Anyone who has seen a Quentin Tarantino film will agree that the American director never holds back in depicting action, violence or profanity in his movies. As the filmmaker turns 54, we list five films, peppered with pop-culture references, that garnered Quentin Tarantino a cult following.
Quentin Tarantino. Pic/AFP
1. 'Pulp Fiction' (1994)
'Pulp Fiction' is the classic Tarantino movie that includes all the aspects of filmmaking he is known for. Its violence, humour, non-linear storytelling and pop-culture references made it a hit among the critics and audience alike. The film not only revived John Travolta's career, but also earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 'Pulp Fiction' was nominated for seven Oscars in all, while winning in the Best Original Screenplay category.
2. 'Kill Bill' (2003 and 2004)
'Kill Bill' stars Uma Thurman as the Bride who seeks revenge on an assassination squad after they try to kill her and her unborn child. This martial arts action film was originally set for a single theatrical release, but its 4-hour plus running time prompted Tarantino to divide it into two movies. The film's plot was developed by Tarantino and lead actress Uma Thurman during the making of 'Pulp Fiction'. Tarantino has said that the iconic animated action sequence in 'Kill Bill: Vol. 1' (2003) was inspired by the use of 2D animated sequences in Kamal Haasan's Tamil film 'Aalavandhan'.
3. 'Reservoir Dogs' (1992)
Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut 'Reservoir Dogs' ticks off all his trademarks – humour, violence, profanity, non-linear storyline – and enjoys a cult status. Tarantino wrote the script of this diamond heist gone wrong in three and a half weeks, while the film was made under a low budget with stellar star cast. After the success of 'Reservoir Dogs', Tarantino was offered numerous projects, including 'Speed' and 'Men in Black', but he chose to work on his script for 'Pulp Fiction'.
4. 'Inglourious Basterds' (2009)
'Inglourious Basterds' is Tarantino's unconventional take on a war film that involves two separate plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leaders, including Adolf Hitler. Tarantino wrote the script in 1998 but struggled to come up with a convincing ending, and chose to direct 'Kill Bill' instead. 'Inglourious Basterds' is Tarantino's second-highest grossing film till date. It received eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, while Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Hans Landa earned him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
5. 'Django Unchained' (2012)
Tarantino tackles the issue of slavery boldly and brutally in 'Django Unchained'. The story revolves around a slave named Django (Samuel L Jackson), who is freed by a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), and the two eventually team up to rescue Django's wife from a plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). 'Django Unchained' went on to become a critical and commercial success and is Tarantino's highest-grossing film till date. In the five Oscar nominations the film earned, Tarantino won for Best Original Screenplay and Christoph Waltz received yet another Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.