Quentin Jerome Tarantino (pronunciation: /ˌtærənˈtiːnoʊ/; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and occasional actor. In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with films employing nonlinear storylines and the aestheticization of violence. His films include Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003, 2004), Death Proof (2007), Inglourious Basterds (2009), and the upcoming feature Django Unchained (2012). He has earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA and the Palme d'Or, as well as Emmy and Grammy nominations.
Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Tony Tarantino, an actor and amateur musician who was born in Queens, New York, and Connie McHugh, a nurse. Tarantino's father is Italian and his mother is of Irish and Cherokee ancestry. He was raised by his mother, as his parents separated before his birth. When he was two years old, he moved to Torrance, California and later to the Harbor City neighborhood where he went to Fleming Junior High School in Lomita and took drama classes. He attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City for his freshman year before dropping out of school at age 15, to attend an acting class full time at the James Best Theater Company in Toluca Lake.
At age 22 he worked at the Video Archives, a now-defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach where he and fellow movie enthusiasts, including Roger Avary, discussed cinema and customer video recommendations at length. He paid close attention to the types of films people liked to rent and has cited that experience as inspiration for his directorial career. Tarantino has been quoted as saying, "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, 'no, I went to films.'"