Quentin Jerome Tarantino (/ˌtærənˈtiːnoʊ/; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, author, film critic, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence, extended dialogue, ensemble casts, references to popular culture, alternate history, and neo-noir. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tarantino grew up in Los Angeles. He began his career as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992, a crime thriller film which was in part funded by money from the sale of his screenplay True Romance (1993). Empire magazine hailed Reservoir Dogs as the “Greatest Independent Film of All Time”. His second film, Pulp Fiction (1994), a crime comedy, was a major success among critics and audiences and won him numerous awards, including the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for the horror comedy film From Dusk till Dawn (1996), in which he also starred. Tarantino paid homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s with Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch.