roger Avary and Jerry Martinez wrote the scripts My Best Friend's Birthday (1987, the last two acts of the film were burned in the editing room after completion) and The Open Road . The latter was rejected by all studios because of its length (over 500 pages) and was later divided into True Romance and Natural Born Killers . Tarantino's film career then began with a deliberate lie: He claimed that he had played a role in Godard's film adaptation of King Lear , "which nobody would ever watch" (quote from Tarantino).

In Sundance , Tarantino attended Robert Redford's directing workshop , where he met Terry Gilliam . He encouraged him to implement cinematic ideas; because there are enough specialists. As a director, according to Tarantino in an interview with Die Woche , you just have to know what you want - “that's how I became a director”.

Frustrated by the unsuccessful search for investors, he wrote the script for Reservoir Dogs in the early 1990s , which he originally wanted to film himself with modest means. At the initiative of the producer Lawrence Bender , however, the actor Harvey Keitel became aware of the project, who promised his financial support. The film, in which Michael Madsen , Steve Buscemi , Chris Penn , Tim Roth and Lawrence Tierney also starred in addition to Keitel and Tarantino , was a great success and then also shown at the Sundance Film Festival . Tarantino was seen as the new hope of independent film and has now also found buyers for his other scripts. In 1993, True Romance was filmed by Tony Scott and Oliver Stone turned a year later the controversial media satire Natural Born Killers , from which Tarantino, however, distanced himself. Together with Lawrence Bender, he eventually founded the production company A Band Apart .

Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown

Tarantino began filming his second feature film, Pulp Fiction , in 1993 . This was also made with relatively modest means, but it was a sensational success at the box office. Many critics praised the narrative structure and the clever plot, even if some criticized the extreme and exaggerated representation of violence. The film helped actors like John Travolta , Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman to a career boost, and received numerous awards (including the Golden Palm of Cannes , the Oscar for best screenplay and six nominations).

After the commercial breakthrough, Tarantino took a three-year hiatus as a director. In 1995 he wrote parts of the scripts for the episode film Four Rooms and From Dusk Till Dawn , which was filmed by his friend Robert Rodriguez . For his next directorial work Jackie Brown (1997) Tarantino cast Pam Grier , Robert Forster (two of his youthful idols), Robert De Niro , Samuel L. Jackson , Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton, among others . The film was nominated for an Oscar, received a Golden Globe Award and another Golden Globe nomination.

Tarantino with the Scream Award for Death Proof

Kill Bill , Death Proof , Inglourious Basterds

After another hiatus of five years, Tarantino announced his next project - the revenge epic Kill Bill . During filming, he decided to release the film in two parts, which hit theaters in October 2003 and April 2004. In 2005 he supported his friend Robert Rodriguez in the filming of Sin City and was guest director for the symbolic fee of one dollar, since Rodriguez had put together the soundtrack of Kill Bill - Volume 2 , also for one dollar .

The next project to hit American theaters in April 2007 was Grindhouse , a double feature that Tarantino again directed with Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino's part was Death Proof , a kind of slasher film with a car as a weapon. In 2007 Death Proof ran in competition at the 60th Cannes Film Festival .

Tarantino shot Inglourious Basterds in 2009 ; the shooting took place in the Babelsberg film studios , in Potsdam and in Görlitz . With this film Tarantino was again represented in the competition at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival ; Christoph Waltz was awarded the Actor Prize for his portrayal of the antagonist Hans Landa. Waltz was also named “ Best Supporting Actor ” at the 2010 Academy Awards ; Inglourious Basterds also received a nomination in another seven categories .

Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight

In early May 2011 it was announced that Tarantino's next project would be a western called Django Unchained . Christoph Waltz , Jamie Foxx , Leonardo DiCaprio , Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson took on roles. Christoph Waltz was awarded a Golden Globe for "Best Supporting Actor" and received the Academy Award (Oscar) for the second time since 2010 .

In late November 2013, Tarantino announced another western , The Hateful Eight , on The Tonight Show . After his script, which he said he had given only six people, was presumably passed on to third parties by an actor agency in January 2014, he announced a stop in planning for the film. On April 21, 2014, he hosted a reading of the script in Los Angeles with the actors originally intended. The Hateful Eight is set in a dry goods store during a snow storm and is dominated by two bounty hunters. The stuck emergency community is being decimated bit by bit by a mysterious murderer. Tarantino announced after the reading that it was not yet a final version and that he wanted to rewrite the script several times. The film was released in cinemas on December 25, 2015.

Tarantino with Margot Robbie (left), Leonardo DiCaprio (2nd from left) and Brad Pitt (right) in Berlin 2019

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and future projects

On the occasion of his eighth film, The Hateful Eight , Quentin Tarantino announced in 2014 that he would like to stop making films after his tenth feature film.

Filming for Tarantino's ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood , began in the summer of 2018. The extra-length film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio , Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie , premiered on May 21, 2019 at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. The film opened in the USA on July 26, 2019, and in Germany it was released on August 15, 2019. His work on the film earned him three Golden Globe Awards nominations for Comedy, Direction, and Screenplay in December 2019 , including two for film and screenplay.


Tarantino is assigned to the ranks of auteur filmmakers because he determines all the important aspects of his films himself, directs and often appears himself ( Pulp Fiction , Reservoir Dogs , Four Rooms , Death Proof , Inglourious Basterds , Django Unchained ), briefly showing himself in the background ( Kill Bill ) or even speaks something ( Jackie Brown , The Hateful Eight ). Furthermore, his films are often linked to one another through certain dialogues, trademarks or allusions. Pam Grier is already discussed in Reservoir Dogs , who only played the leading role in Jackie Brown five years later . Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs is the brother of Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction . Texas Ranger Earl McGraw from Kill Bill also appears in From Dusk Till Dawn , which Tarantino wrote and starred, but not directed. The ringtone on Abbey's cell phone heard in Death Proof while she is shopping at a gas station is the theme song for Kill Bill . The sword from Pulp Fiction , with which Butch Coolidge wounds or kills Zed and his colleagues, is a Hattori- Hanzo sword that plays a leading role in Kill Bill . Furthermore, the "Bear Jew" Donny Donowitz from Inglourious Basterds is the father of Lee Donowitz from True Romance .

So far Tarantino has shot all of his works with the exception of the guest direction in Sin City on analog film with the reason: “I'll never shoot digitally, I hate that! These films look horrible. If one day films should be made exclusively digitally, I will write novels. "

Tarantino's films often contain references to older films, especially bizarre B-films and martial arts films, which he claims to have come to appreciate through his work in a video store. He also describes himself as a fan of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns , whose stylistic devices he often adopts, for example in Kill Bill - Volume 2 . Tarantino mentions Sam Peckinpah , Stanley Kubrick , Brian De Palma , Martin Scorsese , Alfred Hitchcock and James Best as other role models . In an interview with the New York Times , Tarantino said that he also counts William Witney among his favorite directors, particularly for The Golden Stallion ( 1949 ), a film tailored for Roy Rogers . To honor Witney, Tarantino dedicated the film Kill Bill - Volume 2 to him . Tarantino often casts former well-known older actors such as John Travolta , Michael Keaton and Kurt Russell , or he casts actors who have appeared in films that are being alluded to. Examples include Pam Grier in Jackie Brown , Sonny Chiba and David Carradine in Kill Bill and Franco Nero in Django Unchained . Tarantino helped some previous stars to gain new popularity.

Music has a high priority in Tarantino's films. Often he does not have the music specially composed ( film music or score music) , but selects it from existing pieces by well-known artists , which also include vocal music (otherwise rarely in films). The selected pieces are characterized by clear guitar sounds and a mixture of southern California, Mexican and Texan sounds. He also uses classic rock 'n' roll , surf rock , Tex-Mex , Texas blues and film music, which is heavily influenced by Ennio Morricone , in his films.

Performers used several times

Tarantino and Kurt Russell at 2015 San Diego Comic Con

Tarantino has repeatedly worked with some prominent actors. Particularly known:

  • Samuel L. Jackson ( Pulp Fiction , Jackie Brown , Kill Bill - Volume 2 , Inglourious Basterds [voice role], Django Unchained , The Hateful Eight )
  • Michael Madsen ( Reservoir Dogs - Wildehund , Kill Bill - Volume 1 , Kill Bill - Volume 2 , The Hateful Eight , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Tim Roth ( Reservoir Dogs , Pulp Fiction , Four Rooms , The Hateful Eight , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Michael Parks ( Kill Bill - Volume 1 , Kill Bill - Volume 2 , Death Proof - Todicher , Django Unchained )
  • Zoë Bell ( Death Proof , Django Unchained , The Hateful Eight , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • James Parks ( Kill Bill - Volume 1 , Death Proof - Todicher , Django Unchained , The Hateful Eight )
  • Michael Bowen ( Jackie Brown , Kill Bill - Volume 1 )
  • Harvey Keitel ( Reservoir Dogs , Pulp Fiction , Inglourious Basterds [voice role])
  • Uma Thurman ( Pulp Fiction , Kill Bill - Volume 1 , Kill Bill - Volume 2 )
  • Bruce Dern ( Django Unchained , The Hateful Eight , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Kurt Russell ( Death Proof , The Hateful Eight , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Steve Buscemi ( Reservoir Dogs , Pulp Fiction )
  • Bruce Willis ( Pulp Fiction , Four Rooms )
  • Julie Dreyfus ( Kill Bill - Volume 1 , Inglourious Basterds )
  • Bo Svenson ( Kill Bill - Volume 2 , Inglourious Basterds )
  • Eli Roth ( Death Proof , Inglourious Basterds )
  • Omar Doom ( Death Proof , Inglourious Basterds )
  • Christoph Waltz ( Inglourious Basterds , Django Unchained )
  • Walton Goggins ( Django Unchained , The Hateful Eight )
  • James Remar ( Django Unchained , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Brad Pitt ( Inglourious Basterds , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )
  • Leonardo DiCaprio ( Django Unchained , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood )

Film crew

Starting with his directorial debut, Tarantino worked exclusively with the film editor Sally Menke . Their last joint production was Inglourious Basterds from 2009, and Menke died the following year. Since then, Fred Raskin has been Tarantino's film editor. Robert Richardson has been responsible for camera work on Tarantino's productions since Kill Bill - Volume 1 .

Other trademarks

Tarantino with Robert Rodriguez (2007)

In addition to the recurring cast members, there are numerous trademarks that appear in many Tarantino films. These include items such as Chevrolets , “Red Apple” cigarettes or tobacco, “Big Kahuna” burgers, silver-colored adhesive tape and various roll names; but also stylistic devices like the “ Mexican standoff ”, the obligatory “ trunk shot ” (a camera shot from inside a trunk), unconventional narrative structures, the division into chapters as well as long tracking shots and close-ups .

Tarantino has a special relationship with the actress Uma Thurman , who played leading roles in both Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill and whom he describes as his " muse " or his " Marlene Dietrich ". Close-ups of her feet can be seen in these films. Generally, in Tarantino's films, he describes himself as a foot fetishist, close-ups of more or less clothed feet are used, such as B. Bridget Fonda's feet in Jackie Brown or the feet of Juliette Lewis and Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn , who Tarantino himself stares at and licks in the role of Richard Gecko, which he continues to vary in Death Proof . An (injured) foot also plays a decisive role in the film Inglourious Basterds , it is the foot of Bridget von Hammersmark, played by Diane Kruger , as well as the initially paralyzed feet of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill - Volume 1 . In Pulp Fiction , too, there are allusions to feet and even a controversial discussion about the importance of a foot massage for a woman.

Tarantino's favorite films are often the two sleaze classics Der Tollwütige (is even shown excerpts in Jackie Brown ) and Der Killer von Wien as well as the Italowestern Two Glorious Scoundrels .

He has often filled small supporting roles with comedians in his films: Steven Wright as radio DJ in the original version of Reservoir Dogs ; Kathy Griffin as the accident witness and Julia Sweeney as the junkyard owner's daughter in Pulp Fiction ; Chris Tucker as Beaumont in Jackie Brown ; Volker Michalowski and Mike Myers in Inglourious Basterds and Jonah Hill in Django Unchained .

Tarantino's work captivates with the many quotes he has taken from the films of Sergio Corbucci , Enzo G. Castellari , Sergio Grieco and Asian cinema. Tarantino went so far that he copied entire scenes including the dialogues from films like Django . This has earned him criticism from purists, but it doesn't seem to bother the protagonists from back then that much.

In some films that Tarantino has worked with Robert Rodriguez ( From Dusk Till Dawn , Kill Bill , Grindhouse ), Michael Parks plays the ranger Earl McGraw. Michael Parks' son, James Parks , also plays his fictional descendant Edgar McGraw.

Collaboration with other artists

Tarantino often works with his friend, director Robert Rodriguez , for whose film From Dusk Till Dawn he wrote the script , co-produced and himself played one of the leading roles. He also had a brief guest appearance in Rodriguez's film Desperado . Other joint projects were Four Rooms , the production of From Dusk Till Dawn sequels and Tarantino's appearance as guest director for the comic film version Sin City . The two of them also shot Grindhouse together , a homage to the shabby B-movies from the sixties and seventies, which was largely screened separately outside the USA as the two films Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof and Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror .

Roger Avary assisted him on the scripts for Reservoir Dogs - Wild Dogs and Pulp Fiction . For the latter, the two share the Oscar for the best original screenplay, which they received in 1995. However, there was a dispute between Tarantino and Avary because Tarantino does not name him in the opening credits of Pulp Fiction as a screenwriter, but only as a co-developer of the story.


Tarantino 2009 at the Berlinale

As a director

Only a few excerpts from the film My Best Friend's Birthday , made between 1985 and 1987, have survived because the film burned during development, which is why it was never released on DVD.

As an author

As a producer

As a senior producer

As a performer

As a director, writer or actor on television

Unnamed script collaboration

As a cameraman

Awards (selection)

Films in the top 250 of the IMDb
space Movie
8th pulp Fiction
59 Django Unchained
86 Reservoir Dogs - Wild dogs
87 Inglourious Basterds
175 Kill Bill - Volume 1
Tarantino 2011 at the César Awards
Academy Awards
Golden Globe Award
British Academy Film Award
Cannes International Film Festival
Directors Guild of America Award
  • 1995: Nomination in the category Best Fiction Film Director for Pulp Fiction
  • 2009: Nomination in the category Best Feature Film Director for Inglourious Basterds
Further awards and nominations
View of the street sign "Quentin-Tarantino-Str."

At the German premiere of Inglourious Basterds in Berlin, Tarantino was honored with a street named after him on the Babelsberg film site. The street sign was unveiled in his presence on July 27, 2009.

In 2010 Tarantino headed the competition jury at the 67th Venice International Film Festival .


Tarantino has been in a relationship with the Israeli singer Daniella Pick since 2009 . The couple met in 2009 when Tarantino introduced Inglourious Basterds in Israel. In July 2017, they announced their engagement. They were married on November 28, 2018 in Los Angeles. The couple's son was born on February 22, 2020 in Tel Aviv.

Weinstein scandal

When it became known in October 2017 that his long-time friend and business partner Harvey Weinstein had sexually molested and raped women for decades, Tarantino was initially silent. On October 12, he announced via the Twitter account of actress Amber Tamblyn that he would need a few days before he could comment on the case. Finally, on October 19, the New York Times published an interview in which he admitted to having known about some of the cases that had come to light. At the same time, he urged everyone else who were just as confidant as he to express their views.


In 2019, QT8: Quentin Tarantino - The First Eight, a documentary about Quentin Tarantino, was released in which numerous actors and filmmakers have their say.


Web links

Commons : Quentin Tarantino  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Quentin Tarantino - portrait on news.de ( Memento from September 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Tarantino explains the cinema on FAZ.net
  3. Gerald Sturz: Look who's shooting. The week of November 4, 1994, p. 59
  4. Quentin Tarantino Shelves 'The Hateful Eight' After Betrayal Results In Script Leak at deadline.com, accessed on January 22, 2014
  5. Does Tarantino shoot the betrayed film after all? April 21, 2014, accessed April 23, 2014 .
  6. UPDATE: Universum brings "Hateful Eight" to German cinemas. In: Blickpunkt: Film . Busch Entertainment Media , June 18, 2015, accessed June 18, 2015 .
  7. Quentin Tarantino On Retirement, Grand 70 MM Intl Plans For 'The Hateful Eight' on Deadline.com, November 10, 2014, accessed May 22, 2019
  8. “I still have two films. There's nothing more in it ” on welt.de from January 31, 2016, accessed on May 22, 2019
  9. ^ "Quentin Tarantino Developing Film About Manson Family Murders." Variety . http://variety.com/2017/film/news/quentin-tarantino-manson-murders-movie-1202492881/ . Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  10. Tarantino in an interview with Südkurier , August 19, 2009
  11. Tarantino's trademark on quentintarantino.de
  12. The Top 250 of the IMDb (as of April 26, 2020)
  13. ^ Name of a street after Quentin Tarantino on the premises of the Babelsberg film studios
  14. cf. Film festival: Tarantino heads the jury in Venice at zeit.de, May 6, 2010 (accessed on May 7, 2010)
  15. http://www.huffingtonpost.de/2017/07/02/quentin-tarantino-verlobt-diese-frau-soll-die-auserwahlte-sein_n_17365992.html
  16. Quentin Tarantino married singer Daniela Pick. In: spiegel.de. November 29, 2018, accessed December 2, 2018 .
  17. Quentin Tarantino Welcomes First Child, A Boy, with Daniella Pick. Retrieved February 23, 2020 .
  18. Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades at nytimes.com, October 5, 2017 (accessed October 21, 2017)
  19. From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Tell Their Stories at newyorker.com, October 10, 2017 (accessed October 21, 2017)
  20. Tarantino's statement on Amber Tamblyn's Twitter account [1] at twitter.com/ambertamblyn, October 12, 2017 (accessed October 21, 2017)
  21. Tarantino on Weinstein: 'I Knew Enough to Do More Than I Did' at nytimes.com, October 19, 2017 (accessed October 21, 2017)