Quentin Jerome Tarantino is one of the most influential director-writers working today. He was born on March 27, 1963 in Knoxville Tennessee and moved to the Los Angeles area in 1965 with his mother. Later he attended Hawthorne Christian School and Narbonne High School before dropping out at the age of 16. Shortly after, he enrolled in acting classes at the James Best Theatre Company. 

In 1984 Tarantino took a job at The Video Archives, a video store in Manhattan Beach, California, where he watched (and studied) thousands of films and developed an almost encyclopedic knowledge of well-known movies, as well as more obscure films.

His first movie script, written at the age of 22, was titled Captain Peachfuzz and the Anchovy Bandit. A few years later he sold another script, Natural Born Killers, to a makeup company for $1,500 dollars and a promise to do the makeup work for his first movie. Later he sold a script titled True Romance for $50,000 and decided to use the money to make his first film, Reservoir Dogs. After meeting Harvey Keitel through Lawrence Bender, Keitel read the Reservoir Dogs script and was impressed enough to help finance the film and also agree to act in it. For the next year Tarantino traveled around to various film festivals promoting Reservoir Dogs, which was moderately successful. His next movie, Pulp Fiction went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as the Palme D’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival while also grossing over $100 million, making Tarantino a household name. The last movies he released were Kill Bill (Vol. 1 2003, Vol. 2 2004), both films together grossing $136 million. He recently worked with Eli Roth on the 2006 film, Hostel, which was controversial for its many disturbing scenes of violence and torture. 

Here are additional Tarantino facts most people are not aware of:

Around once a year, he travels to the Austin Film Society in Texas where he brings his favorite movies and puts on a screening that lasts for several days, some sessions running all night long. The films he chooses span such genres as adventure, epic, action, horror and exploitation. He provides introductions for each movie and displays a tremendous film knowledge along with his quirky commentary.

He collects board games that have themes from popular television shows of the past, such as The Dukes of Hazzard, I Dream of Genie, and The A-Team.

He loves offbeat breakfast cereals and has mentioned the brand Fruit Brute in his movies Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

He was named ‘Quentin’ after the character ‘Quint’ in Gunsmoke, played by Burt Reynolds.

He is a fan of The Three Stooges.

There is usually a point in each of his movies where three people are aiming guns at one another; this is called a’Mexican standoff.’

He once considered becoming a novelist and completed two chapters of a book concerning the time he worked at The Video Archives in Manhattan Beach.

Tarantino provided a list of his all-time favorite movies in the Sight and Sound Director’s Poll of 2002. Here are the films he named:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Rio Bravo
3. Taxi Driver
4. His Girl Friday
5. Rolling Thunder
6. They All Laughed
7. The Great Escape
8. Carrie
9. Coffy
10. Dazed and Confused
11. Five Fingers of Death
12. Hi Diddle Diddle

Tarantino regularly includes scenes in his movies where the camera is inside the trunk of a car. Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and Jackie Brown have examples of this technique. Martin Scorcese was the first to use ‘trunk shots’ in his film Goodfellas.

He has dyslexia.

He regularly employs unusual storytelling methods; nonlinear and chapter techniques are popular. His Pulp Fiction script is considered unusual due to the traditional film techniques he broke while writing it.

He is controversial for using racial epithets in his movies. 

Has been accused of plagiarizing scenes, dialogue, and even entire plots from his favorite films. For example, Reservoir Dogs is thought to be a combination of the movies City on Fire by Ringo Lam and The Killing by Stanley Kubrick.

When he was 15, Tarantino was arrested for stealing the novel The Switch by Elmore Leonard.

Quotes by Tarantino:

“When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them ‘no, I went to films.'”

 “I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time and I learnt some great dialogue.”

“Violence is one of the most fun things to watch.”

“I steal from every movie ever made.”

“If there’s another level of heaven, that’s where I’m at.”