Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tarantino grew up an avid film fan and worked in a video rental store while training to act. His career began in the late 1980s, when he wrote and directed My Best Friend's Birthday; its screenplay would form the basis for True Romance. In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs (1992); regarded as a classic and cult hit, it was opined as the "Greatest Independent Film of All Time" by Empire magazine. Its popularity was boosted by the release of his second film, Pulp Fiction (1994), a neo-noir crime film that became a major critical and commercial success, widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. Paying homage to 1970s blaxploitation films, Tarantino released Jackie Brown in 1997, an adaptation of the novel Rum Punch.
Kill Bill followed six years later - released as two films, Vol. 1 (2003) and Vol. 2 (2004) - a highly stylized "revenge flick" in the cinematic traditions of Chinese martial arts, spaghetti westerns and Italian horror. He released Death Proof (2007) as part of a double feature with friend Robert Rodriguez under the collective title Grindhouse. His long-postponed Inglourious Basterds (2009) became Tarantino's second highest-grossing film to date ($321 million), which tells the fictional alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership. His most recent and highest grossing work is Django Unchained (2012), a western film set in the antebellum era of the Deep South, receiving critical acclaim.
Tarantino's films have garnered both critical and commercial success. He has received many industry awards, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards and the Palme d'Or and has been nominated for an Emmy and Grammy. Filmmaker and historian Peter Bogdanovich has called him "the single most influential director of his generation."
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